Singapore National Anthem: Chinese Lyrics, English Version and History
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The National Anthem, "Majulah Singapura" (literally "Onward Singapore"), is a musical statement of Singaporean identity, with a rousing melody and lyrics that echo the enduring hope and spirit of Singaporeans for advancement.
The late Encik Zubir Said wrote "Majulah Singapura" in 1958. Singapore's former mayor, Mr. Ong Eng Guan, asked Encik Zubir Said to pen an official song honoring the reopening of the Victoria Theatre. Singapore Chamber Ensemble premiered the piece. On 3 December 1959, it was again performed as Singapore's National Anthem.
Encik Zubir Said reflected on his inspiration for the Anthem, saying:
The challenge is that I have to fit all the words into such a brief song, and they have to be very basic so that they can be understood by Singaporeans of various backgrounds. That is a lengthy process. Really, it's the words that take so long, not the tune. There's a need for me to use extreme caution. To ensure I was using correct Malay terminology without getting bogged down in the nuances, I sought advice from a Malay author.
Encik Zubir Said (1907-1987), a Minangkabau native of Central Sumatra, was asked by the City Council to write an anthem for them in 1958. At the time, he was working as a composer for the Cathay-Keris Film Corporation.
Encik Zubir Said said in a 1967 interview that the words "Majulah Singapura" near the Victoria Theatre's foyer had inspired him to write the play because he wanted to capture the spirit of Singaporeans and make them feel more patriotic. He thought it was important to be proud and devoted to one's hometown.
The Anthem's author, Encik Zubir Said, was not compensated for his work. But, in 1963, the government of Singapore honored him by awarding him the Sijil Kemuliaan (Certificate of Honour). Encik Zubir Said was honored with the ASEAN Culture and Communications Prize in 1987.
Lyrics in Majulah Singapura
|Photo Fresh Sheet Music|
Mari kita rakyat Singapura
Sama-sama menuju bahagia
Cita-cita kita yang mulia
Marilah kita bersatu
Dengan semangat yang baru
Semua kita berseru
Latin Transliteration from the Chinese
Lai ba, Xinjiapo renmin,
Rang women gongtong xiang xingfu maijin;
Women chonggao de lixiang,
Yao shi Xinjiapo chenggong.
Lai ba, rang women yi xin de jingshen,
Tuanjie zai yiqi;
Women qisheng huanhu:
Qianjin ba, Xinjiapo!
Lyrics in English- Onward Singapore
Come, fellow Singaporeans
Let us progress towards happiness together
May our noble aspiration bring
Come, let us unite
In a new spirit
Let our voices soar as one
A New Recording of Singapore National Anthem
Singapore's national anthem, "Majulah Singapura," was re-orchestrated and re-released on January 19, 2001, to make it more accessible to the country's diverse population. Mr. Phoon Yew Tien, a local composer and Cultural Medallion recipient, reworked it in the key of F. Because it was "grander and more inspiring," this configuration was selected. In the years since, it's become universally accepted as the definitive rendition of the anthem.
The Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) re-recorded the Anthem in 2019 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the National Symbols. Recognizing the Anthem's lasting and unifying qualities, the lyrics and arrangement by Encik Zubir Said and Mr. Phoon Yew Tien were kept intact. Singaporeans can now enjoy the music more fully, especially in larger settings and with contemporary sound systems, thanks to the improved quality of the recording.
Rules on performing the national anthem
On 30 November 1959, the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Ordinance took effect to regulate the performance of the national anthem. The objective of the regulations is to ensure that the national symbol is accorded the respect it deserves.
The narrative of Singapore's independence in 1965 is well known, as is the fact that the little country was widely panned for its lack of natural resources and its sizeable population of only a few hundred people.
The island managed to prevail despite all odds, despite facing local turbulence, regional strife, and international politics.
It exploited every available opportunity and is now recognized as a leading economic center, financial center, and worldwide actor.
A parade that truly dazzles
This is how the national story has evolved over time, and it is this story that is told annually in the National Day Parade.
Spectators take in a dazzling firework extravaganza set against the stunning skyline surrounded by the Marina Waterfront, as well as military parades, multicultural song-and-dance performances, and aerial high jinks.
Although the actual celebration of National Day takes place on August 9th, preparations begin as early as three or four months in advance, with preview performances held on the two weekends before the big day.
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