หรอย (Roi) Tasty

by ยืนยง โอภากุล Yuenyong Opakul, aka แอ๊ด คาราบาว Add Carabao
Album: วณิพก Wanipok (The Beggar) (1983)
The album Wanipok, appearing two years before the band became hugely famous, is a classic and pretty much perfect. You should BUY IT HERE from the friendly people at eThaiCD, where you can shop in English.

Note: When Add Carbao writes a song involving someone from a particular region of Thailand, he often uses words from that region’s dialect. And so, in this song about someone from the South of Thailand who has to migrate to the Middle East (perhaps Saudia Arabia) to find work, there are words from the southern dialect, including the title “หรอย” (roi), which is a shortened form of “อร่อย” (aroi” meaning “tasty’). The key line in this song is “เป็นมันเป็นเม็ดมันเผ็ดดังโดนดีปลี” “Whether it’s the shiny kind or a small grain, it’s [only] as spicy as black pepper” – which is to say, the peppers there aren’t spicy at all. Black pepper doesn’t begin to compare with the Thai chili pepper. I have heard this complaint from other Thais living abroad – that the all the various peppers of the foreign country are totally inadequate. This person, from the South of Thailand, is stuck working in the boring desert and is lamenting PLEASE JUST GIVE ME SOME FLAVOR!

มาฟังกันฮิต เพื่อนนิสิตนักศึกษา
Come listen to a hit [song], student friends
I have a degree from graduating university
I complete my study from Southeast Asia
Just to serve the people in the Middle East
Although I have knowledge making me competitive
หางานทําทั้งวัน มาเป็นเวลาหลายปี
I look for work every day, for, what’s been, many years now
Humans in this world are given to energetic struggle
Humans in this world are given to struggle, want to be in the stream of things; without money, they starve to death
Without connections they miss out on work

They collect a tax and teach language
จากเมืองใต้ขึ้นมา จากเมืองเหนือลงมา
Coming up from the South, coming down from the North,
Come and construct big huge tall buildings
There is water, electricity, air conditioning so one can study
They come buy a printed paper that is the degree
Distributed to students at all the universities
who study until they graduate, and only have one piece of paper
They study until they graduate, and only have one piece of paper
There isn’t work in Thailand, [they] are forced to depart and wander

ไม่ยักกะหรอย ยักกะหรอย เอย…
It’s not tasty [the food here and everything else] . . . oh! . . .
Have a degree to do whatever.
[But] when I graduate, I fly s [swiftly?] to a faraway country?
I think of fish curry,
นํ้าซุบแมงดาผักสะตอ หนังลุงหนังจอ
Horseshoe crab soup, pak-sada [sato, a lima bean-looking vegetable], shadow puppet plays
The Norah [dance], of Southern [Thailand].
ทั้งเพื่อนฝูงมากมาย อยู่หาดใหญ่ ปัตตานี
All of my large group of friends live in Hat Yai and Pattani
Songkhla, Nakorn Si [Thammarat] all throughout the South
All around me here, there are only golden deserts
All around me here, there only golden deserts
มองไปทิศทางใด มีแต่ทราย
I look in any direction, there is only sand!
มีแต่ทราย ไม่ยักกะหรอย จังฮู้
There is only sand. It’s so not delicious! *sigh*

แดดร้อนๆ นอนใต้ต้นตะบองเพชรตัว
The sun is so hot sleeping under a cactus
Whether it’s the shiny kind or a small grain, it’s [only] as spicy as black pepper*
I search for earth but there is only rocks and sand
There are only camels and buffalo. It’s that Thai people have been deceived
People have degrees and still don’t know what they will do
People who are going hungry, what hope do they have?
I miss home. If I just cut rubber [work on a rubber plantation in the South of Thailand], I’ll have enough to eat
I miss home. If I just cut rubber, I’ll have enough to eat
I want to fly a plane back every two weeks to my southern home.

ให้มันหรอย ให้มันหรอย
I want it to taste good! I want it to taste good!
ให้มันหรอย ให้มันหรอย เอ้ย…
I want it to be tasty! I [just] want it to be tasty, oh . . .
ให้มันหรอย ให้มันหรอย หรอยจังฮู้
I want it to be tasty! I [just] want it to be tasty. Oh . . . so delicious!
ให้มันหรอย ให้มันหรอย เอ้ย….หรอยจังฮู้
I want it to be tasty! I want it to be tasty! Oh . . . so delicious!

*Actually, as spicy as “long pepper” which is like black pepper. That is, it’s not spicy.

Also check out มหาลัย [มหาหลอก] Mahalai [Maha Lok] University [Great Big Rip-off], the hit song from Made in Thailand about someone who graduates and can’t find work, and the hit song ซาอุดร Sa-Udon from the album Amerigoy about someone who as to migrate for work, songs which came out one and two years after this song, “Roi” (Tasty).