Phong Nha, father of popular children’s songs

(VOVWORLD) - Musician Phong Nha, who wrote numerous popular songs for children in Vietnam,  passed away on March 28 at the age of 94. His songs have been widely enjoyed by generations of Vietnamese children since the 1940s.

Phong Nha, father of popular children’s songs - ảnh 1Musician Phong Nha. (Photo: VOV) 

Phong Nha, whose real name was Nguyen Van Tuong, was born in 1924 in Duy Tien district, Ha Nam province. His family moved to Hanoi when he was young. Nha began writing songs in the early days of the August Revolution in 1945, mostly for children.

During the Mid-Autumn Festival of 1945, he met President Ho Chi Minh. Impressed by the President’s love of children, he wrote the song "Who loves Uncle Ho more than teenagers". First broadcast on the Voice of Vietnam, the song became an immediate hit.

Nha showed a great passion for music even as a student. In early 1940, while studying at Do Huu Vi school, he joined a scouting program and participated in public performances. In 1944, he returned to his home town and was part of youth movements. At this time, he wrote “Children, march quickly!” using the name Phong Nha. The song is still popular with children today.

“Phong Nha’s children’s songs, like 'Who loves Uncle Ho more than teenagers' and 'We move forward together' were really popular with us during our school days. We knew many of his songs by heart. Phong Nha made a great contribution to Vietnamese music. We hope new generations of Vietnamese musicians will continue to write beautiful songs for children as he did,” said Cao Huy Hoang, a student in Hanoi.

After the success of the August Revolution, Phong Nha was appointed Secretary of the Hanoi Children’s National Salvation Association. In 1969, he wrote the song “President Ho Chi Minh lives forever” as a tribute to the President who had passed away the same year.

“Phong Nha was active in youth and activities. He was the first editor-in-chief of the Thieu Nien Tien Phong (Young Pioneers) newspaper from 1954-1978. He created a great number of children’s songs during his music career,” said musician Pham Tuyen.

Nha received many honors including the State Awards for Literature and Arts in 1996 and the Ho Chi Minh Prize for Literature and Arts in 2001.