Entertainers are turning out in force to bring peace and cheerfulness back to Thailand after the clashes between the red-shirt anti-government protesters and the military left 85 dead and 1,378 injured in Bangkok.
Among the efforts is a song, "Khor Khwam Suk Khuen Klub Ma" ("May Happiness Come Back"), written in around two hours by tunesmith "Dee" Nitipong Hornak.
Quickly, a "We Are the World"-style chorus of 301 entertainers from all walks of show business and studio and label affiliations formed to record the number on a soundstage at MCOT.
And with the looming threat of whizzing sniper bullets, in the smoldering wreckage of charred buildings in the aftermath of the May 19 military crackdown and arson attacks, Ong-Bak director Prachya Pinkaew and his film crew hit the streets to make a music video to go with the song.
Their efforts are chronicled in The Nation today:
The director shows scenes of the damage caused by the arson and grenade attacks with Slur's guitarist Arak "Pe" Amornsupsiri in front of CentralWorld, the Richman Toy's singer Veeranat "Jap" Tippayamonthon on Rama IV, Thaitanium at Din Daeng and actor Nattawut “Por” Sakidjai at the Siam Theatre.
It was risky making the video.
"When I was filming Thaitanium, three military trucks drove very fast into the area, apparently after reports of a sniper hiding nearby. I had less than 10 minutes to finish the take as we had to leave then and there," Prachya says.
"I felt a little strange because I'd heard on the news that the Din Daeng area had not been completely secured. But we followed the production team and when we arrived, we were shocked to see how the road had been transformed into a black desert. After finishing the take, the military escorted us through the area," recalls Khan [of Thaitanium].
"It was the quickest way of learning the hook of the song," jokes Day.
Way merely shakes his dead, saying he thought he'd faced the most dreadful day in his life when he witnessed the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre while living in New York. "The Bangkok riots," he says, "were almost as bad."
The music video will be launched at 5pm on Thursday in front of Siam Paragon and will be broadcast on all Thai TV channels.