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Iconic Singapore Anthems: The best 7 NDP songs of all time

2 mins read

With heart-tugging lyrics that evoke nostalgia and strengthen Singaporeans' patriotic spirit, Benjamin Kheng’s wildly popular National Day Parade (NDP) 2024 theme song has not only captivated our hearts but also our minds.

Like household favourites of NDP songs of yore, “Not Alone” checks every box in what we Singaporeans want and love in a national day song. Which is why, we here at Catch feel that it’s only right to take a nostalgic but necessary look back at our favourite NDP songs of yesteryear. Join us as we celebrate how each of our favourites has resonated deeply with every generation of Singaporeans.

1. Stand Up For Singapore (1984)

Kicking off this list strong is the classic “Stand Up For Singapore”, composed in 1984 by Hugh Harrison, a Canadian composer who has been rooted in Singapore since the 1970s. Its upbeat melody and uplifting spirit strike a chord with Singaporeans, rallying us to stand together and build a strong, prosperous nation.

2. Count On Me, Singapore (1986)

Would you believe that the production of “Count On Me, Singapore” was sponsored by Fraser and Neave (F&N), the giant known for its colourful drinks that have now become a staple for all celebrations in Singapore? Also written by Hugh Harrison, this anthem has been covered by other artists such as Benjamin Kheng, and adapted into versions including the latest titled, “Stay at Home, Singapore” in 2020, during the COVID-19 lockdown.

3. One People, One Nation, One Singapore (1990)

This perennial favourite has the ability to unite people from all walks of life under the banner of national pride. Accompanied by a catchy melody, “One People, One Nation, One Singapore” embodies the values of unity and diversity of this country, creating a unifying anthem that represents Singapore’s collective identity. It also brings about a sense of belonging and pride, reminding us that living in this lush lion city, we always stand together as one.

4. Home (1998)

Did you know “Home” was not initially written for National Day? Originally written for the Sing Singapore Festival, this iconic anthem beautifully captures the Singaporean identity and our deep-rooted connections to our homeland, reflecting feelings of belonging and nostalgia for this place we call home. Over the years, it has cemented its spot as one of the most popular NDP songs of all time, thanks to composer Dick Lee and singer Kit Chan's ability to bring happy tears to our eyes.

5. Reach Out For The Skies (2005)

“Reach Out For The Skies” is the first NDP song that features Singapore Idol’s inaugural winner, Taufik Batisah, alongside singer-actress, Rui En. The lyrics encourage Singaporeans to reach for their dreams, conveying a message of hope and aspiration among Singaporeans. Striking a chord especially with younger Singaporeans, this song, without a doubt, deeply resonates nationwide.

6. Our Singapore (2015)

First released in 2015, “Our Singapore” celebrates the diversity and resilience of Singapore while reminding us not to take the present achievements for granted. Its 2019 remake solidified its impact, strengthening national pride among Singaporeans and echoing calls for the pioneering spirit crucial for a brighter future.

7. The Road Ahead (2021)

Last but definitely not least, “The Road Ahead” resonated with Singaporeans as a beacon of hope and resilience during challenging times. Animations were creatively incorporated to navigate filming restrictions during COVID-19 lockdowns, ensuring the song's message continued to uplift and unite the nation.

As we wrap up our journey through Singapore’s top NDP songs, it's important for us to also remember that these anthems are more than just melodies. From the heartfelt lyrics of “Home” to the determination of “The Road Ahead” and the solidarity in “Count On Me, Singapore,” these songs are deeply woven into our national celebrations. Now that you know ours, what's your favourite?

Image credit: NDP 24

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