Pan Ron

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Pan Ron
Pan Ron.jpg
Background information
Native name ប៉ែន រ៉ន
Origin Cambodia
Years active 1963-1975
Associated acts Sinn Sisamouth, Ros Serey Sothea, Meas Samon

Pan Ron (Khmer: ប៉ែន រ៉ន, Khmer pronunciation: [paen rɑːn]), also known as Pen Ran to French-speaking audiences,[1] was a Cambodian singer and songwriter who was at the height of her popularity in the 1960s and early 1970s. Known particularly for her western rock and soul influences, animated dancing, and risque lyrics,[2] Pan Ron has been described by the New York Times as a "worldly, wise-cracking foil" to the more restrained Cambodian pop singers of her era.[3]

Life and career[edit]

She had some success in the early 1960s after her hit "Pka Kabass" in 1963, but she became a national star when she began recording with Sinn Sisamouth in 1966. Starting in the late 1960s Ron recorded many collaborations with Sisamouth and other notable Cambodian singers of the period, while continuing her solo career. The debut of the popular Ros Serey Sothea in 1967 had little effect on Pan Ron's career and perhaps even broadened her popularity as the second leading lady of Cambodian popular music.

During the 1970s, aside from singing film songs, Ron had a number of hits including "Kanha 80 Kilograms", featured on Voy Ho's 4th album in 1972, and "Komlos Jreus Jap". Pan Ron was a very versatile singer, having a repertoire consisting of traditional Cambodian music, rock, twist, cha cha cha, agogo, mambo, madizon, jazz, and folk songs, leaving behind a vast legacy of 1960s and 1970s Cambodian music. Little is known about Pan Ron's personal history, as she was noted to keep her private life out of the public's eye. What is known of her comes from hundreds of songs, many of which she both wrote and performed.

Pan Ron disappeared during the Khmer Rouge genocide of the late 1970s and her exact fate is unknown. Her younger sister Pan Rom said that she survived until the Vietnamese invasion of late 1978/early 1979 when the Khmer Rouge launched their final series of mass executions.[4] In a 2015 BBC documentary on the band Cambodian Space Project, who have covered many of Pan Ron's songs, it was alleged by an interview subject that she was tricked by the Khmer Rouge into performing one of her songs, after which she was led away and executed.[1] Starting in the late 1990s, interest in Pan Ron's music was revived by the album Cambodian Rocks[5] and similar CD compilations, while the documentary film Don't Think I've Forgotten described her as one of the most influential artists of her era.[3]


Some of the songs (from the hundreds) that she actually composed and sang herself or with Sin Sisamouth or Ros Serey Sothea include:

Solo performances[edit]

  • Tvey beu jeung mek nov chgai
  • Srolanh doj j'eung
  • Mao Sereiroat
  • Kmum na min tij
  • Oh Pleang Euy
  • Bong kom Prouy (Darling, Don't Worry)
  • Cherng Maik Por Kmao
  • Mamai Bei Dong
  • Bondam Tunle Buon Mouk
  • Chan Penh Boromey
  • Chnam Oun 31
  • Chrolom Pdey Keh
  • Jumno Trocheak
  • Juob Ter Bros Kbot
  • Kam Peah
  • Kdao Tngay Min Smoe Kdao Chit
  • Komlos Lan Krahorm
  • Konlong Pnhei Kluon
  • MeMai Sabay Jet
  • Meta Own Pong
  • Min Jong Skarl Teh Kdey Snaeha
  • Min Sok Chet Te
  • Mjass Chenda
  • Mtay Kaun
  • Oun Skol Chet Bong Srey
  • Pka Sondun
  • Preah Paey Popok
  • Pros Chang Reiy
  • Pros Reang Yeh Yeh
  • Reatrey Nov Pailin
  • Rom Ago Ago
  • Rom Jongvak Twiss
  • Rom Som Leis Keh
  • Sabay Avey Mles
  • Sday Chit Del Sralanh
  • Sein Kmas Keh
  • Sneh Krom Mlob Chhrey
  • Somleng Kmous Kah
  • Sour Ey Sour Jos
  • Sromai Jea Nich
  • Tgai Na Bong Tomne
  • Tgnai Nis Reabka Khynom
  • Thngai Sonrak
  • Tonsa Mok Pi Na
  • Veal Smoa Khiev Kchey

Duets with Sin Sisamouth and other artists[edit]

  • Somposs Chan Kreufah
  • Kaal Na Pka Reek
  • Kuu Nep Nit
  • Ahnet Oun Phorng Pdei Euy (Pan Ron & Eng Nary)
  • Bondaet Kbone Laeng (Pan Ron & Sisamouth )
  • Brorjum Knea Rom Sabay (Pan Ron)
  • Cer Chaet Chol Chnam (Pan Ron & Sisamouth)
  • Deing Eiy Teh Bong(Pan Ron & Meas Samon)
  • Jole Jroke Sin Nean (Pan Ron & Sisamouth)
  • Lit Ondat Chea Bakse(Pan Ron & Eng Nary)
  • PasDai Ban Heiy (Pan Ron & Sisamouth)
  • Sahao Bomput Dot Manoos Tieng Ruos
  • Smak Bong Lan Tmey
  • Smak Oun Mouy (Pan Ron, Sothea & Sisamouth)
  • Snea Douch Jeung Meik (Pan Ron & Sisamouth)
  • Soom Gneak Mok Niss (Pan Ron, Sothea & Sisamouth)
  • Srey Chnas Bros Chnerm (Pan Ron & Sisamouth)
  • Srey Sross Somross Kmean Ptum(1963)
  • Srorlanh Srey Nas (Pan Ron & In Yeng)
  • Tgnai Jey Nak Phnom (Pan Ron & Tet Somnang)
  • Tov Surprise Mdong (Pan Ron & Sereysothea)
  • Trov Bong Sleak Kbin (Pan Ron & Sisamouth)


  1. ^ a b Erberle, Marc (2015). "BBC Four - Storyville, 2014-2015, Rocking Cambodia: Rise of a Pop Diva - Bringing the Mythical Golden Hong to Life". BBC. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  2. ^ Dow, Steve (13 September 2013). "Golden era of Cambodian music given its second airing". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  3. ^ a b Sisario, Ben (9 April 2015). "'Don't Think I've Forgotten,' a Documentary, Revives Cambodia's Silenced Sounds". New York Times. 
  4. ^ Pan Ron at
  5. ^ "Cambodian Rocks (MP3s)". WFMU blog. 9 December 2007.