TEST YOURSELF: Healing harmonies

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Musicians sing through difficult times

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Read the following story by Tatat Bunnag from the Bangkok Post. Then, answer the questions that follow.

Music gives so much more than just entertainment to listeners. Music can affect emotions, can heal, encourage and allow people to share a message or bring awareness. The Covid-19 outbreak has inspired many local artists to create songs that aim to promote awareness of the virus, have empathy for the country's medical workers and help us through this difficult time.


A music video featuring deserted streets in Bangkok popped up online recently, in which eight famous singers sang a special song, ‘Ja Mai Ting Gun (Never Leave Each Other)’ to send a message of love to all the quarantined Thais.

"I didn't take it seriously at first, but last month when hearing more and more about the situation, it got worse in many countries around Asia and in Europe, I knew Thailand would follow the same fate. So, I decided to do something," said Boyd Kosiyabong, one of Thailand's leading songwriters and the main man behind the inspiring music project.

“'Never Leave Each Other’ is a powerful rock ballad with words of encouragement. According to Boyd, he composed the song and wrote the lyrics in just two hours, then he rang his friends and invited them to sing, including Pod Moderndog, Ben Chalatit and Toon Bodyslam.


Sometimes a simple thank-you makes all the difference when someone is going the extra mile to help others. ‘Never Leave Each Other’ also aims to pay tribute to the front-line medical staff and volunteers who are making sacrifices to help their community at the moment. "There are so many experienced doctors and nurses in the world and in Thailand right now helping us fight against the virus. But I’m a musician, not a doctor. This is what I believe I can do best to help support these wonderful people," said Boyd.

Singer-songwriter Apiwat "Stamp" Ueathavornsuk is another artist who praised health personnel, with a version of the classic northern folk song ‘Pi Sao Krub (Dear Sister)’ called ‘Khun Mor Krub (Dear Doctor)’.

"I wrote that song after I watched the news on TV last month about Anutin Charnvirakul of the Public Health Ministry criticising medical staff who had been infected with the virus, accusing them of not taking good care of themselves," said Apiwat. "I thought this little funny song might be able to help cheer up the doctors and nurses, or perhaps put smiles on their faces a bit. I didn't want to make people even more stressed about this with sad songs. There are way too many of them already."


Veteran singer-songwriter Thee Chaiyadej also believes that love and harmony are the only things that can help us get through this difficult time, which he expressed in his new acoustic pop song ‘Pa Rak (Bring Love)’, urging people to stand together to get through it.

‘Bring Love’ was written and recorded on acoustic guitar by himself while practising social distancing at home in Bangkok. Thee then sent the demo track to each of his friends to record their additional instrumental tracks like bass, piano and strings to finish the song. He's also planned to do a live-streaming performance for music fans from his home studio sometime soon.

"I understand we're all living very difficult lives. Staying apart from friends and loved ones is hard. It's so easy to get angry and try to blame it on some group of people or even the authorities," said Thee.

"But as of now, we're in it together. There's no use fighting or to keep blaming each other. ‘Bring Love’ is the song about how we all need extra love, harmony and understanding. The best thing we all can do now is just stay at home, and pray this storm will soon pass."

Section 1: Answer the following questions in the space provided.

1. Who wrote ‘Never Leave Each Other’? .…………….

2. How long did the song take to write? …………….

3. Which song is a new version of an older song? …………….

4. There is only one song that thanks doctors. True or false? …………….

5. A public health minister accused doctors of not taking care of themselves. True or false? …………..

6. Thee is the only musician on ‘Bring Love.’ True or false? …………….

7. Thee said life is hard these days. True or false? ……………. 

8. Stamp said we should stay home. True or false? …………….

Section 2: Write the noun form of the following words in the space provided.

9. allow ……… 10. inspired ……… 11. famous ………. 12. simple ………. 13. invited ……….

Section 3: Read the following passage. Then, fill in the blanks with the correct words from the choices given.

…14… to ‘Dear Doctor’, the singer also released another lovely track, called ‘Krueng Bon (50%)’. It's a love song about a guy who's having a …15… on a girl with a face mask on …16… the outbreak. With lyrics like “…17… I wanted to be near her, I still have to stay at least two metres …18…”, the song is a good example of how to get important health information about Covid-19 out to the …19… .

14. A. Prior  B. Before C. Addition

15. A. love B. romance C. crush

16. A. during B. while C. having

17  A. Although B. However C. Furthermore

18. A. distant B. apart C. between

19. A. mass B. masses C. person

Section 4: Find words that match the following definitions.

20. the ability to understand the feelings of others ……………

21. empty of people ……………

22. an act showing gratitude or respect ……………

23. finding faults in other people  ……………

24. a situation in which people are peaceful …………

Answers: 1. Boyd Kosiyabong. 2.Two hours. 3. ‘Dear Doctor.’ 4. false. 5. true. 6. false. 7. true. 8. false. 

9. allowance. 10. inspiration. 11. fame. 12. simplicity. 13. invitation.

14. a. 15. c. 16. a. 17. a. 18. b. 19. b. 

20. empathy. 21. deserted. 22. tribute. 23. criticising. 24. harmony.

SCORE 21-24: Excellent! 17-20: Good.   13-16: Fair.   12 or fewer: You'll do better next time!


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