Additional Singable English Translations of Carabao Songs, by Nigel Hawkins

In February of 2018, Nigel Hawkins wrote to me to let me know that long ago, he had also translated many of the Carabao songs into rhyming singable English. (My singable English translations are HERE.) His translations are remarkable and have the same feel as the original, though not always the exact line-for-line meaning. He even changed the title of some of the songs. He explained:

“My main consideration was that the English lyrics should work well as good songs, even if this led me away sometimes from an exact translation. I tried to highlight the poetic quality of the lyrics and maintain the original rhyming structure where possible. The recordings are homemade and I’m not a good singer but it’s all about the lyrics really. I have included the texts on each page [under the YouTube].”

Here are the two translations that I like the most. They are translations of เดือนเพ็ญ (Duan Pen) and รักคุณเท่าฟ้า (Rak Kun Tao Fah) (and if you want to compare to the originals, type these titles into the search box on this site):

Full moon, consume this despair.
Let the beauty of your stare
(and) the gentle air
soothe my mind from longing for my home, my buffalo
the rice-fields and the lanes
from where I came
so long ago.

O wind, now filled with the insects’ song
that plays among the trees
help me please to send a call.
Convey to them the voice within my soul
that our relatedness
has not grown less
for me at all.

Full moon, may you and the wind conspire
to sustain the homestead fire where my kinfolk lie ‘n
sleep warm and brave.
Let the trust of those who wait be confirmed.
This absent son who strayed
to work and save
will soon return.

If I could fly, fly like a bird
How far away I would fly!
If I could float to the shores of the sky
Look down, down on the world.
Our Earth, this vast and shining ball
and we’re so small
it keeps us all.

The land, from above, is so green
The sea, from above, is so blue.
Would their glory be more if we knew
Why these are the colours seen?
Our Earth, this vast and shining ball
and we’re so small
it feeds us all.

Could all this beauty be but Nature’s ploy
to keep her guardians’ hearts sustained with joy?
Life in the water, on the land, in the air;
All entrusted to our care.

If you could fly, fly like a bird
as far as you wanted to go.
If you could float to the shores of the sky
would you tire of the planet below?
Our Earth, this vast and shining ball
and we’re so small
it supports us all.

Very few people have seen these translations!