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Peer-Review Record

Understanding “Love” in the English Lyrics of the Original Songs by the Multilingual New Creation Church Singapore

Religions 2024, 15(5), 603;
by H. Leng Toh and Daniel Thornton *
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2:
Religions 2024, 15(5), 603;
Submission received: 11 March 2024 / Revised: 7 May 2024 / Accepted: 7 May 2024 / Published: 13 May 2024
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multilingualism in Religious Musical Practice)

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

I question the reason for using the term "Singlish" in this essay and contrasting the use of English in the contexts of Singapore vis a vis Australia, thereafter calling Australian English as "native" hints of colonial thinking. I would suggest some enlightened editing here. I think it is important to know that "Singlish" is remains a contested colloquial linguistic form. It is linguistic expression that has rarely occurred in public Christian worship songs unlike Hillsong's "the Darling of Heaven" (in Worthy is the Lamb), or "So Heaven meets Earth like a Sloppy Wet Kiss" (in How He Loves) by John Mark McMillan, USA. Avoid using "Singlish" as a catch-all Singapore-associated artifact as that reflects the lack of understanding of the local contextual nuance.

Furthermore, I question the author's statement about “Singlish” being the way of “reclaiming the language” in Singapore (lines 111-113). There is no evidence of this intention in local Christian worship practice at NCC or beyond. It remains a contested issue. Singlish's adoption is unlikely to occur any time soon given the demographic profile of NCC and current political climate in Singapore. Presently, worshippers may use Singlish in communal interaction, but hardly ever in public worship proceedings like corporate singing. So, the premise of localization needs to move away from the preoccupation with the term "Singlish." I recommend replacing the term "Singlish" with other terminologies e.g. contextualizing/localizing efforts, grassroots expressions, etc. 

Author Response

Thank you for your recommendations for the paper.  We agree that the term "Singlish", although making a catchier title, really did not reflect its use in other academic literature.  As such, we have removed all references to "Singlish" throughout the paper.

Reviewer 2 Report

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

This is a very interesting and timely subject.  This particular church has sparked quite a bit of interest and it goes without saying that the use of music (and popular culture more broadly) is paramount for the furthering of ideology. And language is part of this. 

Author Response

Thank you for your feedback.  For the record, we have removed the term "Singlish" from the paper based on another reviewer's feedback, as it was not used in alignment with other academic literature on the term.

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