หลังคา Roof

by t_047 featuring Ammy The Bottom Blues

Note: I’m not sure if this song was originally a political song or if it is being repurposed for the prodemocracy movement. Either way it seems very meaningful to the crowds that gather. This version features Ammy the Bottom Blues and was sung at a rally December 2, 2020 at the 5-way intersection at Lad Phrao, Bangkok. Also check out an earlier version (only one ending verse is sung) live at “CAT EXPO 7” on November 23, 2020. I will post that below. It looks like some of the leaders of the prodemocracy movement may have just gotten out of jail on that occasion because they are all very emotional. And the adjustment to the last line in that version is “We will be a roof for you . . . when each person returns.”

วันใด ที่ใจร้อน กลับมานอน ในบ้านหลังเก่า
On any day that my heart is bothered I go back to sleep in an old house
ในที่ๆมีเรา ยังมีเงาความฝัน
In the right place, there is us and there is still the shadow of a dream
ไม่มีสายธารที่เย็นฉ่ำ ไม่มีสายลมจากฟ้า
There is no cold stream, no wind from the sky
แต่จะเป็นหลังคาให้ทุกเวลา ที่เธอเหนื่อยล้า
But there is a roof anytime you (my dear) are weary

ฉันไม่ใช่บ้านหลังใหญ่ ไม่มีอะไรให้พักพิง
I am not a big house, I don’t have anything for actually living here
เพียงคุ้มครองจากสิ่ง ที่โหดร้าย
I only protect from the things that are cruel
ไม่มีคำปลอบใดจะเอื้อนเอ่ย ไม่มีคำสัญญา
I don’t have any comforting words, no promises
แต่จะเป็นหลังคาให้ทุกเวลา ที่เธอเหนื่อยล้า
But I will be a roof for you anytime that you are weary

วันใดที่ใจหนาว เรื่องราวที่ไม่เป็นดั่งใจ
Any day that your heart is cold. Matters that you didn’t intend
จะคุ้มครองวิญญาณเธอไว้ ไม่มีหนาว
I will protect your soul so it isn’t cold
ไม่มีกองไฟให้ไออุ่น ไม่มีผ้าห่มหนา
I don’t have a fire of burning logs to keep you warm. I don’t have a thick blanket
แต่จะเป็นหลังคาให้ทุกเวลา ที่เธอเหน็บหนาว
But I’ll be a roof for you anytime that you, my dear, are cold

ฉันไม่ใช่บ้านหลังใหญ่ ไม่มีอะไรให้พักพิง
I am not a big house, I don’t have anything for actually living here
เพียงคุ้มครองจากสิ่ง ที่โหดร้าย
I only protect from the things that are cruel
ไม่มีคำปลอบใดเอื้อนเอ่ย ไม่มีคำสัญญา
I don’t have any comforting words, no promises
แต่จะเป็นหลังคาให้ทุกเวลา ที่เธอเหน็บหนาว
But I’ll be a roof for you any time that you are cold

วันใดมีเมฆฝน เปียกปอนจนเธอมีน้ำตา
Any day there are rainclouds. You are drenched until your tears flow
เข้ามาหลบรอให้ฝนซา อย่าไปไหน
Come in to escape it and wait for the rain to slow. Don’t go anywhere
ฉันไม่มีร่มคันใหญ่ เคียงข้างไปทุกเวลา
I don’t have a big umbrella beside me at all times
แต่จะเป็นหลังคาให้ทุกเวลา ที่เธอเปียกปอน
But I will be a roof for you, every time that you are soaked.

THE CROWD IS ASKED TO SING ALONG ON THE LAST VERSE:

ฉันไม่ใช่บ้านหลังใหญ่ ไม่มีอะไรให้พักพิง
I am not a big house, I don’t have anything for actually living here
เพียงคุ้มครองจากสิ่ง ที่โหดร้าย
I only protect from the things that are cruel
ไม่มีคำปลอบใดเอื้อนเอ่ย ไม่มีคำสัญญา
I don’t have any comforting words, no promises
แต่จะเป็นหลังคาให้ทุกเวลา เมื่อเธอกลับมา
But I will be a roof for you every time that you come back

[Extra last line (not in the original song)]:
พวกเราจะเป็นหลังคา จนกว่าประชาธิปไตยจะกลับมา
All of us will be a roof . . . until democracy returns

ชาวนาเฮี้ยน (The Farmers are Strong Enough to Do It)

By Faiyen ไฟเย็น with อานนท์ นำภา Anon Nampa on flute!
Lyrics by Gluay Faiyen (2017); melody by แอ๊ด คาราบาว Add Carabao (1987)

This song, written in 2017, is MUST SEE for all Carabao fans. It is a spoof of หำเฮี้ยน (Ham is Strong Enough to Do It) written by แอ๊ด คาราบาว Add Carabao, and published in 1985. A translation and explanation of หำเฮี้ยน (Ham is Strong Enough to Do It) at the Carabao in English website. Add Carabao is one of the most talented singer/songwriters in the world. He used to be openly on the prodemocracy side with many songs vividly describing the plight of poor Thai farmers and laborers; then he became famous for praising Bhumipol the loudest. Given that history, his older fans (of which I am certainly one) would want him to make a comment on the current situation. Interestingly, Lek Carabao, has recently written songs to help the prodemocracy side. Oh! And notice that famous human rights lawyer Anon Nampa, currently an imprisoned leader of the pro-democracy movement, played flute on this song.

