Culture

10 Best National Day Songs Over The Years Ranked For You To Sing From Your Window This PH

Best National Day Songs


It’s August, and you know what that means. Red-and-white flags hung from HDB corridors, fireworks galore, and of course, National Day Songs. Even the most sotong Singaporean would have heard of classics like Reach Out For The Skies, which resurge on the radio during this time of year.

Besides this year’s tune Stronger Together, some are just classics that have stood the test of time. From singing along in primary school to watching them performed live during the NDP, you gotta admit that we’re suckers for these local jams. We rounded up the 10 best National Day songs – see what made our #1 below.

Check out other National Day related articles here:


10. The Road Ahead (2021)


Video credit: NDPeeps

Sung by: Linying, Sezairi Sezali, Shye, Shabir

The Singapore story: It’s hard to capture the nuance of these challenging times, but singer-songwriter Linying and music producer Evan Low have composed a hopeful and uplifting anthem for the NDP song last year.

The Road Ahead, performed by Linying, Sezairi Sezali, Shye and Shabir not only comes with encouraging lyrics like about teamwork for a better tomorrow – “Come whatever on the road ahead / We did it before, and we’ll do it again” – but also an animated visuals overlayed on iconic locations in the music video.

With inspiring lyrics and visuals making a remarkably poignant theme of home, we won’t be surprised if this song becomes a mainstay whenever 9th August rolls around.

Check out TheSmartLocal’s reaction to The Road Ahead.


9. Where I Belong (2001)


Video credit: NDPeeps

Sung by: Tanya Chua

The Singapore story: Ahh, rewind to the era of guitar-driven songs and soaring choruses – Where I Belong is a tune by none other than one of SG’s favourite songbirds Tanya Chua. 

The music video perfectly captured that indescribable feeling of hopping into a taxi at Changi Airport right after a trip overseas, with scenes of everyday Singaporean life – like joggers and cyclists passing by – complementing the lyrics of finally coming home. 


8. Song For Singapore (2010)


Video credit: NDPeeps

Sung by: Corrinne May

The Singapore story: There’s just something about Corinne May’s voice that tugs at your heartstrings effortlessly – remember this song? Ugh, a classic for 90s kids. 

She does the same on 2010’s theme song Song For Singapore. Featuring scenes of Singapore’s kampung days in sepia tones slowly progressing into hyperlapse shots of modern day Orchard Road, it really showed how much we grew together as a nation.


7. Stand Up For Singapore (1984-1985)


Video credit: TheMarches09

Lyrics and music by: Hugh Harrison

The Singapore story: If Singapore was a Broadway production, this would be our opening number and Hugh Harrison, who composed the music and wrote the lyrics, would be our John Williams. It is, after all, one of the first few National Day theme songs and was even used two years in a row.

The upbeat and rousing song not only literally gets us up on our feet every single time, but the chanty, commanding chorus remains as one of the funnest lines to sing along to till today.


6. Reach Out For The Skies (2005)


Video credit: NDPeeps

Sung by: Rui En and Taufik Batisah

The Singapore story: What’s better than having one teenage icon on an NDP song? How ‘bout two.

Channel 8 princess Rui En and OG Singapore Idol Taufik Batisah joined forces for this uplifting 2005 number about chasing dreams and aiming for success. The MV was filled with easy-to-follow dance moves that let’s be real, got everyone from kids to ah mas jiving along too.


5. Tomorrow’s Here Today (2016)


Video credit: NDPeeps

Sung by: 53A

The Singapore story: To be honest, I didn’t even know this was an NDP song when I first heard it back in 2016  – having assumed it was from one of those alternative-pop bands like Sheppard or Walk The Moon.

That just goes to show how much crossover appeal this song had as a proper radio hit. The catchy tune and colourful visuals for the music video also easily appealed to younger audiences, where they likely jumped along watching it in their living rooms. Another impressive takeaway? The music video was filmed in one continuous take! 


4. What Do You See? (2009)


Video credit: NDPeeps

Sung by: Electrico

The Singapore story: The National Day Parade is pretty much our very own Superbowl minus the sport, which is why it deserves a stadium-ready rock band as a headliner too. And that 2009 accolade went to Electrico.

The rock influence and “The Killers” vibes on the song divided audiences though. While some loved the refreshing change in pace, others felt it was starkly different from the usual style of NDP songs. It’s a hit in our books, and we can only hope that more alternative-leaning artists like Gentle Bones and Jasmine Sokko take on the honours in future years. 


3. We Are Singapore (1987)


Video credit: NDPeeps

Sung by: Jonathan Tan, Roslinda Baharudin, Anne Weerapass and Robert Fernando

The Singapore story: Oof…what. a. throwback. You can’t not know this one. Despite having the most straightforward lyrics and melody of any other song in this list, “this is my country / this is my flag / this is my future / this is my life”, you could not deny your local pride when this song came on. It even weaved in the pledge for the song’s hook – we stan a multitasking kween!

Heads up: the video will hit you right in the nostalgic feels that will make you reminisce a much simpler time, but also make you feel really old. Yet the melody and vocals by Jonathan Tan, Roslinda Baharudin, Anne Weerapass, and Robert Fernando are so good that its become an instant classic and a must listen whenever the 9th of August rolls around. 


2. We Will Get There (2002)


Video credit: NDPeeps

Sung by: Stefanie Sun

The Singapore story: 2002 was a momentous year – the first Spider-Man movie, Avril Lavigne’s debut album and the 20GB iPod were all released. But it also marked a serious contender for best NDP song of all time.

Stefanie Sun’s We Will Get There is undoubtedly one of the catchiest earworms our country has produced, complete with strings arrangement, lyrics about solidarity and aerial shots of the then-newly built Esplanade.


1. Home (1998)


Video credit: NDPeeps

Sung by: Kit Chan

The Singapore story: Admit it, you probably scrolled all the way down to make sure this topped the list. And for good reason. We wouldn’t dare put any other song at #1 tbh.

The song encapsulates what it’s like to call Singapore home to a T, and by the time you sing the final this is where I won’t be aloOooOne”, you’d be forgiven for choking up and having a tear in your eye.


Bonus: Get Better (2020)


Video credit: TheSmartLocal

Music by: TheSmartLocal team

The Singapore story: Fine, this might not be an official NDP song, but the aim and messaging of our original is just the same. 

Get Better was crafted with the intention of not only recognising the resilience of our frontline workers like healthcare providers, but also to offer some heart and hope in what has been a challenging year for many of us. Interwoven with a romance storyline, it’s a love song dedicated to Singapore and each other as a sign to not give up during difficult times. 


Best NDP songs in Singapore


National day songs are reminders of our local culture, heritage and progress from a small fishing village to the modern-day titan of a country we are today. 

And as we continue to persevere through the Covid-19 pandemic and a recession as one, it’s in music that keeps us having hope and happiness. Happy birthday, Singapore!

Check out more Singapore-related content:


Cover image adapted from (clockwise from top left): NDPeeps, NDPeeps, coldsuns87, walkerF
Originally published on 7th August 2020. Last updated by Brendan Yee on 8th August 2022.

Bryan Christopher Yeong

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