Songs for Life


Phleng pheua chiwit — Thai “Songs for Life” — is a Thai form of protest music that started in the ’70s to address the issues of the working class and blended Thai traditional instruments with Western folk, rock and reggae. The first popular phleng pheua chiwit band, Caravan, was an integral part of the mid ’70s movement for democracy. In 1976 Caravan and students from Thammasat University fled to the rural hills when police and right wing activists attacked them. In the ’80s the government granted amnesty to the students, helping phleng pheua chiwit to become mainstream. By the 1990s, phleng pheua chiwit, in its classic form, was no longer as popular, though there are few phleng pheua chiwit artists remain like Pongsit Kamphee, who we see in this video.

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