Internet debates which stage-diving Thai royal inspired Blur front man

Photo: Damon Albarn / Facebook
Photo: Damon Albarn / Facebook

A strange tidbit in an interview about a chance encounter between a British musician and a Thai princess in 1997 has inspired a guessing game over who he wrote a song about.

Damon Albarn, the frontman for famous Britpop band Blur and virtual band Gorillaz, revealed last year that he was writing a song – since released in November – inspired by a rambunctious princess who made a big impression on him in 1997.

When told by a reporter that his band Blur was turning 25, the singer gave a non-sequitur response and talked about a princess who stage-dived while they were playing one of their best-known singles, Song 2, at a 1997 concert in Bangkok.

“I’m writing and recording a song about an incident when I was in Thailand and met the crown princess,” the 54-year-old musician said. “This was November ’97. She was only 14 at the time, and she came to see us, and due to the very specific role the royal family play in Thailand, they put a throne next to the mixing board for her to sit in, surrounded by I don’t know how many soldiers. ‘Song 2’ started and she stood on her throne and stage-dived into the crowd.”

But which Princess was he referring to?

While the song’s background was old news, it resurfaced on popular music blog Dad Mom and Rock N Roll Kids. The post mentioned that the gig Albarn referenced was definitely Blur’s concert at MBK Hall on Nov. 8, 1997.

Although Albarn did not identify her by name, a top comment on a YouTube video of the song in question indicates it was Princess Sirivannavari, a daughter of King Rama X, but she would have been 10 that year.

Others speculated that it was Princess Soamsawali, but she would have been 39 in 1997 and difficult to mistake for 14.

But most believe it was Siribha Chudabhorn, who was indeed 14 and, according to photographs posted from her teen years, a rock fan who often wore T-shirts for bands such as Marilyn Manson, Avenged Sevenfold, Deftones, Megadeth, and System of a Down, among others.

The song, Baby Queen, was released in November as the third single advancing Gorillaz’s eighth studio album Cracker Island.

Albarn said the lyrics were inspired by a dream.

“The reason I’ve written a song about it is because I had a dream about this princess very recently,” he continued. “She’d grown up and we spent time in my dream together, her as a woman. So there you go: 1997 was a long time ago, but at the moment it’s not.”

The song’s dream-inspired lyrics, which don’t quite take the laws of succession into account, include the following:

I met the princess from Thailand again

She had grown up

Into a queen

Down in the abyss where the night

Never turns to daylight

She kept me in a Polaroid

That was pinned up on her wall

Under Garuda’s mirror lights

She takes flight

Yeah the kid’s alright

She fell into the generals (Oh, Baby Queen)

On the watch all around her

I fell into the vanity

The mirrored lights of our dreams


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