Music Monday

Week 3, we are continuing our beginner’s guide to lakorns week, starting off with music. Last week, I talked a little about lakorn music, namely it being derivative at times. This week, I want to focus more on a particular type of music, morlum music.

Poobao Indy Yayee Inter

Thippy wrote a review on Poobao Indy Yayee Inter in which she talked about the various challenges she had overcame while subbing the drama, the difficulty of the language, and translating morlum songs. This immediately caught my attention and I sought more information about morlum (or mor lam) songs. 

Mor lam (Thai/Isan: หมอลำ [mɔ̌ː lam]; RTGS: mo lam) is a traditional Lao form of song in Laos and Isan. Mor lam means ‘expert song’, or ‘expert singer’, referring to the music or artist respectively.

Credit: wikipedia

Mor lam songs are a type of folk songs basically and depending on where you are in Thailand, the name can refer to the music or artist. Morlum songs are often about love, difficulties of life in rural areas and hardship.
From what I can gather, the video below seems to be the more traditional form of the morlum, with someone playing a reed mouth organ called the khene as the singer recites.

Mor lam songs are often about love, difficulties of life in rural areas and hardship. It makes me wonder now how many lakorns I’ve watched with this type of music that I didn’t notice before?

What comes to mind for me are songs like the Korean folk song Arirang or for Americans, perhaps Negro spirituals like this one. Or maybe, a song like “I’ve Been Workin on the Railroads.

What folk songs or music do you know?

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