Pheng Xat Lao

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English: Hymn of the Lao People
National anthem of Laos
LyricsSisana Sisane, 1975
MusicThongdy Sounthonevichit, 1941
Audio sample
U.S. Navy Band instrumental version

"Pheng Xat Lao" (Lao: ເພງຊາດລາວ , "Song of the Lao People") is the national anthem of the Lao People's Democratic Republic. It was written and composed in 1941 by Thongdy Sounthonevichit. It was adopted as the national anthem of the Kingdom of Laos in 1945. The original lyrics were revised after the Communists triumphed in the Laotian Civil War and established the Lao People's Democratic Republic in 1975, with the new lyrics written by Sisana Sisane.


"Lao Hak Xat" or "the patriotic Laos" (Lao: ລາວຮັກຊາຕ, French: Le Patriote Lao), the original lyrics of Pheng Xat Lao wirtten by Maha Phoumi Chittaphong, published in Hymnes & pavillons dʼIndochine, December 1941.

Long a tributary state of Siam, in 1893 Laos became a protectorate of France within its colonial empire. The French claimed their annexation was to protect Laos from "hostile neighbors" such as China and especially Siam, which had been militarily forced to cede Laos to the European colonial power. In reality, France simply ruled Laos as a colony, even bringing in many Vietnamese to work in its governing. The transferring of control from one master to another meant that nationalist sentiment did not develop as it did in formerly independent Vietnam. However, the outbreak of the Second World War soon saw the fall of France to Nazi Germany. The new right-wing government in Siam saw this as a possible opportunity to regain formerly Thai territory lost to France, especially the land located on the Thai side of the Mekong River. To counteract this, the French colonial government began promoting Lao nationalism.

Because of this liberalization, many patriotic songs were now composed, each one emphasizing Lao "uniqueness". "Pheng Xat Lao" was one of them, having been composed by Thongdy Sounthonevichit in 1941 with lyrics written by Maha Phoumi under the name "Lao Hak Xat" (the patriotic Laos). It was chosen as the national anthem in 1945, when the king was forced by the Japanese occupiers to declare Laos independent from French rule. This new freedom was short-lived, since France quickly regained control of French Indochina after Japan's surrender in 1945. In 1947, France granted limited autonomy to Laos within the French Union, and "Pheng Xat Lao" again became the national anthem.

When the Pathet Lao emerged victorious in the Laotian Civil War in 1975, thanks to major North Vietnamese assistance, the new Communist government abolished the monarchy and changed the lyrics to reflect the ideology of the Marxist government. As a result, the anthem became all-encompassing, mentioning all ethnic groups in Laos, instead of focussing on the Lao race and Buddhism. However, the melody was retained.


Current lyrics

Lao original Romanization IPA transcription English translation





Sāt Lāo tangtǣ daimā
Lāo thuk thūa nā sœ̄t sū sutchai
Hūam hǣng, hūam chit, hūam chai,
samakkhi kan pen kamlang dīao.

Det dīao phǭmkan kāonā,
būsā sū kīat khǭng Lāo,
Songsœ̄m sai sit pen chao
Lāo thuk son phao samœ̄; phāp kan.

Bǭ hai phūak chakkaphat
læ phūak khaj sāt khao mā lopkhūan,
Lāo thang mūan sū ēkalāt,
itsalaphāp khǭng sāt Lāo wai

Tatsinchai sū sing ao sai
phā sāt kāo pai sū khūam watthanā.

For all time, the Lao people
Have glorified their motherland,
United in heart,
Spirit and vigor as one.

Resolutely moving forwards,
Respecting and increasing the dignity of the Lao people
And proclaiming the right to be their own masters.
The Lao people of all origins are equal

And will no longer allow imperialists
And traitors to harm them.
The entire people will safeguard the independence
And the freedom of the Lao nation.

They are resolved to struggle for victory
In order to lead the nation to prosperity.

Original lyrics (1947–1975)

Lao original Romanization Literal English translation Poetic English translation (singable)





Sāt Lāo tangtǣ dœ̄mmā
Khưn sư lư sā yūnai āsi
Sāo Lāo phūkphan maitri
Hūam sāmakkhi hak hō̜ ōmkan.

Haksat hak pathēt hao
Hak chao pak kēt kēsā
Hōm hak hūam sāsanā
Tǣ būhān mā hak sā tindǣn.

Bō̜ hai sāt dai mā luān
Hā vi hab kuān nyāt nyǣng sing ao
Phai khưn khao mā lū vunvāi
Su chan tao tāi tān thān sattrū.

Sūay sœ̄t su lư̄at nư̄a sư̄a phao
Phư̄n phū kū ao banthao thuk kan.

In the old days, our Lao people
Were famous all over Asia.
Because the Lao
Were united in love.

Still today, they love their people and country
And rally around their Kings.
They preserve the religion of their fathers,
And protect the soil of their ancestors.

They will never allow another nation to threaten them
Or to occupy their territory.
Every enemy who enters their country
Will find them ready to fight until death.

All together, they can restore the ancient glory of their blood,
and they will stand together in the days of danger.

Once our Laotian race
In Asia highly honored stood
And at that time the folk
Of Laos were united in love

Today they love their race
And rally round their chiefs
They guard the land and the
Religion of their ancestors

They will resist each foe
Who may oppress them or invade
And such invaders will
Be met with battle unto death

They'll restore the fame of Laos
And through ills united stand.


  1. ^ See Help:IPA/Lao and Lao phonology.
  2. ^ Chakkaphat (imperialism) specifically refers to France and the United States.


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  2. ^ a b "History of Laos". Lonely Planet. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  3. ^ Raffin, Anne (2005). Youth Mobilization in Vichy Indochina and Its Legacies: 1940 to 1970. Lexington Books. pp. 137–38. ISBN 9780739111468. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  4. ^ Doedan, Matt (2007). Laos in Pictures. Twenty-First Century Books. p. 69. ISBN 9780822565901. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  5. ^ "ປະເທດລາວ ໑໙໕໐ Laos mil neuf cent cinquante". Hymnn Lao. Government of Laos. Archived from the original on 2012-10-28. Retrieved January 18, 2023.
  6. ^ Kutler, Stanley I., ed. (1996). "Laos". Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Retrieved May 9, 2013. (subscription required)
  7. ^ Holt, John Clifford (2009). Spirits of the place: Buddhism and Lao religious culture. University of Hawaii Press. p. 133. ISBN 9780824833275. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  8. ^ St. John, Ronald Bruce (January 11, 2013). Revolution, Reform and Regionalism in Southeast Asia: Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Routledge. ISBN 9781134003464. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  9. ^ "ປະຕູເອເລັກໂຕນິກ ລັດຖະບານລາວ". Government of Lao People's Democratic Republic. Retrieved 2022-01-31.
  10. ^ "Laotian National Anthem (Pheng Xat Lao)". ASEAN Learning Center, Department of Local Administration. Retrieved 2022-01-31.
  11. ^

External links