Geylang Sipaku Geylang [Creepers and Ferns] (TTBB)
Geylang Sipaku Geylang is a popular Singaporean folksong. It is written in the traditional Malay pantun style. The pantun is a four-lined verse consisting of alternating, roughly rhyming lines. Each line should contain between 8 and 12 syllables. Typically, the first two lines of the pantun has no discernible connection in meaning to the next two lines.
As the pantun is traditionally an oral form of expression, no one knows who actually wrote this song. Nevertheless, Geylang Sipaku Geylang has been embraced by the nation, and the song is taught in primary schools, with the result that almost everyone in the country is well acquainted with it.
The direct translation of geylang in Malay is “bracelet” or “ring”, while sipaku is “nails”. However, the suggested translation here is that geylang refers to creepers, while sipaku refers to ferns. Moreover, Geylang is also a well known area in Singapore.
Also available in SATB.