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Website & blog of Tuan Hoang, Pepperdine University

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Thanh Lan

Song of war #2 – Đêm Nguyện Cầu (Night of Prayer)

Belief in God tends to be strong for people living amid warfare. It is hardly a surprise then that prayer finds its way into music written during war.  It was surely the case with popular music in South Vietnam.

Since this is the week of Christmas, it is worth mentioning that one the most popular South Vietnamese albums is filled with prayer.  It is the third album of the fine series Sơn Ca (Birdsong), and the title is simply Giáng Sinh: Tình Yêu và Hòa Bình: Christmas: Love and Peace.  It features some of the biggest names in the Saigon music scene at the time: Thái Thanh, Khánh Ly, Thanh Lan, Giao Linh, Lệ Thu, Anh Khoa, etc.  (A recording from Elvis Phương would have completed this A-list.)

Continue reading “Song of war #2 – Đêm Nguyện Cầu (Night of Prayer)”

Song of war #10 – Quê Hương Chiến Tranh (Country At War)

Thinking about this list of “top ten Vietnamese songs of war,” I’ve had the hardest time with the songs in the middle of the list. But I knew exactly which song to begin the series and which one to end it.

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For a starter, it is hard to find a better tune than Quê Hương Chiến Tranh Country At War if only for the title.  Few titles in South Vietnamese music on war are as succinct or straightforward as this one, for it names the most significant experiences among twentieth-century Vietnamese: war and nation.

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