One of the most beautiful songs in Thailand is the Thai “Royal Anthem”. In Thai called, “Phleng Sansoen Phra Barami”, the lyrics were composed by Prince Narisaranuvadtivongs, around 1913, and were later revised by King Rama VI.
Because it’s always played before a movie in every movie theater in Thailand, foreigners often confuse this anthem with the Thai National Anthem (video of that here), but it’s not.
The “Royal Anthem” was once Thailand’s national anthem, but was replaced with the current one “Phleng Chat” in 1932.
While Phleng Chat is in itself a pretty song, just about everyone I know, including myself, loves “Phleng Sansoen Phra Barami”. It gives honor and respect, and celebrates the King of Thailand, currently King Bhumphol Adulyadej.
The words, in English translation, are as follows:
We, subjects of Our Excellent Lord,
bend our heads and minds in deepest homage
to Your Majesty whose merits are boundless
Great Descendent of the Celestial Line,
Sovereign Monarch of Siam,
may your greatness extend in time.
Your bounteous care shelters our heads.
Your merits harbour us in happiness.
May every hope in Your Majesty’s heart
be realized in every way
as in this loyal wish to our Sovereign King.
The video here is one of the nicest ones I’ve seen of the Royal Anthem. You’ll see the people featured on it have their hands raised in a ‘wai’ (the prayer or greeting position in Thailand). The height of the wai above the head, is only used for the King or another member of the royal family, and signifies the greatest of respect.
Enjoy the video. I think it’s lovely.