กัญชา Ganja (Marijuana)

By คาราบาว Carabao
Album: แป๊ะขายขวด Bpae Kaai Kuat (1982)

“Ganja” is a Top 100 Carabao song for its cool atmospherics and stunning vocals (especially in one live version). There is both a Thai and an English version, and they are not the same. In Thai, this song is billed as an anti-drug song. Similar to the Drunken Uncle of the first album, the addict on this second album becomes more and more listless and disconnected until at “the end of the road, . . . he dies of ganja.” The band’s English-language version is not quite as compelling  as the Thai version because of distracting language problems, but interestingly, their foreign-language version isn’t quite so negative, and at the end of the song, the protagonist merely “pass[es] out from sweet ganja.” Recall that easily 10 percent of the early Carabao songs were banned. I suspect this is Carabao’s “Strawberry Fields Forever”: Musically, it sure sounds like a drug song, but there is plausible deniability. What do you make of it?

Here are the two versions: Thai:

ค่ำคืนนี้ยังมีดวงดาวเจิดจ้า
kâm keun née yang mee duang dao jèrt jâa
This night there are still stars shining brightly
คราบท้องฟ้ายังดูสดใส
krâap tóng fáa yang doo sòt săi
The sky looks so clear
สุดส่วนของขอบฟ้ากว้างไกล
sùt sùan kŏng kòp fáa gwâang glai
to the end of the wide horizon
ไม่มีวันใดมืดมิดสนิทนาน………………………
mâi mee wan dai mêut mít sà-nìt naan ………………………
There was never a time of close darkness for so long [?][English version here says, “Never before so stoned for so long”]
ฮูว์……..
hoo. . .
Hoooo

คราบรอยยิ้มยังแต้มเติมตามใบหน้า
krâap roi yím yang dtâem dterm dtaam bai nâa
Smiles still spread across each face
กลิ่นกัญชาโชยมาแต่ไกล
glìn gan-chaa choi maa dtàe glai
The scent of ganja drifts from afar
ชั่วชีวิตคิดสั้นทำไม
chûa chee-wít kít sân tam-mai
Why are lifetimes so short?
เสพสิ่งจูงใจ ให้ร้ายแก่ตัวเราเอง
sàyp sìng joong jai hâi ráai gàe dtua rao ayng
Partaking in temptations just makes one age quickly
ฮะ……………..
Ha . . . .

* จดจำไว้ในความทรงจำ
jòt jam wái nai kwaam song jam
Bear in mind
ความบอบช้ำของตัวเราเอง
kwaam bòp chám kŏng dtua rao ayng
the injury is to ourselves,
ล่วงถลำกล้ำกลืนฤทธิ์ยา
lûang tà-lăm glâm gleun rít yaa
[when] tipping the balance of what we can tolerate of the drug’s power
ปรารถนา……สรรค์สร้างสิ่งใด
bpràat-tà-năa …… săn sâang sìng dai
[Your] desire . . . . [you can] create anything! [Here, the English version says “Yes, indeed . . . Anything you want”]

** เจ็บจำไหมในความเลื่อนลอย
jèp jam măi nai kwaam lêuan loi
[Your] pain, can you remember it in the vagueness?
จิตเสื่อมถอยน้อยคนเห็นใจ
jìt sèuam tŏi nói kon hĕn jai
There is little sympathy for your sinking thoughts [?] [English version says “Thoughts that fade feel sympathize.”]
หมดเรี่ยวแรงท้อใจท้อกาย
mòt rîeow raeng tór jai tór gaai
Your energy is used up, dispirited, tired
ท้อถอยไป…..ถอยหลังเข้าคลอง
tór tŏi bpai ….. tŏi lăng kâo klong
discouraged . . . you’re moving backwards.

[Whole thing 2X]

คราบรอยยิ้มยังแต้มเติมตามใบหน้า
krâap roi yím yang dtâem dterm dtaam bai nâa
The smiles are still spread across each face
สูบกัญชาหลอกหลอนจิตใจ
sòop gan-chaa lòk lŏn jìt jai
Smoking ganja [leads to a] haunted mind
ชั่วชีวิตคิดสั้นทำไม
chûa chee-wít kít sân tam-mai
Why are lifetimes so short?
เส้นทางสุดท้าย นอนตายใต้ต้นกัญชา
sên taang sùt táai non dtaai dtâi dtôn gan-chaa
The end of the road: lie down and die. Die from ganja

 

(To find the English version, google “Carabao Ganja”)

English version by Carabao (their translation; not mine):

As tonight the stars they shine so bright
Golden flame lights up the sky
In the edge of the distant night
Never before so stoned for so long . . . .

Hundred smiles are on your face tonight
Smell of ganja blows from far
Tell me why life is so short?
It is so bad, yet makes you feel so good

Deep inside your memory
Feeling tired and so weak
And it serves your need so well
Yes indeed . . . whatever you want

Is this feeling really nice
Thoughts that fade, feel sympathize
And your power gone away
And left alone . . . Retreat go home!

Deep inside your memory
Feeling tired and so weak
And it serves your need so well
Yes indeed . . . whatever you want

Is this feeling really nice
Thoughts that fade, feel sympathize
And your power gone away
And left alone . . . Retreat go home!

Hundred smiles still mark your face tonight
Smoke ganja your crazy mind
Tell me why life is so short
And in the end, pass out with sweet ganja