Connect with us

Bangkok

‘One Night In Bangkok’. The song, 35 years later

Tim Newton

Published

 

on

‘One Night In Bangkok’. The song, 35 years later | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Doi Kuro, Bangkok 1980

When ‘One Night In Bangkok’ was released in 1984 it was an unlikely hit- the opening song from a (at the time) little-known stage pop-opera called ‘Chess’. The song made Number 1 in South Africa, West Germany, Switzerland and Australia, and Number 3 in Canada and the United States. It has remained a staple of Classic Hit radio ever since. Have a listen below…

The musical was the first outing for the two ‘Bs’ in ABBA – Benny Andersson and Bjoern Ulvaeus. Their pop grooves had made ABBA one of the most famous music groups in the world between 1973 and 1982 with a string of hits including 20 singles in the Billboard Top 100 from eight albums, etc, etc. The lyrics of the song were penned by Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Joseph and his amazing technicolour dreamcoat, Aladdin, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast).

In the opening song of ‘Chess’, the American chess champion Freddie Trumper gets ready for a chess game with his Russian counterpart. He ridicules Bangkok’s ‘pleasures’ and tourist attractions – the Chao Phraya River (“muddy old river”), Wat Pho (“reclining Buddha”), and the red-light distractions. The choruses are more complimentary.

At the time the sarcasm of the song didn’t go down well with the Thai Mass Communications Organisation (now the NBTC) issuing a ban on the song in 1985, saying its lyrics “cause misunderstanding about Thai society and show disrespect towards Buddhism”, a line still trotted out about inappropriate Instagrammers and their selfies in front of Thai temples.

Thirty-five years later the song still paints a picture of a contrasting ‘oriental’ city alive with lights (including red lights), colour, pungent smells, culture and history.

We’re not sure if the ban was ever lifted but I hear the song played on Thai stations from time to time. At the time, when Bangkok was less on the tourist map than now, the song was a lone reference point for westerners.

How does it stand up thirty-five years after becoming a world-wide hit? Comment on our Facebook Page.

One Night In Bangkok

Bangkok, Oriental setting
And the city don’t know that the city is getting
The creme de la creme of the chess world
In a show with everything but Yul Brynner (referring to the actor’s starring role as the King of Siam in ‘The King and I’)

Time flies, doesn’t seem a minute
Since the Tirolean spa had the chess boys in it
All change don’t you know that when you
Play at this level there’s no ordinary venue
It’s Iceland or the Philippines or Hastings or,
Or this place!

One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain’t free
You’ll find a god in every golden cloister
And if you’re lucky then the god’s a she
I can feel an angel sliding up to me

One town’s very like another
When your head’s down over your pieces, brother
It’s a drag, it’s a bore, it’s really such a pity
To be looking at the board, not looking at the city
Whaddya mean?
Ya seen one crowded, polluted, stinking town
Tea, girls, warm, sweet
Some are set up in the Somerset Maugham suite
Get thai’d, you’re talking to a tourist
Whose every move’s among the purest
I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can’t be too careful with your company
I can feel the devil walking next to me

Siam’s gonna be the witness
To the ultimate test of cerebral fitness
This grips me more than would a
Muddy old river or reclining Buddha
And thank God I’m only watching the game… controlling it

I don’t see you guys rating
The kind of mate I’m contemplating
I’d let you watch, I would invite you
But the queens we use would not excite you
So you better go back to your bars, your temples
Your massage parlours

One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain’t free
You’ll find a god in every golden cloister
A little flesh, a little history
I can feel an angel sliding up to me

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can’t be too careful with your company
I can feel the devil walking next to me

Songwriters: Tim Rice / Benny Goran Bror Andersson / Bjoern K. Ulvaeus

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.



Find local events and browse venues in Thailand with Thaiger Events, or post your own today.

Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Bangkok. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,900 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 360 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and is now CEO and writer for The Thaiger - Website, Radio, TV, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. He presented for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and provides stories for Feature Story News as the south east Asian correspondent.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bangkok

More arrest warrants issued over Bangkok’s August bomb attacks

The Thaiger & The Nation

Published

on

More arrest warrants issued over Bangkok’s August bomb attacks | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Voice of America

The Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for five more suspects yesterday over their alleged involvement in the simultaneous bomb and arson attacks in Bangkok back on August 2.

