Revisiting “Home” On Its 25th Anniversary
Can you believe that “Home” is 25 years old? To commemorate its milestone birthday, as well as her 30th year in showbiz, Kit Chan has released a reworked version of the seminal NDP ballad.
This version is notably mellower than the original. On her Instagram post, she wrote: “I don’t know how the generations of Singaporeans who grew with this song might feel about this more introspective and personal interpretation of ‘Home’. I hope that they will like it, or allow for it. For better or worse, it is my own vision of Singapore, and my personal experience of it now.”
Kit, if you’re reading this, we want to say thank you for your heartfelt rendition of "Home." Your passion and love for Singapore shines through in every note.
Inspired by the magic of this song, we've embarked on a mission to listen to as many renditions of "Home" as possible, and to discover which version resonates with us the most and brings out that nostalgic pride we feel every National Day (spoilers: it’s all of them).
Original by Kit Chan (1998)
Tier ranking (Or should we say…tear ranking 🥲): 🥲🥲🥲🥲🥲
Nicholas: The OG Home always gives me goosebumps, specifically when it reaches the chorus and she goes, “This is Home… truly”. Our colleagues may think it’s a tad bit overplayed, but no denying lah that everyone will hum or sing along. The lyrics are so simple and meaningful. This may just be the best National Day song of all time.
Diane: Hard agree - it might be overplayed, but for good reason: it is indeed the best NDP song ever. I’ve always appreciated how “Home” serves as a love song to Singapore without insisting that it’s the best country ever!!!! Thoughtful and sincere, without being too cloying, “Home” reminds me that wherever we end up in life, we’ll always carry Singapore in our hearts.
Home (25th Anniversary Remake) (2023)
Tear ranking: 🥲🥲🥲🥲.5
Nicholas: Really ah so long ago that "Home" came out? This feels like a more quiet, peaceful version of the song. Saying that, I still get the goosebumps when she pauses, readying for the chorus. The instrumental version is a nice tune to play in the background as I write for work.
Diane: Like Kit, I’m a lot older now than I was when “Home” was released, and my feelings about home - the concept, not the song - have become a little ambivalent over time. There’s this poem by Philip Larkin that I love, which opens like this:
Home is so sad. It stays as it was left,
Shaped to the comfort of the last to go
As if to win them back.
Kit's reworked version of “Home”, more bittersweet and less anthemic than its predecessor, makes me feel the same way that that poem does - so much that I wish it were the official NDP song for 2023.
Singapore Airlines (2021)
Tear ranking: 🥲🥲🥲🥲
Nicholas: A bit sad because it reminds me of the “dark times” we endured together, but I also feel hopeful now that Singapore has come out stronger than ever. You can see from the emotions of the SIA crew that we are a resilient bunch!
Diane: I love hearing the hope and conviction in this cover - the emotions feel authentic because crew members went through a genuinely tough time during the pandemic. Petition to play this on all SQ flights upon landing in Singapore?
Voices of Singapore, 900-Strong (2020)
Tear ranking: 🥲🥲🥲🥲
Nicholas: So awesome how they managed to fit everyone’s voices together. The part in the beginning, “there is a place that will stay with me, wherever I may choose to go”, rings true - Singaporeans really are everywhere around the world. Reminds me of the time I went on a solo trip - at a photo spot, I overheard the familiar sounds of Singlish as a couple was discussing whether to ask someone to take their photo. Of course, I went up to help. And we’re still friends today.
Diane: Zoom covers, what a throwback. Seeing people of all ages, of different races, and even located in different countries, come together to reminisce about home, gives me actual chills. It almost makes me miss the Circuit Breaker.
Voices of Singapore Choral Performance in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City (2023)
Tear ranking: 🥲🥲🥲
Diane: Not something I ever expected to hear performed in a cathedral, but kind of sweet nonetheless? Although I wish it were sung a little bit slower, and with more mellow feels, a la Kit's 25th anniversary version.
Nicholas: Listening to this version makes me feel like I’m back in church singing a very holy hymn. Quite epic to know that “Home” is sung all the way in New York. The high pitch part when they go “...Home!” gave me a little bit of the chills, in a good way.
39 Local Singaporean Singers (2011)
Tear ranking: 🥲🥲🥲
Nicholas: My first thought watching this clip - do you remember the time when everyone wore Beats headphones everywhere? And wow, not just Kit Chan, even got Stefanie Sun and JJ Lin inside. Love the mini rap parts. They should really make a new version of this.
Diane: Wah even got harp inside. This version feels about a minute too long, and I’m gonna knock off a point for the overkill of Beats, but it’s still heartwarming seeing Singapore’s different musical talents come together to cover such an iconic song.
The King’s Singers sing “Home” (2018)
Tear ranking: 🥲🥲🥲
Nicholas: The epic British voices like very power. Like with the choral performance, if I close my eyes, it’s like I’m seated in Mass. One of the comments in the YouTube clip got it spot on - “hair-raising fit for king” indeed. If only I can hold a verse like that.
Diane: The most atas-sounding version of “Home” ever. Not my favourite (I prefer more grounded renditions), but angelic nonetheless.
The Sam Willows x Josh Wei (2015)
Tear ranking: 🥲🥲
Nicholas: After pressing “play”, I thought I was listening to some fantasy video game BGM for a minute, had to do a double take to check back the YouTube clip. IMO, this version can double as a pop hit on the SG Spotify charts.
Diane: Now that you mention it, this folksy take has mild sword-and-sorcery vibes. “Home”, but make it The Wheel of Time. I can’t say it resonates with me, but I definitely don’t hate it.
StarHub - Home by Homes (2015)
Tear ranking: 🥲🥲🥲🥲🥲🥲🥲🥲🥲🥲🥲🥲
Diane: I’m convinced that if this version doesn’t put a smile on your face or summon tears in your eyes, you’re dead inside.
Nicholas: Probably the most touching version of "Home", ever. Listening to all the different voices, culminating in everyone singing together, really it feels like Singapore is home…our home. It was the perfect tribute to SG50 when it came out.
Check out other NDP 2023 stories on Wonderwall.sg here.