เสียงจากชาวนาผู้ทำนาปลูกข้าว
The voice from the farmers, people working the fields, planting rice
ค้ำชูพี่น้องไทยเรา
Holding up us Thai brothers and sisters
ชาวดิน ชาวฟ้า ยาจก ขอทาน
People of the Land, People of the Sky, paupers, beggars
แต่เหตุไฉน อ้างเอาเราไปประจาน
But how come you claim to take us and expose us as evidence
สร้างความเจ็บปวดร้าวราน
Building up our pains and laments
เป็นตำนานสร้างศิลปิน
to be a legend creating the artist

ยายไฮ ตาผุย ยายสา บุญมา ตาสี
Grandmother Hai,* Grandmother Pui, Granmother Sa, Bunma, Grandmoter See [?]
เรียกร้องชั่วนาตาปี
Crying out endlessly
ถูกเขาย่ำยีกดขี่เรื่อยมา
Have been oppressed and tyrannized by them continuously
ต่อสู้มานานกับเผด็จการจนเอือมระอา
[We] fight with the dictatorship for so long, [we’re] sick of it
ถูกเขาปราบปรามเข่นฆ่า
We’ve been suppressed and murdered by them
ตอบแทนชาวนาด้วยกระสุนปืน
[They] reply to the farmers with guns

พวกศิลปินเพื่อนเราเขาไปอยู่ไหน
All our artist friends, where did they go?
ทำไมไม่เห็นมีใคร
Why don’t we see anyone at all
ออกมาเคลื่อนไหวช่วยเราสักคน
coming out to help us in the movement?
ปล่อยให้เขาทำ ปู้ยี้ปู้ยำ ทำสัปดน
They just let them do it—bruising, doing obscene things
เข่นฆ่าพวกเราปี้ป่น
Killing us and stomping to dust
ตายเกลื่อนถนน แถมโดนตะราง
[We’re] dying here and there along the road, not to mention, thrown in prison.

คือเสียงวิงวอน อุทธรณ์ต่อศิลปิน
It’s the sound of imploring, pleading after the artists
กลับมาอยู่ข้างชาวดิน
Come back and be on the side of the People of the Land!
เลิกเลียตีนพวกศักดินา
Stop sucking up to more privileged people in the caste system
กระดูกสันหลังคือความหวังของมวลประชา
[That you find?] a backbone is the hope of all the masses
กลับมาอยู่ข้างชาวนา
Come back and be on the side of the farmers
จับเคียวเกี่ยวฟ้าให้มาเทียมดิน
Grab a sickle, hook the sky, bring it back down and harness it to earth.**

* ยายไฮ  (Yai Hai or Grandma Hai) refers to Mrs. ไฮ ขันจันทา Hai Khanjanta, an elderly woman in the Isaan region, who famously fought for 32 years for rights to land flooded when a small damn was built in 1977. This was without her consent and any compensation for her family. She insisted the government had no rights to do this to her land. She filed her complaints to the village leader, head of the district, and the governor without any answer from them. In 2003, 28 years after the construction of the dam, she and her family members used hoes and spades to destroy the dam to regain her land. They were charged with vandalism of public property. Her story attracted media attention. Everyone asked why she didn’t get compensation for her loss. Then-Prime Minister Thaksin ordered waters from the dam be released so that she could regain her land. And 5 years later the government paid her family a few million baht. She’s become an icon since then. The other names are common and might not refer to anyone in particular.

**The metaphor of Heaven being harnessed to Earth is often heard. In a probably unrelated instance, Add Carabao (the artist who wrote the song this song is spoofing, and is the main target of the “come back and be on the side of the farmer” message) uses the metaphor 2012 in little-known song ode that is an ode to music itself. From มาเถอะมาร้องเพลง (Come, Come On and Sing a Song) (the link will take you to Carabao in English website):

“A picture/scenario of love [from the song],
Blossoming a world that is beautiful
If we there is no war
Heaven also stays bound to Earth
The little picture/scenario of the song
Is a strength that doesn’t end
As long as humans are still hearing it
And are amused from now on
Continuously amused . . .”

I believe there is a double meaning in that there is no huge gap between the royalty and elite (represented by the sky) and the poor (represented by the ground), as well as a “things are as they should be” connotation, in that the “heavenly things” are with us or close to us–a heaven on earth. Also see the song “Rung,” at this site, where a rainbow connects heaven and earth and the young people SKATEBOARD up and down the rainbow (like it is nothing). The song “Rung” has other wonderful atheist imagery.

รุ้ง Rung [the name means “Rainbow”]

By วงสามัญชน or Commoner, featuring Jacoboi (of Rap Against Dictatorship)

Approximate translation of the introduction under the Music video: “On the occasion of the anniversary of the rally at Thammasat University and the night that “Rung” broke through a ceiling by proposing the 10 [political] Demands. May this song therefore record the story of this struggle for a democracy of the people so [the history] does not disappear.”

“Rung” is the nickname of Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul; it means “Rainbow.” The 10 demands, which she read on stage August 10, 2020, were demands for reform of the monarchy to bring it under the constitution. Implementation of these demands would of course doom Vajiralongkorn (who appears to be a serial killer among countless other examples of immorality and lawlessnes), but would allow a monarchy accountable to the people to survive. Rung agreed to present the 10 demands knowing she would likely go to prison, possibly for decades. For understanding of the song be aware that “the sky” or “the heavens” represents the royalty and their allies. Notice the symbols of rejection of religion in this video, including a version of Michelangelo’s Hand of Adam touching Hand of God image, with the hand of God altered to be the one begging for something of Man! And you can’t miss the scary Vajiralongkorn spider-monster defending his palace with shipping containers!!!

