Mumbai-based composer Mendoza withdraws claim to Singapore's national song, says ministry

The lyrics of "We Can Achieve" are the same as "Count on Me, Singapore", apart from the substitution of 'India' or 'Mother India' for 'Singapore' and a minor difference in one of the verses.

Mumbai-based composer Mendoza withdraws claim to Singapore's national song, says ministry

Photo for representation only. — File photo

Singapore, March 21

Mumbai-based composer Joseph Mendoza has withdrawn his claim to a Singapore national song and apologised for the "confusion caused", the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) here said on Sunday.

Mendoza earlier had claimed that he composed "We Can Achieve" in 1983, three years before the creation of "Count on Me, Singapore", after footage of a performance of the former went viral last week.

The lyrics of "We Can Achieve" are the same as "Count on Me, Singapore", apart from the substitution of 'India' or 'Mother India' for 'Singapore' and a minor difference in one of the verses. 

The Ministry, which holds rights to the song, updated on Sunday that it has closed the case after receiving an apology from Mendoza. 

Pointing out that "We Can Achieve" is practically identical to "Count on Me, Singapore" and that this is "untenable" given the evidence that Canadian Hugh Harrison composed "Count on Me, Singapore" in 1986.

"There is not only contemporaneous evidence to support this, but also first-hand accounts such as those of Jeremy Monteiro, a well-respected Singaporean musician who has himself been involved in the making of several national songs. Monteiro has confirmed that he was together with Harrison when the Song was developed, and saw its evolution," Singapore media quoted the Ministry as saying.

"Furthermore, our checks conducted in India turned up no evidence or records whatsoever of Mendoza having any rights to 'We Can Achieve' from 1983 or anytime thereafter," said the Ministry.

Mendoza has unconditionally and irrevocably withdrawn any claims of whatsoever nature, directly or indirectly, with regard to the lyrics and tune of "We Can Achieve" and has informed all of his associates and networks, instructing all social media platforms to remove "We Can Achieve", said the Ministry.

"It is important that our rights to the Song are protected and that there remains no doubt as to our origination and ownership of the Song. MCCY accepts Mendoza's apology on the terms set out above, and will treat the matter as closed, on this basis," it said. — PTI

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