Greg and Ed discuss the fascinating topic of old Western pop songs that enjoy a shocking degree of popularity in Thailand. For those foreigners who have spent any amount of time in the Land of Smiles, there are just certain songs you are likely to...
Greg and Ed discuss the fascinating topic of old Western pop songs that enjoy a shocking degree of popularity in Thailand. For those foreigners who have spent any amount of time in the Land of Smiles, there are just certain songs you are likely to hear over and over again in restaurants and bars. Why these particular songs? Well, the guys just don’t know, but do their best to offer some theories.
The big three have to be “Hotel California,” “Country Roads,” and “I Will Survive.” Greg suggests that the 1960s and 70s were a seminal period in Thai history when American pop culture was first being absorbed by Thais (see also the Cambodian surf rock sub-culture and its tragic end). Even though much more was to come, perhaps this first wave left an indelible impression on Thai society. Ed likes this explanation, but also suggests that Thais’ penchant for folk and country pop and rock music may be due to their melodic catchiness and ‘heart on the sleeve’ sentimentality. Why else would Thais like a song about going back home to West Virginia? :)
Ed also offers a specific theory about ‘I Will Survive,’ that it appeals to Thai women who are bound by Thai culture to be cute and smile no matter what, even though they may be struggling inside. Greg sees this point, but thinks it might be more due to the song’s easy to understand lyrics and easy to sing along melody.
The boys go through a number of other tunes that are oddly popular in Thailand, including songs by Credence Clearwater Revival, Stevie Ray Vaughn and even an old Hebrew folk song! Let us know what songs we missed and why you think they are so popular in the Land of Smiles.
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