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Singapore National Day: Our Singapore, JJ Lin

Music and Lyrics by Dick Lee

Comments for listeners from Beverly Grafton:

If this was a vlog instead of a blog, I'd be starting this entry with an epic "Eeeeeeeeek!" because what is there to not love about JJ Lin? I've secretly fantasized that if I had to be a guy, I'd like to have my hubby's face and body but with JJ Lin's voice. This uber talented singer/songwriter from Singapore is a mega success all over the world in the Mandarin Pop scene but that doesn't mean he lacks the finesse to excel at English songs. In fact, I am going to come right out and say it, JJ has fantastic diction. Something, that I hate to say, MANY local singers lack. I'm not saying he puts on a fake accent either. He maintains such a beautiful Singaporean accent whilst still being mindful of sounds like "th" and closing words by ensuring that the consonants are enunciated. This, my readers, is quality.

The song itself is very driven and a stark contrast to the version that was presented last year for NDP 2019, of which I was a part of, in the live performance at the Padang. Having had the chance to speak to Dr. Sydney Tan who arranged all the music for the parade last year as well as the rehashed theme song, I learned of the essence of the song and its meaning. It's about mindfulness, ownership and also reflection. In the beginning, we honour our pioneers who have struggled to literally build something out of nothing, as is said in the song. That's when we then mindfully look around us to take stock of everything that is and that makes Singapore. Reflecting on our struggles and success, we encourage the younger generations to take ownership of our homeland and to remember that now is not the time to rest on our laurels but instead to continue to build and achieve because this IS our home and our heart. This is Our Singapore. (I just gave myself goose bumps again)

Of course, the man responsible for this musical treasure is none other than the inimitable Dick Lee. With such a unique yet quirky sound to his style of song writing, Dick Lee is simply impossible to copy. There's this subtle chiding honesty nestled into cleverly written lyrics, reminiscent of my maternal grandmother's teasing. And as a songwriter, that's the kind of connection you want to elicit from your listeners. Which brings me to my final song in the next post.

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