ขอให้ทุกๆดวงวิญญานที่แค้นคับเทวดาฉุดฟ้าให้ร่วงลงมาบนพื้นดิน
May every soul angry with the gods pull down the heavens so they fall down to the earth [THIS LINE ILLUSTRATED WITH THE PICTURES OF WANCHALEARM SATSAKSIT, WHO WAS ASSASSINATED]

เราบังเอิญเจอกันท่ามกลางผู้คนหมื่นพันที่เรียกร้องตามความฝันที่ฟ้ายังกลัว
We unexpectedly meet each other amongst the throngs of people making demands according to their dream, of which the sky is still afraid.*
เราจึงเป็นพยานในคืนที่รุ้งทลายเพดานที่ขีดไว้เมื่อฉันและเธอได้สบตานี่ใช่มั้ยที่เรียกว่าความกล้า
So we were witnesses the night that Rung broke through the ceiling that had been set. Your eyes met mine in a look saying, “That’s what you call courage, don’t you think!?”
รอคอยวันนี้มาเนิ่นนาน (มาเนิ่นนาน) แต่คืนนี้ไม่ต้องทนอีกต่อไป
We’ve been waiting for this day for so long. (For so long.) But after this night, we won’t suffer in silence ever again.**
ในกรงขังยังมีดวงดาวส่องแสงทัาทายฟากฟ้าบอกฟ้าว่าถึงเวลา
In the jail there are still stars shining their defiant light to the sky, telling the sky, “It’s time!”

ขอให้ทุกๆดวงวิญญานที่แค้นคับเทวดาฉุดฟ้าให้ร่วงลงมาบนพื้นดิน
May every soul/spirit angry with the gods pull down the heavens so they fall to the earth

Rap by Jacobi: [He shouts out a couple things first]
เมื่อสายรุ้งพาดสะพานจากแผ่นดินขึ้นสู่ฟ้า
When a Rainbow arches in a bridge from the land up into the sky
จะพลิกฟ้าคว่ำแผ่นดินด้วยสองมือและสองเท้า
We will flip the sky and land upside-down with our own two hands and feet.
ไม่สนว่าใครจะตีตรากูจะเป็นกระเบื้องหรือน้ำเต้า
I’m not interested in who will brand me as a tile or calabash gord [this line and the next refers to an old prophesy some Thais are afraid of]***
จะพาขี้ครอกให้ออกจากตรอกแล้วเผาผู้ดีเป็นขี้เถ้า
We will take the slave out of the alley and burn the gentleman into ashes***
โค่นล้มบัลลังค์ ตั้งปรัมพิธี บริกรรมบทสวดชุมนุมเทวดา
Overthrow the throne. Set up an “ancient” ceremony, arrange prayers for a group of gods/angels
เรียกโคตรเรียกเหง้าพวกมึงลงมา
Call the ancestors of you all to come down
ทำประชาพิพากษ์ให้สมโทษานุโทษที่พวกมึงสูบกิน
Do a people’s court to hand out suitable punishment and you people will have to eat it.
กระชากจากฟ้า ลงมาสู่ดิน ให้ลิ้มรสละอองธุลีใต้ตีนที่กูต้องอยู่ต้องกิน
Yank [you people] from the sky down to earth in order to taste “the dust under the feet” where I must live and eat.****

รอคอยวันนี้มาเนิ่นนาน (มาเนิ่นนาน) แต่คืนนี้ไม่ต้องทนอีกต่อไป
We’ve been waiting for this day for so long. (For so long.) But after this night, we won’t suffer in silence ever again. [CARTOON OF ADAM’s HAND touching God’s Hand (with God in the position of asking MAN for something)]

รอคอยวันนี้มาเนิ่นนาน (มาเนิ่นนาน) แต่คืนนี้ไม่ต้องทนอีกต่อไป
We’ve been waiting for this day for so long. (For so long.) But after this night, we won’t suffer in silence ever again.**
ในกรงขังยังมีดวงดาวส่องแสงทัาทายฟากฟ้าบอกฟ้าว่าถึงเวลา
In the jail there are still stars shining their defiant light to the sky, telling the sky, “It’s time!”
2X

*”The sky,” symbolizing the royals and their allies, are afraid the dream will spread.

**ทน means “to endure” (suffering), so in the context it’s cross between “we won’t hold back our thoughts any more” and “we won’t put up with this shit ever again” so I translated “ทน” as “suffer in silence.”

The prophesy is .
“กระเบื้องจะเฟื่องฟูลอย น้ำเต้าน้อยจะถอยจม
The tile will prosper and float, the calabash gord will sink [opposite of what usually happens]
ผู้ดีจะเดินตรอก ขี้ครอกจะเดินถนน”

The gentleman walks in the alley, the slave will walk in the road

The prophesy is taken to mean that taken to mean that some day the country will face catastrophe and will be dominated by bad people.

****Thais were taught to say they are dust under the feet of the king. Obviously, the young people are not going along with it. 

ไม่มีคนบนฟ้า There Is No One in the Sky

by t_047 featuring  ไผ่ ดาวดิน Pai Daodin

ไม่มีความศรัทธา ไม่มีคนบนฟ้า
There is no faith. There is no one up in the sky.
มีเพียงเธอและฉัน ใต้ฟ้าเดียวกัน
There is only you and me under the one sky
ไม่มีความศรัทธา ไม่มีคนบนฟ้า
There is no faith. There is no one up in the sky
มีเพียงเธอและฉันใต้ฟ้าเดียวกัน
There is only you and me under the same sky

(ไอ้มันผู้ใดตั้งตนใหญ่กว่าไพร่ฟ้า
Whoever sets themselves up to be greater than the citizens*
ไอ้มันผู้นั้นยิ่งต่ำช้าด้อยศักดิ์ศรี
That person is all the more inferior and ignoble
มันผู้ใดไม่เห็นค่าประชาชี
Whoever sees no value in the people
มันจะไร้ปฐพี ที่เคียงกาย
That person will be left without earth to lie in)**

อยู่สูงไปเผื่ออะไร เมื่อฟ้าที่มองไม่ต่างไป
What’s the point of a high station, when the sky one sees is no different?
เธอจะปีนขึ้นไปเผื่ออะไร เมื่อฟ้าที่มองไม่ต่างไป
Why would you climb up there, when the sky you’ll see won’t be any different?

