SINGAPORE - The National Day Parade theme song, which has long been one of the hallmarks of Singapore's birthday celebrations on Aug 9, will be scrapped this year.
This will be the first time since 1998 that there will not be an NDP theme song.
Instead, parade spectators will be singing familiar and popular songs such as Home and Count On Me Singapore. They will be among 10 songs to be compiled into an NDP 2014 Songs Album.
This is in line with this year's theme, Our People, Our Home, said the parade's executive committee chairman, Wong Yu Han, who added that such familiar songs "deeply engage" Singaporeans.
"This year, what we want to do is to get our people to bring us back again to those familiar songs that we have grown up with and, importantly, learning to sing together."
Previous NDP theme songs have also hit all the wrong notes.
Last year's theme song, One Singapore, performed by a 68-strong choir that is formed by regular Singaporeans, was slammed by netizens for being "childish and cheesy".
In 2009, the NDP theme song, What Do You See?, was roundly panned by critics, who said the rock tune lacked a broad appeal.
Many people have also questioned the need to have a new theme song every National Day.
But Col Wong said the recent backlash is not the reason for scrapping the idea for Singapore's 49th birthday.
"We just go in thinking what we believe is right and believe is correct to do," he said adding that the classics best reflect Singaporeans as "a people".