Filed under: Thailand
Occasionally I will come across a record that produces more questions than it answers. This album definitely falls into that category…
I often wonder who was the intended listener? Who was it that ‘They’ – ‘They’ being the record company or musician or the powers that be – thought would want to buy this record? Was it intended for tourists or the local populous? Was it even available in Thailand, or was it only released somewhere else, in another country? Who knows?
The real puzzle is that one side of the cover is entirely in Thai, while the other side is in English with Chinese subtitles. There were only two phrases that were on the front that are not on the back: สงวนลิขสิทธิ์ , which translates to “copyright reserved” and วงดนตรี มาริเนอร์, which – to the best of my knowledge – translates to “Orchestra Maaríner”.
I have not been able to find any information available about Orchestra Maaríner – if indeed that is the correct name. When I got this record, I did not know what to call it. So, I opened up the Unicode character pallet, and tried to recreate the Thai text – with full knowledge that it was probably wrong. When I did not hear back from the person who usually translates Thai for me, I figured I would just try and see what the Thai to English translator had to say with the words I had pieced together. And it worked! Well, at least three of the four words that I tried to translate. I am still not too sure about that “Maaríner” bit… The record was most likely recorded by studio musicians and manufactured in Singapore. If you any information about this record, please contact me.
Catalog number LST-121 on Mervels Records, although the other side of the cover says Lily Records Company. No other information available.
Since this posting, I have been contacted by Peter Doolan, who curates the blog Monrakplengthai. Here’s what he had to say:
… The song you posted (and the title of the album) is “สาวบ้านแต้” (Sao Ban Tae). It was a very popular Ramwong, or rural folk-style dance which, if I’m not mistaken, is from a 1968 film of the same name. It was originally sung by เลิศ ประสมทรัพย์ (Loet Prasomtarap) and ศรีสุดา รัชตวรรณ (Sisuda Rattawan), two prominent singers of the famed Suntarapon big band. Needless to say, this is not the original, and your hypothesis seems likely to be very close to the mark! The arrangement sounds not-very-Thai (particularly the flute and string), although there is what sounds like a khim (Thai hammered dulcimer) in the background. Overall, this seems to be one of the many “Melodies of _____” sort of instrumental records floating around in that era (Rene Paulo springs to mind…). Very nice band though… Oh! and if you hadn’t figured out, มาริเนอร์ is the Thai transliteration of the English word ‘mariner’. I’ve never heard of this orchestra! You can listen to the original here.”