Thursday, August 08, 2019

Majulah Singapura: Ramli Sarip & Six Anthems Before

So here it is Majulah Singapura with a different feel by Ramli Sarip.

Singapore went through quite a number of national anthems before Majulah Singapura (composed by the late Che Zubir Said). We sang God Save The King, then Kimigayo, God Save The Queen and Negara Ku before our independence in 1965. That's four national anthems. 

But wait a minute. During colonial days, the Chinese students sang Sun-Min Zhu Yi (三民主义), refusing to follow the British and following Nationalist China's anthem instead. So that's five anthems that some Singaporeans had to sing.

The Indian National Army which had its headquarters in Singapore during the Japanese occupation had their own anthem too. And they sang it in Hindi. So if this anthem is included, our citizens would have sung six anthems before our present original one.

Now that's a lot of anthems for a tiny dot like Singapore.
So sing on Mr. Rock Star, Ramli. And it's our own anthem we all sing today and it's made in Singapore too.  According to Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Ramli was: "Raw, gritty and visceral – it’s soul-stirring to hear, even moving some in the audience during the rehearsals to tears." 

Images and video:
Information: 'One More Story To Tell. Memories of Singapore 1930s-1980s': Chan Kwee Sung: Anthems: Page 130-132. Landmark Books 2003.
Flags of the United Kingdom, Japan, Nat China, Malaysia.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great info, Andy. Didnt know SG had 5 other national anthems. Ramli sang it with so much soul in his unique style. I like it.