Olympic anthem of the day #9: Singapore!

Schooling just after he’s schooled Phelps. Geddit? Geddit???!!! I’ll get my coat

This Olympics is proving amazing for countries winning their first golds. First, there was Kosovo, then there was Puerto Rico and somewhere along the line there was also Singapore, after Joseph Schooling won the 100m men’s butterfly, stunning Michael Phelps in the process.

There is a beautiful story about Schooling’s idolisation of Phelps over at The Guardian, but let’s get to more important matters: what does Singapore’s anthem sound like, the song Schooling got to so proudly hear soon after his victory? Er, it’s not the best.

It was written by composer Zubir Said in 1958 when he was working for a film studio, which probably explains why it sounds like a 1950s’ Asian showtune.

If those are your thing, you’ll love it. Unfortunately for me, it does nothing, which is why I should let this post finish instead with the words of May Chen, a journalist for The Straits Times, who was at the race and whose article about it wonderfully quotes Said’s song:

For one-and-a-half minutes as the national anthem blared through the speakers, I was not a journalist trying to stay neutral in the press tribune.

I was simply a Singaporean, proud that one of our own has demonstrated – on the biggest stage – the country’s progress.

You stand taller, sing louder, but you cannot stop the tears.

Majulah, Singapura (Onward, Singapore).
Majulah, Singapura (Onward, Singapore).

Bonus: Thanks to David of nationalanthems.info here’s a bizarre Yiddish piano version of Singapore’s anthem. Probably the funnest it’ll ever be heard.

2 thoughts on “Olympic anthem of the day #9: Singapore!

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