ไม่มีความศรัทธา ไม่มีคนบนฟ้า
There is no faith. There is no one up in the sky.
มีเพียงเธอและฉัน ใต้ฟ้าเดียวกัน
There is only you and me under the one sky
ไม่มีความศรัทธา ไม่มีคนบนฟ้า
There is no faith. There is no one up in the sky
มีเพียงเธอและฉันใต้ฟ้าเดียวกัน
There is only you and me under the same sky

(เมื่อฟ้าไร้ซึ่งทวยเทพเทวดา
(When the Sky is devoid of angels
มีแต่สัตว์สิงสามัวเสพสม
And there are only wild animals in heat
มันหันคมเขี้ยวเข้ารายล้อมจนตรอมตรม
They gnash their teeth and surround their helpless victims
และเหยียบย่ำจนสังคมจมบาทา)
And stomp on them until society collapses underfoot)

เธอมีเพียงสองตา ฉันมีเพียงสองตา
You have only two eyes. I have only two eyes
หวังจะมองฟ้าใต้พสุธาเดียวกัน
I hope you’ll look at the sky rooted in the same land
เธอมีเพียงสองตา ฉันมีเพียงสองตา
You have two eyes. I have two eyes
หวังจะมองฟ้าใต้พสุธาเดียวกัน
I hope you’ll look at the sky rooted in the same land

ไม่มีความศรัทธา ไม่มีคนบนฟ้า
There is no faith. There is no one up in the sky.
มีเพียงเธอและฉัน ใต้ฟ้าเดียวกัน
There is only you and me under the one sky
ไม่มีความศรัทธา ไม่มีคนบนฟ้า
There is no faith. There is no one up in the sky
มีเพียงเธอและฉันใต้ฟ้าเดียวกัน
There is only you and me under the same sky

ศักดินาจงพินาศ ประชาราษฎร์จงเจริญ
Down with Feudalism! Long Live the People!

(no god no king only human)***

* In a song about equality, I don’t want to use a word that seems to downplay the value of ordinary people. But I should note that the word used here for “citizens” ไพร่ฟ้า, also has the connotation of “commoner” as opposed to royalty. 

**The line มันจะไร้ปฐพี ที่เคียงกาย actually says “That person will be without earth beside their body” but a similar phrase, commonly said of someone who betrays their country is ตายไปไม่มีแผ่นดินฝัง “They will die and not have a land to buried in. The line used is probably a convoluted version of that so it ends in เคียง (beside) for the sake of the rhyme.

*** This line is written in as part of the official lyrics, but I don’t hear it spoken. It is scrawled on a wall at the end of the music video. “No god. No King. Only humans” [in English] is a slogan being used by some in the Thai prodemocracy movement. I first noticed it being used by Ammy The Bottom Blues, who has several songs at this site, and is one of the leaders of the movement who was jailed for lese majesty and then released. His case is still pending, 

Message from Penguin (A poem to Rung and friends)

In October, 2020, Penguin (Parit Chiwarak) wrote a poem for Rung (whose name conveniently for the poem means Rainbow). Penguin and Rung were in jail at the time, both have been in and out since, and at least Penguin is in jail once again. As a whole, and on finer levels, the poem is stunning. Penguin appears to be evoking จิตร ภูมิศักดิ์ Jit Phumisak, a progressive/communist revolutionary who also wrote at least one poem from prison and who died young. Jit Phumisak wrote some of the best songs archived here at Music of Thai Freedom, including แสงดาวแห่งศรัทธา Starlight of Faith, and ฟ้าใหม่ New Sky. Echoes of both songs appear in this poem. The picture of Rung is a screenshot I grabbed from the music video กล้ามาก เก่งมาก ขอบใจ So Daring! So Talented! Thank You.

ข้อความจากเพนกวิน
A Message from Penguin
แด่รุ้ง และเพื่อนผู้ต้องขังทางการเมืองทุกคน
To Rung, and all of my political prisoner friends

ฟ้าขื่นค่ำคืนหนาว
The sky is bitter, the night is cold
ยะเยือกร้าวกระดูกไข
Shivering to the bone
ลมพัดโหมซัดไอ
A gust of wind blows
ละอองฝน กระเซ็นสาย
mists of raindrops

มองเดือนก็เดือนดับ
[You] look at the moon [but] it’s a [dark] new moon
มองดาวอับลับแสงพราย
[You] look at the stars, their sparkling faint and muted
คืนนี้นอนเดียวดาย
This night is so lonesome
ในกรงขัง อันวังเวง
In a lonely cell

เงี่ยหูฟังสุ้มเสียง
Lend an ear and hear the sound
หาใช่เสียงดนตรีเพลง
It’s not the music of a song
คือถ้อยร้อยบรรเลง
It’s a string of words making music
แห่งคืนมืดประโคมขาน
in the dark night, proclaiming and calling out

