Patriotism remixed

Thailand's national anthem receives a major tune-up with help from some of the Kingdom's top pop stars

The song we hear most often in our life is about get to a makeover. Not in content or melody, but the national anthem will become more modern and powerful.

For 85 years after the People's Party commissioned Phra Chenduriyang to compose the music weeks after the 1932 Siamese Revolution, the national anthem, or pleng chat, has come to serve as the collective identity of Thailand. Every day at 8am and 6pm, everything else is dropped as the anthem is played on all radio and television channels; the official version used in the broadcast was recorded in 1993, according to the Public Relations Department.

As Thailand prepares to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Thai national flag on Sept 28, the government believes it's time to give the song a modern tone and look. Ormsin Chivapruck, a minister attached to the Prime Minister's Office, said last month that while the melody and verses would remain untouched, the national anthem would become more "powerful" and inspire "love of the nation". Young pop singers will sing the official broadcast version, and a new music video will be produced to accompany the television broadcast.

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