Sai Htee Saing’s Wild Ones didn’t stay wild

“Chit Tae Shan Yoe Ma” is a song by Shan rock star Sai Htee Saing, who, in his time, along with his band, the Wild Ones, was one of Myanmar’s best-known musicians. Saing started his career by defying the ruling dictatorship and ended it kowtowing to the military junta, even singing songs written by the propaganda minister. He was from the Shan ethnic group but sang mainly in Burmese. In “Chit Tae Shan Yoe Ma” Saing sings longingly about his Shan homeland. Because the ruling Bamar-majority government’s promise of independence for the Shan never came to be and the Shan remain outside the mainstream, songs by Shan singers — especially those sung in Burmese –always come with a tinge of politics.

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