ที่ฟาดคือฟ้าร้อง
What beats is thunder
ใช่เสียงกลอง ย่ำโมงกาล
Not the sound of a drum [telling] the hour
ที่ดัง แว่วกังวาล
What loudly resounds in the distance
ใช่กระดิ่ง คือโซ่ตรวน
is not a bell but chains

ที่หวีดมาหวิวหวิว
The whistling sound
ใช่ขลุ่ยผิวหากลมหวน
is not a flute* but the moaning wind
ที่ขับคันธัพครวญ
What is crooned**,
คือเสียงเพรียกของผู้คน
It’s the cries of the people

เสียงคนผู้จนยาก
The sound of impoverished people
ได้ยินจากทุกแห่งหน
Heard from every place
เพลงเข็ญยังเล่นวน
A song of suffering plays and circulates
ระงมเลื่อนมิเลือนหาย
Loud and tumultuous, not dying out

คืนนี้แน่คืนยาก
This night is certainly difficult
ดังใจพรากพลัดจากกาย
As if the mind were separated from the body
ความเป็นคนมลาย
Your humanity melts away
พายุห้ำกระพือโหม
The storm rages

เธออาจจะหวาดหวั่น
You may be scared
เมื่อฟ้าลั่นประจัญโจม
When the sky rumbles and rushes in
หากฟ้าที่ถาโถม
If the sky that swoops down
ย่อมวัดมาตรขนาดใจ
is going to measure the size of your heart

เหล็กกล้าที่แกร่งดี
Steel that is good and strong
ต้องถูกตีและผ่านไฟ
Must be struck and go through fire
คนกล้ายิ่งกว่าใคร
Bold people more than anyone
ต้องผ่านภัยใจจึงทน
must pass dangers, the heart therefore endures

มีสู้ย่อมมีเจ็บ
Where there is struggle, there is pain
และหนาวเหน็บในบางหน
and shivering sometimes
แต่เพื่อประชาชน
But for the people,
จงทนทุกข์อย่างทนทาน
[one] must suffer and bear it

เพื่อเกียรติภูมิมั่น
For a reputation/dignity that is secure and certain,
จงยิ้มหยันอย่างอาจหาญ
we must boldly give a mocking smile
แสนปืนทั้งหมื่นมาร
A hundred thousand guns, all ten thousands obstacles
ฤ จะสู้เพียงหนึ่งใจ
Can just [our] one heart compete [with that]?

ที่ยืนหยัดในศรัทธา
In standing fast in [one’s] faith
ทนงกล้าบนทางไกล
Bravely enduring on the long path
อำนาจทมิฬใด
no cruel power of any kind
มิอาจข่มให้ก้มหัว
may force [us] to bow [our] heads

แม้ฝนกระหน่ำฟ้า
Even though the rain pounds
จงเชิดหน้าอย่าเกรงกลัว
[you] must raise your head, don’t be afraid and cower
ประกาศให้รู้ทั่ว
Let everyone everywhere know
ว่าฟ้าใหม่คืบใกล้มา
That the New Sky is inching closer

ถึงวันที่แสงส่อง
Until the day that the rays of light shine
อำไพผ่องทั่วท้องนภา
Bright and beautiful throughout the whole sky
ผองคนบนผืนหล้า
All the people on the land, then
จะลั่นกลองอย่างเกรียงไกร
Will rumble drums, mightily

วันนั้นคือวันพรุ่ง
That day is tomorrow
ย่อมเห็นรุ้งอร่ามไกล
We will see A Rainbow glittering far [across the place]
มวลชนจะมีชัย
The masses will have victory
และเป็นใหญ่ในแผ่นดิน
And be most important on the land***

เพนกวิน พริษฐ์ ชิวารักษ์
Penguin Parit Chiwarak
ผู้ต้องขังทางการเมือง ณ เรือนจำพิเศษกรุงเทพ
Political prisoner at Bangkok Remand Prison
29 ต.ค. 2563
October 29, 2020

*The flute represents a famous poet from the 1970s เนาวรัตน์ พงษ์ไพบูลย์ Pongpaiboon who wrote the famous poem “เพียงความเคลื่อนไหว” “Mere Movement” (available here in Thai)  but later became a Yellow Shirt. (In fact one of his collections is called “เพลงขลุ่ยผิว” (Songs of the Flute). He will be contrasted with another poet in the next two lines.

**This line contains a pun and actually reads:

ที่ขับคันธัพครวญ
What Kanthap/angels croon
คือเสียงเพรียกของผู้คน
It’s the cries of the people

วิสา คัญทัพ Wisa Kanthap is a famous poet from the 1970s who famously became a Red Shirt. The last name of the poet คันธัพ is actually used in the poem, but a very similar word would be “คนธรรพ์” which is a very specific type of angel, so the native speaker might hear that as well. Wisa Kanthap will be almost be quoted at the end of Penquin’s poem.

*** A poem by วิสา คัญทัพ Wisa Kanthap ends with the famous lines, “when the golden sky of glory comes, the people will be most important in the land.” That poem, in Thai, is HERE. (For a quick overview throw that text into google translate.)

This poem has many Easter eggs. You may find some yourself by comparing to other songs at Music of Thai Freedom, most especially the two Jit Phumisak songs mentioned in the intro,

สมเด็จ His Majesty*

By Risky Drop (lyrics by Rishadan Port)

Rishadan Port (aka Port Faiyen) was recently in jail (March 5 to May 12 2021) after being charged with lese majesty for three Facebook posts made way back in 2016. One post calls people who tattletale on each other for lese majesty foolish and cruel. Another notes a fact about about a coup in TURKEY! A final post lists lyrics for a new song about “A Very Sucky Institution,” one that oppresses and kills people. (In Thai, this “sucky institution” phrase rhymes with “monarchy”).

