Music for a beloved Princess

Music for a beloved Princess
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn celebrates her 60th birthday next Thursday and all over the country Thais will be marking this momentous event in song.

Several songs have been composed in honour of the occasion, among them "Chao Fah Khong Khon Dern Din", a collaborative effort of the Mass Communication Organisation of Thailand (MCOT) and the record label Sahaphap Dontri (Music Reunion).

There's also "Naree Rattana", which is produced by major entertainment company RS Public.

And the Culture Ministry has created five songs available for download for Her Royal Highness' birthday. They are "Maha Chakri Sathit Nai Jai Pracha", "Phra Raj Kumaree Srinatha", "In Honour of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn", "Dang Saifon" and "Somdej Phra Thep Ming Khwan Thai".

"Writing songs for the monarchy is not easy as all the lyrics must be carefully considered," says noted composer Nitipong "Dee" Honark of Sahaphap Dontri. "My feelings and loyalty to the Princess are reflected in 'Chao Fah Khong Khon Dern Din'."

Nitipong was joined in his endeavour by Arthit Sarachutha, Jackrawut Swangpol and Katanyoo Tungmepol with Apisit Na Takuatung, Charnwut Boonyam and Niwat Armsang pooling their talents.

More than 70 artists contributed to the recording of "Chao Fah Khong Khon Dern Din", which was spread over three days.

They include Nattaporn "Taew" Tameeruks, Tanchanok "Patricia" Good, Wansiri "Bua" Ongumpai, Teeradetch "Alek" Metavarayuth, Patchara "Foam" Nampan, Thrisadee "Por" Sahawong, Ekkaphong "First" Jongketkon and Wanchana Sawasdee from Channel 3; Usamanee "Kwan" Waitayanon, Varitthisa Limthammahisorn, Morakot "Aimee" Kittisara, Panthita "Sammy" Cowell, Thanwa Suriyajak and Apisada "Ice" Kruakongka from Channel 7 and Monchanok "Mo" Saengchaipiangpen from Exact.

They were joined by TV talent-show stars Natnatcha "Ann" Numcharoensom from "True Academy Fantasia" and Arunpong "Dew" Chaiwinit and Suparuj "Ruj" Techatanon from "The Star".

"It's a great honour and privilege for me to be part of this song. I hear the lyrics and I can't hold back my tears," says singer-actress Naowarat Yuktanan.

"I once had a chance to sing a luk thung song in front of the Princess and was also granted time to talk to her.

"I remember her saying that she had been singing luk thung since she was young child and that whenever she couldn't remember the lyrics, she would open up the songbook she carried around with her," says Sirintra Niyakorn.

"The Princess also writes luk thung songs. She is very concerned about the music and the masters of the genre.

"I was surprised to learn that she knew a master who has written songs for me."

Actress Panadda Wongphudee also has fond memories of meeting the Princess.

"I was part of a team building a house for tsunami victims in Phang Nga when the Princess came to visit.

"It was pouring rain but she didn't hesitate to walk towards us. I remember how people shed tears of joy," she says.

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