Neak Mê (Our Mothers): Song on the fall of 1975

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dear webmaster of Khmerization,

I would like to post a video on a song that my daughter Bosba Panh. Khmer soprano age 13, is singing about the fall of 1975 and the pain left on the families. It is a beautiful song with meaningful lyrics in Khmer and English.

bosbaPANH November 17, 2009Bosbapanh, Khmer Soprano age 12, opened her 2009 concert with this song to announce the imminent drama of a family of teachers, who has to relocate as the French redefined the frontiers of Indochina. Using the melody of the Concierto d'Aranjuez composed by Joaquim Rodrigo, in 1939 in the turmoil of the Second World War, the song evokes both the happy days before the war and the tragedies that follow. Bosbapanh is reminded of the story of her grand mother who died after the evacuation of Phnom Penh in 1975 and witnessed the death of most of the family members. This is a tribute to Bosbapanh's grand mother and all mothers, the foundation of our families.

Neak Mê (Our Mothers
Sung by Bosba Panh (Niece of the internationally-acclaimed film director Rithy Panh)

Below is the lyrics:

Over the mountains

Across the rivers

Through the thunder

The wind brings back our words, our screams

At sunset, Neak Mê

The junk leaves the port

The grand river Kompong Tonle whimpers

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

The vines of roses grow from the 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

The well is dry and empty

Rice fields are burnt by the sun

During the parched prang 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 smile of the powerful

One can guess the trails of blood

So violently red on these walls

But these are only roses.


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