Songwriter for Rama IX dead at 100

Songwriter for Rama IX dead at 100

Award-winning Thai scholar and auto-didact penned several songs for beloved late monarch

Thai scholar Prof Prasert na Nagara.
Thai scholar Prof Prasert na Nagara.

Revered Thai scholar Prof Prasert na Nagara, praised for writing the Thai lyrics for King Rama IX’s songs, has died at the age of 100.

He was the former chief of the Royal Institute of Thailand and the winner in 1988 of the outstanding researcher in philosophy (history and archaeology) award from the National Research Council of Thailand.

Prof Prasert was born in the northern province of Phrae in 1918 and become an ace student, receiving the government's Office of the Civil Service Commission's scholarship to pursue education degrees overseas.

He obtained a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from the University of the Philippines in 1939.

In 1949 he won a government scholarship to study for his master’s and doctorate degrees in statistics at Cornell University in the United States.

He taught agricultural engineering at Chiang Mai's Maejo Agricultural College (now Maejo University) and Kasetsart University.

After graduating from Cornell, he resumed his self-learning and research about Thai language and history. Among his outstanding research is his works on ancient Sukhothai inscriptions.

Prof Prasert was granted royal permission to write Thai lyrics for King Rama IX’s songs — Near Dawn, H M Blues (Chata Cheewit, or destiny), Still on My Mind, Echo and Kasetsart University's anthem.

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