The movie “ทองปาน” (“Tong Bpan”) (1977) may provide some context for the Carabao songs about poverty in Thailand

This very old Thai movie from 1977 has English subtitles, and happens to be set in the small town I lived in, not many years later, in 1984 and 1985. It was in these years that Carabao albums Made in Thailand and Amerigoy came out, and the band suddenly shot to superstardom. Many of the early Carabao songs, for instance ถึกควายทุย Tuk Kwai Tuey (Tuk, The Buffalo with Unusual Horns), บวชหน้าไฟ Buat Na Fai (Ordainment Before the Pyre), วณิพก Wanipok (The Beggar), จับกัง Jap-gang (The Coolie), ตุ๊กตา ‎Dtuk Dtaa (Doll), นางงามตู้กระจก ‎Naang Ngaam Dtôo Grajok (Glass Cabinet Beauty Queen), มาลัย Malai, and ซาอุดร Sa-Udon describe the lives of people trapped in poverty and barely getting by. Carabao’s first album came out in 1981 and this movie was made in 1977 and is set in 1976. It is worth watching if you want to understand the context that the early Carabao songs have in mind when they talk about poverty and people’s struggle to survive. For example, in one scene, a naked toddler catches a frog and runs to his mother so she can cook it and they will have something to eat. The job of the main character in this movie is guarding a chicken coop at night. I remember back then, the poorest people really did get hired to guard richer people’s houses for about 50 cents a day. Nga Caravan makes a cameo appearance in this movie. Nga Caravan was Add Carabao’s idol. (I should add that the situation I saw in Chaing Khan in 1984 and 1985, had much improved from what you see in this movie. For instance, health care was available and there was no feeling that one was living on the fringes of civilization, like is represented in this movie.)