Bosba PANH


National Anthem - Buong Suong - Neak Me (Our Mothers)

Ven. Chhuon Nath - Joaquim Rodrigo


This is the first section of the DVD of my 2009 concert at Chaktomuk. It starts with a 3-minute video on the preparation of the 2009 Concert. Then: the National Anthem by Samdech Chhuon Nath; Buong Suong (the prayers to the masters) and do not miss the song " Our Mothers, neak Me" (about 7 mn from the start of the video) which is a tribute for my grand mother and all mothers who have lost their loved ones during the war. The Music is the "Concierto d' Aranjuez" composed by Joaquim Rodrigo (1939).


 Nokor Reach - Cambodian's National Anthem 

“Que le ciel protège notre Roi.

Et lui dispense le bonheur et la gloire.

Qu’il règne sur nos coeurs et sur nos destinées.

Celui qui, héritier des Souverains bâtisseurs,

Gouverne le fier et vieux Royaume.
Les temples dorment dans la forêt.

Rappelant la grandeur du Moha Nokor.

Comme le roc, la race khmère est éternelle.

Ayons confiance dans le sort du Campuchéa.

L’Empire qui défie les années.
Les chants montent dans les pagodes.

A la gloire de la Sainte foi Bouddhique.

Soyons fidèles aux croyances de nos pères.

Ainsi le ciel prodiguera-t-il tous ses bienfaits. 

Au vieux pays Khmer, le Moha Nokor”.

(Nokor Reach. original translation in French)


Buong Suong - Incantation to the spirits and masters

Sounds are like will-o-the-wisps, living apart. The prayers of men gather them into music. Going crescendo, the song intensifies until the final apotheosis. We were inspired by the "Bolero" of the French musician Ravel. It is a creation of La Compagnie bosbaPANH based on a traditional wedding song whose author is anonymous. It is the emblem of our band.


 Before lights out

Under the French Protectorate, the Khmer military band learned to play this piece as the opening or closing of a dramatic event, such as the shooting of traitors or enemies. In the context of Neak Mê’s story, this piece symbolizes the French retreat from the region, leaving countries like Cambodia fragile, with internal and external conflicts.

Neak Me - Our mothers

Over the mountains,

Across the rivers

Through the thunder - Neak Mae

The wind brings back our words

Our screams

Neak Mae

At sunset the junk leaves the port

The grand river

Kompong Tonle whimpers

Neak Mae

Now the temple is beyond repair

No roof left, all swallowed by fire.

To meditate too much

On the passing seasons

We store up years

Since this early morning of April

When they arrived

Yelling, singing, aiming

Writing on walls

They shot and they wrote

Words that made us tremble.

Neak Mae

The vines of roses grow from these stains 

And on these walls, blood-red petals

Break out every April

The roses climb among the bruises

And turn so red that they pierce us.

Neak Mae

The well is dry and empty

Neak Mae

Rice fields are burnt by the sun

During the parched season of April

Counting the rhythm of the seasons

Dozens of years pile up

Since these early hours of April

When they arrived

Their chests covered with roses

Like deaf-mutes

Barefoot, with tense bodies

In their fiery eyes

Begins the strange smil of the powerful

Neak Mae

One can guess the trails of blood

So violently red on these wall

But these are only roses.

Neak Mae, my love.