A night of song

January 2, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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Fighting for freedom and having fun along the way

Fighting for freedom and having fun along the way

Singapore Democrats

Speakers’ Corner was filled with singing on the last evening of 2008. The singers crooned, some say croaked, their way into the New Year with the accompaniment of guitars, tambourines and maracas.

The audience needed a bit of encouragement in the beginning but when everyone warmed up, the place was belting out John Lennon hits like Give Peace A Chance. Midway through the piece, people were changing the lyrics to “Give truth a chance” and “Give Chee a chance.”

Jufri Salim then launched into Power To The People, another Lennon hit. “This was also the title of Jeyaretnam’s manifesto when he was with the WP,” someone reminded the audience. The singing got so loud at one point, especially during the chorus, the residents at the Istana might have heard it.

It was a Lennon night, Imagine was the next song. Incidentally, the former Beatles’ member was shot and killed in 1981.

Agnes Chia: Strumming her pain

Agnes Chia: Strumming her pain

Imagine

Imagine there’s no Pappy, its easy if you try
No GIC to screw us, no Temasek too
Imagine Singaporeans, living life so free, yoo-hoo-oo

Chorus:
You may say I’m dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one

Imagine there’s democracy, it isn’t hard to do
Nothing to sue or lie for, no ISD too
Imagine all the people living life so free,  yoo-hoo-oo

There were also the more mellow numbers like Josh Groban’s You Raise Me Up and Diana Ross’ If We Hold On.

Not all the songs were from overseas. Our very own Mr Seelan Palay performed his compositions Pappy Go Nappy and Fix The Opposition which drew plenty of chuckles.

Fix The Opposition

It’s that time of year again
My friends are all in jail again
It doesn’t matter if truth is on their side

All they did was speak with their minds
And most people would say that’s fine
Well everyone, except those Men In White.

They’ve got them, in their sights

A few choice lyrics for Pappy

A few choice lyrics for Pappy

they’ve got them, now…

Ther’re gonna fix, fix, fix
Fix the opposition
Fix, fix, fix
Fix the Opposition
Fix, fix, fix
Fix them all right now (somehow)

Defamation suits and ties and shoes
For everyone they’ll pick and choose
It’s “democracy”, where one man makes the rules

How much longer will this go on?
The pocket’s empty, the money’s gone
And justice hangs by its own noose


But one of the evening’s highlights was surely the tribute to JBJ. We sang one of his favourite hymns, Amazing Grace, as well as For Freedom Yours And Mine (sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne). Guitarists Jufri Salim and Dayvid Foo delved into a brief but moving instrumental to serenade the memory of the late opposition leader.

For Freedom Yours And Mine

Should Je-ya-ret-nam be forgot
And never brought to mind

Come walk with me

Come walk with me

Should all the dreams for which he fought
Be wasted in these times

Chorus:
He fought for freedom yours and mine
For freedom yours and mine
Let’s walk with him in memory
For freedom yours and mine
For freedom yours and mine, my friend
For freedom yours and mine
We’ll stand together for the cause
For freedom yours and mine

He taught us how to care and love
He never compromised
We’ll drink a cup to JBJ
In these our hopeful times

Fireworks and finale: We shall overcome

Fireworks and finale: We shall overcome

Five-four-three-two-one! The fireworks lit up the night sky as if on cue from MC John Tan. “Happy New Year!” went around as light sticks flashed in the dark.

We sang For Freedom Yours And Mine again, this time with a lot more gusto.

And as the evening drew to a close we belted out We Shall Overcome, a gospel song composed by a pastor for workers in the US in the early 1900s and used by the US’ Civil Rights Movement as its anthem. With the fireworks still blasting away, we sang it like never before.

For many of us it was more than a song, it was a promise.

 

 



From http://beofgoodcheer.wordpress.com

See more photos here and here