Kon Gap Kwai / Man and Buffalo
Lyric: Somkit Singson & Visa Kantap 

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       คนกับควาย
       คนกับคนทำนา ประสาคน
       คนกับควายทำนา ประสาควาย
       คนกับควาย ความหมายมันลึกลำ้
       ลึกลำ้ทำนา มาเนิ่นนาน
       แข็งขันการงาน มาเนิ่นนาน
       สำราญเรื่อยมา พอสุขใจ

      ไปเถิดไปพวกเรา ไปเถิดไป
       เราแบกปืนแบกไถ ไปทำนา
       ทนยากจนหม่นหมองมานานนัก
       นานนักนำ้ตา มันตกใน
       ยากแค้นลำเค็ญ ในหัวใจ
       ร้อนรุ่มเพียงใด ไม่หวั่นเกรง

       เป็นบทเพลงเสียงเพลง แห่งความตาย
       ความเป็นคนสลาย ลงไปพลัน
       กฎุมพีกินแรง แบ่งชนชั้น
       ชนชั้นชาวนา จึงตำ่ลง
       เหยียดหยามชาวนา ว่าป่าดง
       สำคัญมั่นคง คือความตาย
Man with man work the fields
In the way of man.
Man with buffalo work the fields
In the way of the buffalo.
Man working with buffalo
Is rooted deep in our history.
They've worked together for ages.
But it works out alright.
(repeat)

Come, let's go now! Come, let's go!
Carry our plows and guns to the fields!
Poverty and weariness endured too long!
Bitter tears held back too long!
Hardships and troubles so heavy,
But whatever the burden, we will not fear!

Here is the song of death,
The death of our humanity.
The rich eat our labor,
Set one against the other,
As we peasants sink deeper in debt.
And they call us savages!
We must destroy this system!
(repeat first four lines of song simultaneously with last four lines)

Come, let's go now! 

 

    "Man and Buffalo" is the most famous and popular of the Songs for Life because it was the first expression of the politicized students' new perception of the farmers' life. The song was written in late 1973 during the first protest rally of the farmers under the caretaker Sanya government. When leaders of the military Farmers Federation of Thailand began to be systematically assassinated a year later, the word "guns" was added to the eighth line of the song. In a still later version, the last line has been changed to read, "Cut down the bourgeoisie!"
    Somkit Singson wrote from his own experience. After the anti-dictatorial uprising of October 14, 1973, he left Thammasat University to work as a farmer in his home village of Sapdaeng in the Northern province of Khon Kaen. With the help of friends from Bangkok, he gradually developed his home village, establishing a series of cooperatives. He started a "university without walls" for the village, and incurred the wrath of the central government by refusing a $5,000 government grant. During the Sanya government, he was accused of being a communist by the district military authorities, and a number of prominent Bangkok progressives came to his defense. Later on, as the repressive tactics of the right became more violent, a bulletproof vest saved his life from a shotgun blast.
    Visa Kantap was one of the thirteen activist students arrested in Bangkok on October 8, 1973 for demanding a new national constitution in defiance of the dictatorial regime. It was these arrests that sparked the uprising which overthrew the Thanom-Prapas dictatorship a week later. After this, collections of his poems were printed and widely circulated.

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