Police presented evidence against them to the court yesterday to obtain warrants for their arrest. They are accused of being members of an unlawful syndicate and collaborating to carry out, or tell others to carry out, terror attacks, attempting to and having launched bomb attacks to harm others and damage others’ properties.

Earlier, police investigators have obtained arrest warrants against 13 other suspects. The Nation lists the current list of suspects awaiting arrest…

1 ) Ammari Maming

2 ) Assamee Abuwae

3 ) Ussaman Pohlor

4 ) Mayaki Malasing

5 ) Sattha Ahwae

6 ) Ussaman Jehteh

7 ) Sukree Duraman

8 ) Hakeem Punyung

9 ) Hasae Baeloh

10 ) Nassaru Maprasit

11 ) Ussaman Lateh

12 ) Hasan Ahwae

13 ) Mayusoh Hayisamah.

Police investigators have arrested three suspects, namely Lu-ai Saengae, Wildun Maha, and Muhammadilhum Sa-i. Lu-ai and Wildun were arrested on board a bus in Chumphon early on August 2 after the bombs they allegedly planted in front of the Royal Thai Police headquarters were detected on August 1 and were safely disabled.

SOURCE: The Nation

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Continue Reading

Bangkok

14% of condos around Bangkok are empty – good time to buy

The Thaiger

Published

on

14% of condos around Bangkok are empty – good time to buy | The Thaiger

Looking for a condo around Bangkok? Now might the right time to take the plunge with the head of the Appraisal and Estate Agents Foundation saying some areas have between 8-14% vacancy rates, some areas of Bangkok up to 17.5%.

Dr Sophon Pornchokchai made the remarks at a news conference yesterday.

“Adding developer price wars, plus inducements to purchase, this represents a buyers’ market.”

He says the figures relate to condos, single houses, townhouses and other dwellings where less than 15 units of electricity were being used, deeming them to be classified as ‘unoccupied’.

Around Bangkok there are 525,889 such vacant properties.

The top three areas for vacancies were Nonthaburi (north west of the central area) with 335,421 available properties with 45,848 unoccupied or 14%. This percentage was also true of Bang Na (south east of Bangkok) with 231,192 properties, 31,289 unoccupied. Bang Yai – to the far north west of the capital – has 221,492 with 28,016 unoccupied or 13%.

Locations with the lowest unoccupied dwellings are Bang Plee (south east) with 8% unoccupied, Min Buri (north) 9% and Lat Krabang (south east) 9%.

Dr Sophon says that when it comes to condos in Bangkok and the surrounding areas, between 13.5% and 17.5% are unoccupied.

“This glut has prompted a selling war with discounts and deals.”

FazWaz‘s CEO Brennan Campbell says that we’re in part of the buying cycle right now that is definitely in the buyer’s favour.

“Long-term, the Bangkok market continues to show its strength, but there is definitely an enormous range of property to choose from, in almost every location, right now. The current dip in demand is just part of the cycle.”

SOURCE: Daily News

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Continue Reading

Bangkok

Robber steals Thailand Post van, then robs gold shop in Bangkok

The Thaiger

Published

on

Robber steals Thailand Post van, then robs gold shop in Bangkok | The Thaiger

A man dressed up in a Thailand Post uniform has got away with gold necklaces valued around 70,000 baht. He robbed the gold shop in Bang Phli, Samut Prakan and then fled in a Thailand Post van. Samut Prakan includes the southern and south-eastern suburbs of greater Bangkok.

It was revealed later that Thailand Post had reported the van stolen the night before and that the robber wasn’t an employee, despite using the uniform as a costume.

The incident happened this morning at the Aurora Gold and Jewellery shop about 10am. The shop is part of the Thai Watsadu store on Theparat Road.

Police are searching for the man.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Continue Reading

The Thaiger Newsletter

Keep up with all the day’s news. Subscribe here.

The latest news and information from Thailand.

