BANGKOK — The junta leader has dropped a new song that seeks to capitalize on a massive hit soap opera.
In “Fight for the Nation” released online Monday, junta chief and occasional songwriter Prayuth Chan-ocha promises to work hard for the nation despite how badly he is being “torn down.”
“Every day I’m tired, but I keep it all inside, because my heart tells me to work for the nation,” the male vocalist sings.
Released just before the beginning of Songkran, the track is a soundalike to the main theme of the highly popular “Bupphesaniwat” lakorn and was arranged by the same composer. The song – Prayuth is credited as songwriter – encourages people to hope for a better tomorrow because he will “stand strong and never leave you alone.”
The internet was once again bemused.
“So, is his main job a songwriter now? Or prime minister? I thought he said he works so hard that he doesn’t have any free time. He’s that busy, and still we get to hear a new single this year,” wrote Facebook user Chatchawan Rattanopat.
“Why are you releasing so many songs? Are you forming a band to compete with BNK48?” wrote user Maruj Pookiaw, referring to the Japanese-inspired Thai girl group.
Although the song drew about seven times as many dislikes as likes on YouTube, some comments credited Prayuth’s ballads for sounding “beautiful.”
The song is the sixth credited to him since he seized power in the 2014 coup d’etat. His previous appeals to the public in song form include “Returning Happiness to the People,” “Because You’re Thailand,” “Hope and Faith,” “Bridge,” and “Diamond Heart.”
The easy listening piece fuses traditional and contemporary instrumentation remarkably similar to the period soap opera so popular that it’s tripled Ayutthaya tourism and seen the government pledge 400 million baht toward a sequel.
Its prominent lakorn composer Wichian Tantipimolapan has been credited with five of Prayuth’s songs.
Here’s an unofficial translation of “Fight for the Nation.”
“Fight for the Nation”
Lyrics by Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha
Tune and Arrangement by Wichian Tantipimolapan
Vocal Arrangement by Maj. Thanyawapisit Jirakittipasukul
Sung by Sgt. Cherdsak Ritthikornkul
Creative direction by Maj. Gen. Krissada Sarika
(Verse 1) I’m determined to fight for the nation,
No matter how badly I’m torn down,
Every day I’m tired, but I keep it all inside,
Because my heart tells me to work for the nation
(Bridge) No matter how you look at me, my heart is still honest,
Stand strong and never leave you alone,
(Chorus) I still hope, believing tomorrow will be better,
What we aim for on the first day, hold our hands and fight through,
See it with your heart, with truth, you’ll know that it’s better,
Not so far away, keep looking forward, every day will be better
(Verse 2) May the divines protect Thailand,
May the evil be defeated one day,
May the lost find their way,
Join together and work for our nation
(Repeat Bridge, Chorus x2)
Not so far away, keep looking forward, every day will be better.
Additional reporting Asaree Thaitrakulpanich