BANGKOK — Entering a room flanked by bodyguards, greeted by the flash of photographers while one’s latest single blares through loudspeakers seems to be fanfare reserved for celebrities – and generals.
Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha revealed his election-themed eighth single, “New Day,” Monday while entering the Royal Jubilee Ballroom at Impact Muang Thong Thani event hall for an investment seminar.
“Thailand’s new day is coming to refresh our hearts. … Let us fix the disappointing past,” the chorus reads.
Prayuth had been absent from the public eye since Friday, citing an eye injury. On Monday morning he was wearing dark sunglasses indoors. He removed them while onstage to give a speech and the stage lights were dimmed.
Unlike Prayuth’s past songs, “New Day” mentions democracy: “Dreaming and waiting for a new day to arrive. To engrave upon the pages of Thai history. Towards democracy for all Thais.”
“New Day” is sung by Sub-Lt. Pongsathorn Pojit and Master Sgt. 3rd Class Cherdsak Ritthikornkul. Pongsathorn has performed all of the general’s past songs except for “Fight for the Nation,” which was sung by Cherdsak.
Throughout his five years of dictatorial leadership, the general has penned and released eight songs with nationalist themes painting military rule as an antidote to Thai problems, starting with “Returning Happiness to the People” (2014), “Because You Are Thailand” (2015), “Hope and Faith” (2016), “Bridge” (2017), “Diamond Heart” (2018) “Fight for the Nation” (2018), “In Memory” (2019) and “New Day” (2019).
Here’s our unofficial translation of “New Day.”
Lyrics by Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha
Tune and Arrangement by Wichian Tantipimolapan
Vocal Arrangement by Lt. Col. Thanyawapisit Jirakittipasukul
Sung by Sub-Lt. Pongsathorn Porjit and Master Sgt. 3rd Class Cherdsak Ritthikornkul
Creative direction by Maj. Gen. Kissada Sarika
Dreaming and waiting for a new day to arrive,
To engrave upon the pages of Thai history,
For all Thais.
A hope for a refreshed nation,
A hope for all Thais to be happy and content,
The hope in my heart, sent to every heart,
So we can all know that Thailand is never hopeless.
(Chorus) Thailand’s new day is coming to refresh our hearts,
Let us fix the disappointing past,
A day where we have to combine our powers,
Don’t let anyone come in and hurt Thailand.
(Refrain) Thailand’s new day will be bright and shining,
When all of us do our duties proudly,
This land, this home, we must love the country,
Keep it and conserve it, with all Thais’ hearts.
(Repeat chorus and refrain twice)
The musical video for “New Day,” posted on Prayuth’s official Facebook page.