Kom Auie Knyom Deik Sruel

Kom Auie Knyom Deik Sruel

The comic was drawn at an internet cafe – there’s a reason this site is called ‘Quick Draw’. Lyrics I worked out on the bus from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh.

It was during Khmer New Year (April) that I first heard the song. At a farewell party for one of German Apsara‘s restoration workers, everyone was dancing to this one.

Later my friend Alexandra looked for a copy and I asked her to get me one too: “Phek Aow Mindael Kheen Doh“. (Put on shirt never see take off). The verb ‘take off’ also sounds like the noun ‘breast’ so it’s an amusing bit of wordplay for listeners. The song is by a Khmer Surin performer – Cambodian language but from a province bordering Cambodia. The original CD subtitles were in phonetic Thai.

After Khmer New Year the song continued to be popular and was performed by no less (and probably more) than four other singers.

One singer did a song in reply: “Aow Thmei Min Kchei Doh“. (I have a new shirt, I won’t take it off for you to borrow). The first song was more popular with the men, the second appealed to women.

With the election coming up, it wasn’t long before political parties began appropriating this popular tune, and adding new lyrics. The result?

“I can’t sleep” Thomas complained; “it’s this election music starting early in the morning.”

Hence this comic, and the accompanying song.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on the song and more importantly, the election. Keep your eyes on this space for more informal information.

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Update: still quiet after the election, English lyrics are up! If you care about that sort of thing, that is.



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