Coincidentally, Port posted his “Sucky Institution” lyrics just days after the disappearance of his former roomate Itipon Sukpaen (also known as Dj Zunho or Beer). And by 2019, SEVEN more of his antimonarchist friends would be dead, including yet another former roomate, Siam Teerawut! Yes two assasinated roomates in 3 years! Both DJ Zunho and Siam were young men when they disappeared never to return, leaving behind grieving friends and families–but what does that compare to the hurt feelings from Port’s song? After a 9th assassination, of Wanchalearm Satsaksit, we know pretty much conclusively that all 9 assassinations were ordered by King Vajiralongkorn, so if “Sucky Institution” means “Monarchy” then Port was right many times over. The government should drop this ridiculous case because the best way to defend Port is to review the overwhelming evidence that the monarchy has killed 8 of his friends—and was trying to kill him and all of Faiyen band just for SINGING SONGS!.

Throughout 2019 and 2020, Port was already sick with a life-threatening illness, unable to escape to France with the rest of Faiyen band because of it. And so he hid in plain sight in Thailand, which was possible because of the drastic weight loss from his illness. But he finally recovered enough to regain the lost weight, and was then instantly arrested and held without bail in jail, where he contracted covid-19 (on top of all his other troubles).

Port wrote several songs while in jail, and recorded this one within days of getting out of jail and then the hospital. You see here his prison haircut. This song is about Port’s observation that a caste system existed even among the prisoners, with some being very privileged. His band is called “Risky Drop” because prior to Port being arrested, he was, as I was said, hiding in plain sight in Thailand. So if the band were to drop an album (which they were working on) it would have been risky. (Get it?) Port is out of jail on bail and his ridiculous case is still pending. Please continue to follow this artist as fame helps keep him safe!

มีเงิน ร่ำรวย ทำอะไรก็ย่อมได้
If you have money and are rich, whatever you want to do, “Sure! You can do it!”
มีแต่คนคอยรับใช้ สั่งอะไรได้ดั่งใจ
Have people waiting to serve you, able to order anything one’s heart wishes
ไม่ต้องทนลำบากอย่างใครๆ
You don’t need to endure difficulties like just anybody
คนแบบนี้ เขาเรียกว่า สมเด็จ
People like this, they call “His Majesty”*

มีเงิน ร่ำรวย ซื้ออะไรก็ย่อมได้
If you have money and are rich, whatever you want to buy, you can probably buy it
ไม่ว่าอะไรก็ซื้อได้ สั่งอะไรได้ดั่งใจ
No matter what it is you can buy it, order whatever your heart desires
อภิสิทธิ์เขาเหนือกว่าใครๆ
Their privilege is above just anybody
คนแบบนี้ เขาเรียกว่า สมเด็จ
People like this, they are called “His Majesty”

ไหนใครบอกว่าคนเท่ากัน
How come they say people are equal,
แม้แต่ในคุกก็ยังมีชนชั้น
When even in the prison, there are still classes of people?
ไม่มีหรอกความยุติธรรม
There is no justice, (and don’t think there is)
ใครกล้าทำลายความอยุติธรรม
Who is brave enough to tear down injustice?

ไหนใครบอกว่าคนเท่ากัน
How come they say people are equal?
แม้แต่ในคุกก็ยังมีชนชั้น
Even in the prisons there are still classes
ไม่มีหรอกความยุติธรรม
There is no justice, (and don’t think there is)
ใครกล้าทำลายระบบอยุติธรรม
Who is brave enough to tear down injustice?

มีเงิน ร่ำรวย ทำอะไรก็ย่อมได้
If you have money, are rich, whatever you want to do, “Sure! You can do it!”
มีแต่คนอยากรับใช้ สั่งอะไรได้ดั่งใจ
There are only people wanting to serve you. You can order anything your heart desires
มีเงิน ร่ำรวย ซื้ออะไรก็ย่อมได้
If you have money, are rich, whatever it is, you can likely buy it.
ไม่ว่าอะไรก็ซื้อได้ สั่งอะไรได้ดั่งใจ
No matter what it is, you can buy it; order anything your heart desires.
ไม่ต้องทนลำบากต่อสิ่งใด
No need to endure difficulties with regard to anything
คนแบบนี้ เขาเรียกว่า สมเด็จ
People like this, they call “His Majesty“*

*The term “สมเด็จ,” Pronounced (“Somdet”) which I have translated, “His Majesty” is used for the king but is not exclusively used for the king. It can apply to the King, Queen, or others in the highest ranks, so maybe “Your Highness” would be a better translation.

โซตัส S.O.T.U.S [Hazing]

By Rap Against Dictatorship (featuring EP$ON, RAFA & Hockhacker)

Note: You can see the English-language translation provided with the video by clicking on the closed-captions (“cc”) button and selecting English. S.O.T.U.S. is the system of hazing of younger university students by older students. The acronym stands for “Senority, Order, Tradition, Unity, and Spirit.” The Thai prodemocracy movement has long been against it, with Netiwit “Frank” Chotipahtpaisal of Chulanlongkorn University and Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak of Thammasat Univerity being prominent activists working to reform or do away with the system as it often involves violence, humiliation, and intimidation, and teaches authoritarian values. The note under the video says, “Sotus สร้างชาติ ใช้รุ่นมาถืออำนาจ หล่อหลอม สร้างภาพ ใช้อำนาจไม่รับผิดชอบ,” which translates roughly: “S.O.T.U.S. creates a country that uses age groups to show their power, which teaches the idea that one can use power without responsibility.”

