School of Vice:
In my humble view, this kind of re-arrangement of a well-composed and loved classic's lyrics is unnecessary and harmful to the original art and its uniqueness. It is an insult to the memory of the artists who laboured to bring it to life in the first place. The lyrics of a classic song should only be altered where the message is deemed to be for the greater cause or good as, for instance, a song about poverty or national political struggle etc. In this instance, the message is communicated through the medium of the existing melody, and the alteration or even wholesale replacement of the words in it can even be said to justify the act in question.
Since the KR regime, Cambodia has yet to reproduce poets and musicians of the calibre anywhere near that of the pre-war era, and until such a reworking of any of these classics will have been considered to enhance the appeal and beauty of the original, any such rendition will be judged disrespectful and a grave offence to both the original artists and the art itself, as well as its devoted followers. The trouble that we have with art [along with a range of other social attitudes on, from a woman's dress to a male Apsara dance, is that successive generations tend to forge and collect their own taste and forms of identity that may or may not align with those of traditions, mainstream preferences or the core expectations of a culture. This is true in general of the youth of most countries of the world.
Today, the nation of Cambodia maybe small in geographical size and population, or be insignificant or disadvantaged on the geo-political stage, but the same cannot be said of its richness in culture, tradition and history. The pride and dignity borne by most 'Khmers' and modern day Cambodians are undoubtedly a by-product of these innate feelings of belonging to this empire of heritage and quintessence; their collective values, rather than any thing else they may be judged by. However, the nation is also poorly equipped to shield its youth [in, particular] from the onslaught of western culture and consumerism, which in turn reflects the global appeal and power of western materialism, money and intoxicating influence as these forces are expiated through politics and [mostly] western owned media.
In Cambodia and in most Asian countries in the region [at least] these mesmerising forces have transformed and fractured much of the physical surfaces of the earth itself: rice fields into cash crop farms/plantations, forests destroyed to make way for various 'development' ventures, rivers choked to death with hydro-electric dams, women deformed their faces [and who knows what else?] with surgeries in the hope of stealing the look of many a Caucasian star portrayed in many a Hollywood movie ... Even the French have long seen the danger and feared their culture could be diluted by imported American consumerism, and yes, they have found ways to thwart this trend - to an extent.
Has Cambodia seen and done the same? Not, really. This is essentially due to the dearth of quality education in general this side of the Pol Pot regime which more or less extirpated most of the nation's educated and creative people [I wouldn't use the term "intellectuals" here!]. Even the handful survivors of these cultured classes have found little to no productive space for all their precious talents and wisdom; most have chosen to live in exile where the scope and respect for individual freedom and social expression is preferred to the ignorance and philistine atmosphere created and maintained by the Cambodian ruling elite in their country of birth. This takes us back to the subject I have with this song ...
Enjoy the weekend!