* indicates required



คลิปไฮไลท์วอลเลย์บอลเวิลด์คัพ 2019 นัดที่ 5 | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล2 days ago

คลิปไฮไลท์วอลเลย์บอลเวิลด์คัพ 2019 นัดที่ 5

ถ่ายทอดสดการออกรางวัลสลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล งวดวันที่ 16 ก.ย.2562 | The Thaiger
ตรวจหวย6 days ago

ถ่ายทอดสดการออกรางวัลสลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล งวดวันที่ 16 ก.ย.2562

คลิปไฮไลท์ วอลเลย์บอลเวิลด์คัพ 2019 นัดที่ 1 | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล1 week ago

คลิปไฮไลท์ วอลเลย์บอลเวิลด์คัพ 2019 นัดที่ 1

Paramount เตรียมรีเมค FACE/OFF หนังบู๊ระดับตำนาน | The Thaiger
หนัง2 weeks ago

Paramount เตรียมรีเมค FACE/OFF หนังบู๊ระดับตำนาน

ประยุทธ์ โต้ รัฐบาลไหนก็มีตำหนิทั้งนั้น “ถึงเวลาก็อ้างอย่างที่ผมอ้าง” | The Thaiger
ข่าวการเมือง2 weeks ago

ประยุทธ์ โต้ รัฐบาลไหนก็มีตำหนิทั้งนั้น “ถึงเวลาก็อ้างอย่างที่ผมอ้าง”

อารัมภบท รักฉุดใจนายฉุกเฉิน My ambulance ตอนแรก 6 กันยานี้ | The Thaiger
บันเทิง2 weeks ago

อารัมภบท รักฉุดใจนายฉุกเฉิน My ambulance ตอนแรก 6 กันยานี้

วอลเลย์บอลหญิงชิงแชมป์ยุโรป 2019 โฉมหน้า 4 ทีมตัดเชือกรอบรอง | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล2 weeks ago

วอลเลย์บอลหญิงชิงแชมป์ยุโรป 2019 โฉมหน้า 4 ทีมตัดเชือกรอบรอง

บิ๊กไบก์หัวร้อน ตบหัวลุงพิการผัวะ ‘รถกูเป็นอะไร มีปัญญารับผิดชอบไหม’ | The Thaiger
ข่าวไทย3 weeks ago

บิ๊กไบก์หัวร้อน ตบหัวลุงพิการผัวะ ‘รถกูเป็นอะไร มีปัญญารับผิดชอบไหม’

“มิน พีชญา”ทุ่มสุดตัว นัวผู้ชายเกือบสิบ ป่วยโรคติดเซ็กซ์ ใน”สองนรี” | The Thaiger
บันเทิง3 weeks ago

“มิน พีชญา”ทุ่มสุดตัว นัวผู้ชายเกือบสิบ ป่วยโรคติดเซ็กซ์ ใน”สองนรี”

ไฮไลท์ผู้เล่นตัวท้อป 8 ทีมสุดท้าย วอลเลย์บอลชิงแชมป์ยุโรป 2019 | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล3 weeks ago

ไฮไลท์ผู้เล่นตัวท้อป 8 ทีมสุดท้าย วอลเลย์บอลชิงแชมป์ยุโรป 2019

เคาะแล้ว สนามโคราช จัดแข่งวอลเลย์บอลคัดโอลิมปิก | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล3 weeks ago

เคาะแล้ว สนามโคราช จัดแข่งวอลเลย์บอลคัดโอลิมปิก

คลิปวงจรปิดฉาว อส.ชลบุรี ทุบเด็กแว้นนอนเจ็บคาเตียงโรงพยาบาล | The Thaiger
ข่าวไทย4 weeks ago

คลิปวงจรปิดฉาว อส.ชลบุรี ทุบเด็กแว้นนอนเจ็บคาเตียงโรงพยาบาล

ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลไทย-ญี่ปุ่น รอบชิงชนะเลิศ ชิงแชมป์เอเชีย | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล4 weeks ago

ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลไทย-ญี่ปุ่น รอบชิงชนะเลิศ ชิงแชมป์เอเชีย

ปังมาก “โมเม ธนัชชา” เล่นลีกญี่ปุ่น ทีมบลูแคท | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล4 weeks ago

ปังมาก “โมเม ธนัชชา” เล่นลีกญี่ปุ่น ทีมบลูแคท

ชาวเน็ตชม วินัยนศ.ญี่ปุ่น ไม่ยอมให้คนไทยขี่จยย.บนฟุตปาธ (คลิป) | The Thaiger
คลิปข่าว1 month ago

ชาวเน็ตชม วินัยนศ.ญี่ปุ่น ไม่ยอมให้คนไทยขี่จยย.บนฟุตปาธ (คลิป)

Trending