I recently took Bubbles to Eat Play Love Cafe for dinner, and to meet some lovely folks representing Coca Cola Singapore. While I enjoyed a pleasant chat among adults, she had fun crafting and adorning me with various ribbon and pasta jewellery. It delighted her when I wore her creations all the way home.
In the car on the way back, Bubbles suddenly starting singing Singapura, Oh Singapura, followed by Stand Up for Singapore. Before long, we were both belting out various Singapore National Day songs - totally off-key singing with lots of humming to make up for lyrics that neither of us can remember. We sang with gusto and in earnest unison. She obviously has been learning these songs in school, as a lead up to National Day celebrations.
It dawned on me that our short time in the car singing was a special shared experience. Roboman is not Singaporean, so he is unfamiliar with these songs as he has never heard them growing up. For Bubbles and I however, these songs have and will be staples in our childhood memories of melodies.
(If you haven't already heard this year's much discussed National Day song One Singapore, you can listen to it here.)
Bubbles asked if I could teach her teachers THE National Day song that I sing at home.
Which one? I asked.
The 9th of August don't need to go to school one! She replies.
AH. That one.
In my memory is this National Day song that I sang in primary school. I've always remembered it, as it is short, has fun lyrics, and a catchy tune. It is only in recent years that I found out it is not one of the standard National Day Songs. No one else I've asked seems to know it, and no, I do not own a CD of this song either.
Do you recognise this song?
THE 9th of AUGUST
The 9th of August is a holiday,
we don't have to go to school,
we all can play.
I'm dressed in my best,
especially for today!
Hip hip hooray
It's our National Day.
Today is the birthday of Singapore.
We will celebrate this day
like never before.
I don't know how it started
but I know it's true.
This is the day for
me and you!