Songs from Victorian Days

Music by Chester Tan

“Babashop Quartet”  The Straits Chinese (Babas) of Singapore demand more representation of the people, in the colonial Government of Singapore. 

Babashop Quartet by Four Babas

 

Men from Whitehall try to rule us

Half the time they’re really clueless—

Only make our life get tougher—

Never care for how we suffer –

 

CHORUS Co-lo- nialists – Co- lo-nial!

 

We send our memorials for the Governor’s ear:

He pretends to listen, but he don’t really hear.

We have men on Council, minority of two,

Lonely Opposition, not much they can do.

 

 

CHORUS Only a to ---ken  -- Opposition ---

 

We made our grave appeal, to protect the public health –

But the British Government won’t spend the wealth.

Won’t the Colonialists -- give us what we need,

Or do we only - -- pay for  Empire’s greed!

 

CHORUS  We just pay and pay! (You pay I pay  he pays

She pays They pay Who pays It pays)  we just pay and pay

Hear the studio version of this song!

 

A SONG IN THE SILENCE

 

Tonight my heart is sad

I wonder if the sun will rise

the air is still

and dark the skies.

It seems that nothing dares to move,

Afraid to try, afraid to try

It seems the silence will go on

Till hope must die,

Till hope will die.

 

Till  I hear a sound –

 

I hear one note and it lifts my heart,

one bird singing to welcome the dawn,

one ray of sunlight breaks through the cloud,

the light keeps growing and the day is born.

 

Sometimes it seems that nothing can be done,

no use to try, no use to try.

It seems one effort all alone

will fail and die, is doomed to die.

 

And then I hear --

 

A bird that sings though the world is dark,

One voice lifted to challenge the night,

One spark glowing that grows to a fire

And hope comes back and the world is light …

 

I will be the spark, I will be the song  ---

 

Let me be the song in the silence

Let me be the flame in the night

The dream that hold a shining hope

That brings us to the light –

 

I will be the flame, I will be the song!

Albert recovers from despair and resolves to be the One Voice that will speak for the people of Singapore.

 

Sung by Leslie Tay

FREEDOM DAWNING

                    

Look, a new day is dawning,

Watch for the sun to rise,

 

                     ALL (join in slowly)

We can see the future coming,

before our eyes.

When the seeds we’ve sown come to harvest

And trees we planted grow tall

We’ll hail the promise given

Of peace and hope for all!

 

Chorus

We will see our freedom dawning,

A light upon this land,

When we sing one song together,

when we rise and take our stand,

When our people find their voices,

When our hearts are no longer dumb,

On a day when a nation rejoices,

One day -- to come!

 

Stand up proudly together,

Finding that we are strong,

When, all our hearts united,

We sing one song!

 

Chorus

We will see our freedom dawning,

A future to change this land,

When we sing one song together,

when we rise and take our stand,

When our people find their voices,

When our hearts are no longer dumb,

One day when a nation rejoices,

When a nation rejoices,

The day --  will come!

 

It will come, It will come!

Albert leads the  people to an awakening of national comsciousness, that will one day result in independence and freedom for Singapore

 

Sung by Leslie Tay and ensemble