คนที่คุณก็รู้ว่าใคร “You Know Who” in Singable English!

Lyrics and melody by Commoner สามัญชน; Singable English translation by Ann Norman

Note: This song is stunning. The original with direct translation is HERE. Keep in mind that Pai Dao Din (real name Jatupat Boonpattararaksa) featured in this video, rose to fame by spending 2.5 years in jail just for sharing a perfectly good BBC news article introducing then-new King Vajiralongkorn (that is, he pushed “share” on Facebook). He continued to be the whistleblower sounding the alarm that all is NOT WELL despite the happy propaganda. In the video, I sing in English on top of the Thai version, and also interpret the images at the end.

This is just the old excuse that uses one guy to block what’s real
And hide what others feel, no one gets a say
Using it to cover shit, though no one thinks it’s right today
They menace everyone, who won’t bow, obey.

Yeah again it’s You Know Who . . . And no one speaks his name.
Is it really only me, who’ll refuse to play this game?

For the laws that just oppress, let them die . . . remove distress
Expose the truths that no one wants to see
It may mean we’re cursed to die, but if it works . . . We need to try!
Release the chains that cause the misery.

When you look back over time, while we would cheer our love sublime
They drove many others out, who didn’t feel the same.
Disgusted now, realizing it. A person’s brain
is washed by shit. At school it’s slaves they train . . . isn’t this insane.

Yeah again it’s You Know Who . . . And no one speaks his name.
Is it really only me, who’ll refuse to play this game?

For the laws that just oppress, let them die . . . remove distress
Expose the truths that no one wants to see
It may mean we’re cursed to die, but if it works . . . We need to try!
Release the chains that hold us in misery.

For the laws that just oppress, let them die . . . remove distress
Expose the truths that no one wants to see
(Love is different than fear)
It may mean we’re cursed to die, but if it works . . . We need to try!
Release the chains that hold us in misery.
(You’ll rot in hell waiting on their promise)

บทอาศิรวาทถวายแด่ประชาชนผู้สร้างชาติ Verses of Blessings Offered to the Citizens, People who Create the Nation

ในโอกาสวันจักรี On the Occasion of Chakri Day วันที่ 6 เมษายน 2564 April 6, 2021

A poem by เพนกวิน Penguin written from jail. My commentary is below the poem.

กรุงเทพเทพเสกได้ เองฤา
Can Krungtep be created by the magic spell of an angel?
ล้วนแต่ตีนแต่มือ ไพร่สร้าง
All the feet, all the hands . . . commoners create and build
เวียงวังวัดสะพรั่งคือ ใครก่อ ขึ้นนา
The towns, royal palaces, and temples in blossom, who built them up?
ใยเทพฉวยชื่ออ้าง ว่าตั้ง กรุงเอง
Why does the angel snatch the name, claiming he built it himself?

ปราสาททองอร่ามเรื้อง เรืองสมัย
Golden palaces glitter and gleam for ages
ทองรีบเร้นจนใคร ขื่นกล้ำ
The gold was seized until someone is bitter
โอ้ว่าทิพยาลัย สรวงสถิตย์
The palaces where monarchs lived
งามวิสิทธิ์วิเศษล้ำ ก็น้ำตาใคร
Magnificently and splendidly built on whose tears?

เหงื่อไพร่พรูพรั่งพื้น พสุธา
The sweat of commoners pouring to the ground
ข้าวจึงเหลืองเต็มนา ทั่วด้าว
The rice therefore fully yellows the fields throughout the territory
ใช่โพสพเทวดา ใดเสก ประทานแฮ
Not the Goddess of Rice casting a spell, granting [it]
ผองไพร่ไป่ปลูกข้าว ฤาเจ้า มีเสวย
If the farmers don’t farm rice, will the monarchs have rice to eat?

เลือดใครไหลหลั่งป้อง ปฐพิน
Who shed blood to protect the motherland?
เลือดแน่เลือดไพร่ริน พิภพกว้าง
Certainly the blood of commoners flows [across] the wide world
เลือดดินย่อมย้อมดิน แดงเดือดค
The blood of the land is likely stain the ground red
ใช่เลือดบนหลังช้าง ที่ล้าง ธรณี
It’s not the blood [of the one] on the back of the elephant that washes the Earth

บุญแรงราษฎร์หล่อเลี้ยง โลกา
The virtue and power of the citizens nourishes the world
เป็นหลักค้ำผืนนภา แผ่นหล้า
It’s a principle that holds up the sky and the land [that is, the country]
เหลือยิ่งเอกบุญญา มหาราช ใดเลย
Even greater than the principle and merit of any great king
ขอนบคำนับอ้า ไพร่ฟ้า จงเจริญ
Now let me salute with the words, “Long live the people!”

Note: This poem was written on the occasion of “Chakri Day,” which is the day to celebrate the Charkri Dynasty, of which King Vajiralongkorn is the 10th king. Kruengtep is the actual (abbreviated) name of the city foreigners call “Bangkok.” Kruengtep means “Angel City.” The ones who went into battle on the backs of elephants (at least in the legends) are the kings and princes. Penguin’s last poem evoked two famous จิตร ภูมิศักดิ์ Jit Poomisak songs/poems: แสงดาวแห่งศรัทธา Starlight of Faith, and ฟ้าใหม่ New Sky (both translated at this site). This poem calls up images from a third famous Jit Poomisak song, กลิ่นรวงทอง The Scent of Golden Ears of Rice (translated at Carabao in English). Penguin may be claiming the legacy of this famous poet/revolutionary by writing poems from jail that are similar to his and perhaps as good as his (time will tell). The poem is in โคลงสี่สุภาพ format. The picture of Penguin I used is a screenshot from the music video for the song กล้ามาก เก่งมาก ขอบใจ So Daring! So Talented! Thank You by Paeng Surachet

ALERT: Artists at this Site Awaiting Trial

This was originally a post to alert you that many artists at this site were in jail, charged with lese majesty and denied bail. Pai Daodin, Rung, Ammy, Penguin, Port Faiyen, and Anon Nampa have all now been freed. This is partly due to Penguin and then Rung’s hunger strikes to get bail for all the most recent lese majesty victims. It may also be partially due to the fact that covid-19 is spreading through the prison. Port, who was already in fragile health, got covid-19 and was sent to the hospital. Anon Nampa also got covid-19.

