รอยไถแปร Roi Tai Bprae “Plowing over Old Furrows”

Background of this song as a Carabao song: This song is an older song, not original to Carabao. It became an important “Carabao song” after a famous incident in 1985. At one of the very earliest concerts, right after their song “Made in Thailand” turned the young band into superstars, the crowd was huge and arrived hours early. The crowd was out of control all through the concert, pushing each other, pushing against the stage, and throwing things at each other. More seriously, many people had climbed up on some tall, old bleachers that were supposed to be no longer in use. The crowd was warned multiple time to get off the bleachers because they the bleachers might collapse, but they weren’t responding to these warnings. So three songs early, the police ended the concert, shouting at the crowd to leave slowly so no one would get hurt. The crowd would miss the biggest songs they came to hear. The band obediently started packing up and Khun Aed spontaneously grabbed a mic and told the crowd that if they would start walking away slowly, he would sing them a song as they left. And he sang this song with no instruments, just a lullaby to the crowd, interrupting himself to urge the crowd to keep on walking.  And it worked. The crowd calmed and no one was killed or seriously hurt that night in a very dangerous situation. This incident struck many, including myself when I discovered it at the end of the concert CD, as a complelely magical moment.

Translation note: รอยไถ (roy tai) = furrows on the ground from ploughing; แปร (bprae) = change, alter. So the exact title would be “Altered Furrows from Ploughing,” which is just confusing in English, so I use something more understandable: “Ploughing over the Old Furrows.” The song is about a male farmer abandoned by his girl friend or wife. He still misses the woman as he sees the farming tools he used last year and the last year’s furrows he carved. The name รอยไถแปร metaphorically refers to the woman’s love has changed. In other words, the woman left him. รอยไถเก่า (old furrows) refers to the man. รอยไถใหม่ (new furrows) refers to the woman’s new lover.

tûng naa daen née mâi mee kwaam măai
It’s come to where this land has no significance
เหลือเพียงกลิ่นโคลนสาบควาย
lĕua piang glìn koh lon sàap kwaai
All that’s left is the smell of musty mud and buffalo
เห็นซาก คันไถแล้วเศร้า
hĕn sâak kan tăi láew sâo
I see the remains of the plow and feel sad
เห็นนาที่ร้าง นั้นมีแต่ฟาง แทนรวงข้าว
hĕn naa têe ráang nán mee dtàe faang taen ruang kâao
[I] see this deserted field, which has only straw instead of ears of rice
เห็นเคียวที่เกี่ยว เหน็บติดเสา
hĕn kieow têe gìeow nèp dtìt săo
I see the scythe that harvested, hanging from a post
เล่นเอาใจเรา สะท้อน
lên ao jai rao sà-tón
Which makes me feel sad.*

…ทุ่งนาแดนนี้ ข้าเคยไถทำ
… tûng naa daen née kâa koie tăi tam
This field, this land that I once worked
สองมือ ข้าเคย หว่านดำ
sŏng meu kâa koie wàan dam
[My] two hands used to sow and transplant rice seedlings**
ฤดู ฝนพร่ำ หน้าก่อน
réu-doo fŏn prâm nâa gòn
in the previous rainy season
แต่มาปีนี้ ฤดี ข้าแสนจะสะท้อน
dtàe maa bpee née réu-dee kâa săen jà sà-tón
But this season, I feel so sorry [for myself]
เพราะมา ไร้คู่ กอดเคียงหมอน
prór maa rái kôo gòt kiang mŏn
Because I’m without my partner. I hug my pillow beside me.
ทิ้งให้เรานอน ระกำ
tíng hâi rao non rá-gam
[If I] toss it, I have broken sleep.

รอย ไถเอย ข้าเคยไถถาก
roi tăi oie kâa koie tăi tàak
Oh the furrows that I once carved [metaphorically their love]
เดี๋ยวนี้ เจ้ามา คิดจาก
dĭeow née jâo maa kít jàak
Now you have thought to leave
ฝากให้ เป็นรอย ไถช้ำ
fàak hâi bpen roi tăi chám
leaving [me] with old furrows bruised and broken
เปลี่ยนรอย ไถใหม่
bplìan roi tăi mài
changing to new furrows [the woman’s new lover]
ทิ้งรอย ไถเก่า ระกำ
tíng roi tăi gào rá-gam
The old marks left to a sorry state
อกใคร ใครบ้าง ไม่ช้ำ
òk krai krai bâang mâi chám
Whose heart wouldn’t hurt
เมื่อยาม เห็นรอย ไถแปร
mêua yaam hĕn roi tăi bprae
when seeing the furrows change?

ทุ่งนาแดนนี้ คงร้างไปอีกนาน
tûng naa daen née kong ráang bpai èek naan
So it seems this land will probably be left deserted for a long time
ข้าเอง ก็เหลือ จะทาน
kâa ayng gôr lĕua jà taan
I myself can’t endure it***

เพราะมัน แสนสุด จะแก้
prór man săen sùt jà gâe
because it is very difficult to mend.
หมดกำลังใจ แล้วเรียมเอ๋ยข้า คงตายแน่
mòt gam-lang jai láew riam ŏie kâa kong dtaai nâe
I’m worn out now, my love; I will surely die.****
จะไถไปอีก ก็กลัวแพ้
jà tăi bpai èek gôr glua páe
[If] I keep plowing, I’m afraid of failing [being abandoned again]
เพราะรอยมันแปร เสียแล้ว เรียมเอย
prór roi man bprae sĭa láew riam oie
Because the furrows are all run down now. Oh me!

Last verse 2X

*สะท้อนใจ = สะเทือนใจ, which is feeling sad, and more specifically a sad, touching feeling
**ดำ is short for ดำนา which is to transplant rice seedlings.
***ทาน = ต้านทาน (resist, stand,bear) or ทนทาน (endure)
****เรียม = the woman he loves