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SINGapore: Once Heard, Can't Be Unheard

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"This music video, set in a fun and light-hearted setting, is meant to introduce the Key Appointment Holders for the NDP 2012 Parade & Ceremony committee..."

Just reading this short introduction gave me a bad feeling. And then the video itself...

Oh dear.

The thing is, though, this isn't new. In fact, Singaporeans more or less begin to expect these cringeworthy songs. It's as if no significant event in our country is complete without a propagandistic song that we can all awkwardly bond over.

Establishment figures, ministries and national committees have often used music videos and songs to reach out to the populace, convinced that these more "light-hearted" endeavours are just what is needed to bring everyone together. (In their defense, it does bring many people together, but not quite in the way they intend.)

For example, take a look at this rap produced by the senior management of Singapore's Media Development Authority, whose work include funding homegrown artists and projects and also rating and/or censoring films and videos.

During the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Singapore, a rap was also produced featuring one of Singapore's most well-known comic characters Phua Chu Kang urging people to protect themselves. After all, "SARS is the virus that we want to minus".

When we were struck by the recession, labour union leaders decided to cheer us all up by coming up with a song "Upturn the Downturn."

And when Singapore became the first host of the Youth Olympic Games in 2010, local popstar JJ Lin performed this overly-enthusiastic song, complete with dance moves, that plagued Singaporeans for months.

These songs have become inevitable parts of the average Singaporean existence, and although they may not always succeed in inspiring the oomph and patriotism that they set out to achieve, one thing's for sure: it's always good for a laugh. Or at least a facepalm.