So the concern now is that, 1) many have lost weight and are in more fragile health due to poor conditions at the prison, especially the covid-19 outbreak that affected about half of all the prisoners, 2) frivolous charges still hang over their heads and if convicted (the trials will be held in secret), they may still spend decades in prison, and 3) many have been forced to wear large electronic monitoring ankle bracelets and conditions of their release include that they not disparage the monarchy (they are pointing out huge crimes, not insulting people for the fun of it) and that they not cause any “ความวุ่นวาย” which is hard to translate but means something like “chaos” (the recent protests have been remarkably peaceful relative to protests in other countries or in Thai history.) So people just laugh at these requirements.

Below is my original post, written while the artists mentioned were still in prison:

ALERT: Artists at this Site in Jail

As of March, 2021, 5 musicians featured at this site are currently in jail for lese majesty (and if we count activists who guest star in the music videos, we have 6 artists in total recently arrested for lese majesty).

We have:

1) Poor sick Port Faiyen, of Faiyen band, under the names Port Faiyen and Rishadan Port, authored or coauthored at least 18 songs at this site. He is also a personal friend and advised on many of the translations at this site. Most people thought he had received asylum in France, arriving with the rest of Faiyen band in August 2019, but he never got to France. Right after the assassination of Surachai’s team in Laos, Port had to secretly return to Thailand to get treatment for a life-threatening illness. We covered for him, pretending he was in Laos and then in France. A few months later the regime would assassinate his onetime housemate and informal Faiyen band member Siam Teerawut (as mentioned above). Altogether the regime assassinated 8 people he knew well. He must be released for medical reasons as it clear the regime has been trying to kill him. He is a clever and prolific songwriter, with an accessible style. If you are unfamiliar with his songs, start with พ่อ “Paw” and ทวงคืน “Demand it Back.”

2) Pai Daodin (real name Jatupat Boonpatararaksa) stars in two of the best recent music videos posted at the site: คนที่คุณก็รู้ว่าใคร “You Know Who” by Commoner, and กล้ามาก เก่งมาก ขอบใจ “So Daring! So Talented! Thank You” by Paeng Surachet.

3) Ammy The Bottom Blues (the name of his band is “The Bottom Blue,” first name “Ammy”), was arrested for lese majesty for setting fire to a giant picture of King Vajiralonkorn hanging in front of the jail where they are holding the lese majesty prisoners! He also boldly wears a t-shirt that says, “No God, No King, Only Humans.” Check out two songs he performed at MobFest: “1 2 3 4 5 I LOVE YOU” and a cover of Carabao’s “Made in Thailand.”

4) There is a Suphan Rap by leader of the student movement Penguin, (real name Parit Chiwarak) that is MUST SEE. (This is a prexisting Thai-style of rap, similar to, but not derived from, Western rap). Penquin has been arrested for lese majesty and, is in jail on a hunger strike..

5) While going through the Port Faiyen songs yesterday, I was surprised to discover one that Anon Nampa had contributed to! Anon Nampa is the famous human rights lawyer who gave the Harry Potter speech saying we have to finally discuss the monarchy if Thailand is to solve it’s problems. The song both Port and Attorney Anon contributed to is a love song to a comrade in the struggle titled, “แด่เธอผู้เป็นดวงใจและไฟฝัน To You, the One Who is My Heart and My Dreams.”

5.5) In addition we have student leader Rung (her real name Panasaya Sithijirawattanakul), Pai, and Penguin, starring in a new music video for Paeng Surachet’s hit song กล้ามาก เก่งมาก ขอบใจ “So Daring! So Talented! Thank You.” But they are not in jail for this particular video because it was released AFTER they were arrested for lese majesty. Pai and Penguin were already musicians with songs at Music of Thai Freedom prior to performing in the new video. But with the new release, Rung is added to the sad list of performers contributing to music videos at this site.

That the people on this list are on the right side of history is obvious, and internationally recognized. For instance:

A) ALL of Faiyen band other than Port have received asylum in France (Port would have been admitted too but was too sick to go) in recognition that they were being hunted for assassination for their free speech. The band members now make regular media appearances in France telling their horrific story to all who will listen.

B) Pai Daodin (Jatupat Boonpatararaksa) accepted a prize from Thailand’s National Human Right Commission on behalf of his Dao Din group ( in relation to their environmental activism), and won the 2017 Gwanju Prize for Human Rights from the South Korean  May 18 Memorial Foundation.

C) Anon Nampa is on the Time 100 Next 2021 list of emerging leaders shaping the future.

D) Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul (aka Rung), was named one of world’s most inspirational and influential women of 2020 by BBC.

As the situation in Thailand deteriorates, in what is hopefully the last death throes of Thailand’s evil and unsustainable lese majesty law, you may continue to see Thailands best and brightest thrown in jail. Please watch and protest.