SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) said it is “puzzled” by Indian composer Joseph Conrad Mendoza’s claim that he wrote the original version of Count on Me, Singapore, and has asked him to substantiate his claims.
In a Facebook post on Thursday (March 18), the ministry said it has contacted Mr Mendoza and is awaiting his response.
The statement came after videos of students at an Indian school singing a song titled We Can Achieve circulated online this past week.
The song is almost identical to Count on Me, Singapore, which was the Republic’s National Day song in 1986. It was composed by Canadian Hugh Harrison.
In the videos that first circulated last week, all lyric references to “Singapore” had been replaced with “India”.
Speaking to TODAY, Mr Mendoza claimed that he wrote the song in April 1983 and taught it to children from the Bal Bhavan Orphanage in Mumbai.
He said he later sold the rights to the song to publishing house Pauline Communications, and the track was released as part of a CD called We Can Achieve — Inspirational Songs for Children and All in 1999.
But Mr Harrison has refuted Mr Mendoza’s claims, reiterating that he had written the original song, with input from a government official, a colleague from the advertising firm where he was working at the time, as well as Singapore jazz veteran Jeremy Monteiro, who arranged the piece.
In a Facebook post last Sunday evening, Pauline Communications apologised and said it was unaware that Count on Me, Singapore was used in Singapore’s National Day celebrations since 1986.
In its statement on Thursday, MCCY said the Singapore Government holds the copyright to the music and lyrics of Count on Me, Singapore.
On Mr Medoza’s assertion that he wrote We Can Achieve in 1982, MCCY said: “Given that the two songs, and their lyrics, are practically identical, and that we hold the copyright to Count on Me, Singapore, we are puzzled by this claim.”
Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/mccy-puzzled-indian-composers-claims-count-me-singapore-invites-substantiate-claims?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter