Khmer Songs Beyond Lyrics

Discussions / Q&A on all areas of the Khmer language.

Khmer Songs Beyond Lyrics

Postby Joon » Sun May 17, 2015 6:35 pm

I'm starting this thread for those of you who love and want to understand the Khmer language, Khmer songs and Khmer stories and mores!

I love Khmer oldies not only for their tunes and the timeless voices of Khmer singers, but also because they are a reflection of their times. The culture, the mores, the society.

So I thought it might interest a few to not only listen and read the lyrics of those songs, but to translate and interpret their meanings.

You're free to make your own contributions and/or to make requests!

And you're also free to discuss the translations proposed, as they most likely won't be perfect.
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Re: Khmer Songs Beyond Lyrics

Postby Joon » Sun May 17, 2015 6:40 pm

ស្រាមួយកែវ
A glass of wine

ច្រៀង​ដោយ រស់ សេរីសុធ្ធា
Sung by Ros Sereysothea




ស្រាមួយកែវ លើកជូនសង្សារ
Here’s a glass of wine I’m offering you

សូមបងពិសា ភ្លក្សមើលទៅ (ភ្លក្សមើលទៅ)
Please have a taste, my dear

ស្រាក៏ឆ្ងាញ់ រូបអូនក៏ស្រស់ (x2)
The wine is sweet, my face is pretty

ទីនេះហើយគឺ ភូមិឋានស្រណុក
Here is the place of your comfort

សុខសាន្ដរបស់បង របស់បង
Peace and tranquility

អ្នកផឹកមិនស្រវឹងនឹងស្រាទេ
Those who drink (here) don’t get drunk from the wine

ស្រាឆ្ងាញ់មិនឆ្ងាញ់ ដូចអូនដែរ (ដូចអូនដែរ)
The wine is sweet but not as sweet as me

បីកែវចូលពោះ ដំណើរទៅរ (x2)
Three glasses in their belly and they are staggering

ទីនេះហើយគឺ ភូមិឋានស្រណុក
Here is the place of your comfort

សុខសាន្ដរបស់បង របស់បង
Peace and tranquility

សង្សារស្នេហ៍តែ ផ្កាក្រៅរបង
You only love flowers that grow in the wild

ផ្កាក្រៅរបង ក្រអូបមានស្នេហ៍ស្មោះ (មានស្នេហ៍ស្មោះ)
Wild flowers smell nice and their love is truthful

បើមិនជឿ សូមស្នេហ៍មើលចុះ (x2)
If you don’t believe me, try and love me

ទីនេះហើយគឺ ភូមិឋានស្រណុក
Here is the place of your comfort

សុខសាន្ដរបស់បង របស់បង
Peace and tranquility

អូនមានចិត្ត ស្មោះចំពោះបង
My feelings for you are real

សូមកុំធ្វើ ឳ្យអូនខកចិត្ត (អូនខកចិត្ត)
Please don’t disappoint me

បើស្ម័គ្រពិត ផឹកមួយកែវនេះទៅ (x2)
If you are truly willing, drink this glass

ទីនេះហើយគឺ ភូមិឋានស្រណុក
Here is the place of your comfort

សុខសាន្ដរបស់បង របស់បង
Peace and tranquility

បើស្ម័គ្រស្មោះ ទើបបានជាគូ
If you are truthful, let’s be together

បើមិនគូកុំធ្វើជាស្នេហ៍ (ធ្វើជាស្នេហ៍)
If we are not together, don’t pretend to love

ឳ្យតែព្រម ធ្វើទៅសមហើយ (x2)
If you agree, do it properly

ទីនេះហើយគឺ ភូមិឋានស្រណុក
Here is the place of your comfort

សុខសាន្ដរបស់បង របស់បង
Peace and tranquility

ហ្វូងផ្កាយកំដរដួងព្រះចន្ន
Like the flock of stars keep company to the moon

អូនសូមកំដរ ប្រុសមាសស្នេហ៍ (ប្រុសមាសស្នេហ៍)
I ask to keep you company, my beloved

ស្នេហ៍ពិតគឺ លលកញីឈ្មោល (x2)
True love is a dove couple

ទីនេះហើយគឺ ភូមិឋានស្រណុក
Here is the place of your comfort

សុខសាន្ដរបស់បង របស់បង
Peace and tranquility
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Re: Khmer Songs Beyond Lyrics

Postby Joon » Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:59 pm

ជួបស្នេហ៏អភ័ព្វ *1*
Unfortunate Love
Choup sneh aphorp

ច្រៀង​ដោយ ស៊ិន ស៊ិសាមុត
Sung by Sin Sisamouth




ទោះជា បងដឹង ថាអូនស្អប់បងយ៉ាង ណាក៏ដោយ
Even though I know you hate me
Tooh chea bong doeung tha oun s'orp bong yang na ko daoy

បងនៅតែកើតទុក្ខព្រួយ ខ្លាចស្រីបានគេ
I still feel sorrow, I'm afraid you meet someone *2*
Bong nov tae kae't tawk prooy khlach srey ban ke

ជាតិនេះ (*3*) អភ័ព្វ កើតមកស្គាល់តែទុក្ខ សោកឥតល្ហែរ
This life is unfortunate. I've only known misery and sadness without respite since I was born
Cheat nis aphorp kae't mok skoal tae tawk saok ot lo'haer

ព្រោះខ្វះក្តីស្មោះត្រង់ ស្នេហ៍មិនបរិសុទ្ឋ
Because faithfulness is missing and love isn't pure
Prooh kvas kdey smos trang sneh min borisoth

កម្ម (*4*) អ៊ើយ ក៏ធ្ងន់អ្វីម្លេះ? ស្ទើរប្រេះសង្ខាររលត់
Why is fate so grim? My existence is cracking and close to an end *5*
Kam euy ko thngoun avey mless? steur pre's sangkar rolot

ជួបស្នេហ៍ ៗមិនបរិសុទ្ឋ ក្តៅដូចគេដុត រន្ឋត់ក្នុងប្រាណ
I encounter love, love that isn't pure, I'm getting heated as if lit on fire, trembling inside *6*
Choup sneh sneh min borisoth kdav doch ke dot ronthot knong prann

មើលទៅ គូរគេ ស្នេហ៍គេសុទ្ឋតែស្នេហ៍ ស្នេហ៍សុខសាន្ត
Others' companions love them of a love that is pure and peaceful
Meul tov koo ke sneh ke sot tae sneh sneh soksan

អូនអើយបងសែនស្តាយ ៗព្រោះស្នេហ៍អភ័ព្វ
O beloved, I immensely regret, regret unfortunate love *7*
Oun euy bong saen sday sday prooh sneh aphorp

Translation notes:
*1* The song is commonly titled "Sday sneh aphorp" (Regret unfortunate love) but in the Youtube video I linked to, it gives the title "Choup sneh aphorp" (Meet/Encounter unfortunate love)

*2* I am not sure what does "srey ban ke" translate to. I understand it as "you will meet someone" or maybe "you will have an affair." Whether it is interpreted as the former or the latter, it would change the meaning of the song! In the first sense, the suitor is actually pursuing the girl who dislikes him, and he complains about how he only encountered unfaithful love. If it's the second sense, they could be a couple who argues (hence why she hates him) and he fears that she's having an affair, hence complaining again about how he meet only love that isn't genuine.

*3* "Cheat nis" (this present life) reflects how the Buddhist belief in karma and reincarnation is embedded in Cambodians.

*4* "Kam" (karma, bad deed) is another reference to Buddhism.

*5* This phrase was difficult to translate! I'm not sure I got it right. But in essence, he's lamenting how fate is so hard on him.

*6* Another one that was difficult. In the latter part, he says he gets "hot as if someone is 'grilling' him," which I interpret as him getting upset. And I'm not sure with the very last part as the Lemon Dictionary entry for "ronthot" is "frightened, terrified, stunned by fear" which doesn't seem to fit with the anger or frustration he's feeling.

*7* And the song ends on the title "sneh aphorp" which can be interpreted as "unlucky love, unfortunate love, sad love or miserable love."

I'm quite often being driven mad by the multiple and often contradictory interpretations of Khmer phrases and songs! Would greatly appreciate someone to help shed light on this!
Last edited by Joon on Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added transliteration
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Re: Khmer Songs Beyond Lyrics

Postby Lucky Lucan » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:31 am

Excellent, very poignant stuff. I was wondering especially what "cheat nih" meant.
Any chance of some sort of transliteration for those of us who need to brush up on our reading skills?
We all gotta duck..............when the shit hits the fan.
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Re: Khmer Songs Beyond Lyrics

Postby Joon » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:35 pm

I added transliteration, but please note that it's somewhat influenced by French, so the transliteration looks kinda all over the place!
I hope you can still match them with the sung lyrics and figure out the pronunciation :thumbsup:
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Re: Khmer Songs Beyond Lyrics

Postby Lucky Lucan » Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:23 pm

Excellent! You're a star!
We all gotta duck..............when the shit hits the fan.
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Re: Khmer Songs Beyond Lyrics

Postby Florida » Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:32 pm

Can you give me the name of a song.
I miss it much.

I have more details obviously, but maybe you
are just into the stuff you think is cool and don't
want to talk about anything else.
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Re: Khmer Songs Beyond Lyrics

Postby Angelino » Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:59 pm

Thank you so much for providing the translations of these songs. Although my Khmer is only rudimentary I'm a big fan of Ros Sereysothea and Sinn Sisamuth. Their songs are timeless and their life so tragic. It's great to hear them and know the meanings behind the words.
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Re: Khmer Songs Beyond Lyrics

Postby Joon » Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:54 pm

Florida wrote:Can you give me the name of a song.
I miss it much.

I have more details obviously, but maybe you
are just into the stuff you think is cool and don't
want to talk about anything else.

Not sure who you're addressing, but this thread is open to requests. If you have more details, feel free to share and just see if anyone can help.
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Re: Khmer Songs Beyond Lyrics

Postby Kpal » Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:21 am

This was a great idea Joon, and thanks for the translations.
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Khmer Songs Beyond Lyrics

Postby Playboy » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:57 pm

Joon wrote:ស្រាមួយកែវ
A glass of wine

ច្រៀង​ដោយ រស់ សេរីសុធ្ធា
Sung by Ros Sereysothea

You do realise that she is not actually singing about a glass of wine ...
"We, the sons of John Company, have arrived"
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Re: Khmer Songs Beyond Lyrics

Postby Joon » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:39 pm

Playboy wrote:
Joon wrote:ស្រាមួយកែវ
A glass of wine

ច្រៀង​ដោយ រស់ សេរីសុធ្ធា
Sung by Ros Sereysothea

You do realise that she is not actually singing about a glass of wine ...

You mean like Mr. Tambourine Man wasn't really about a tambourine man? :lol:

Please enlighten me! I love to reflect on the hidden meanings of songs. When listening to some of the other songs of that era, it sounds to me the mores back then were somewhat liberated.
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Re: Khmer Songs Beyond Lyrics

Postby Florida » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:42 pm

Joon wrote:
Florida wrote:Can you give me the name of a song.
I miss it much.

I have more details obviously, but maybe you
are just into the stuff you think is cool and don't
want to talk about anything else.

Not sure who you're addressing, but this thread is open to requests. If you have more details, feel free to share and just see if anyone can help.


I was addressing you, Joon.

and it is not a question of " feel free to share and just see if anyone can help". I am not free to share. I am only allowed to post on
rare occasions. And it is not a case of "just see if anyone can help"
more like see if anyone WILL help. And the answer over the years
is NO.

So this goes back to before your time here, but you may have
been listening to music somewhere so think about Nov of 2013
It was all the rage. Playing at Pontoon, and at G-pub later on.
There must be a top ten list of the time, and this would be on it.
Maybe the top of it. Cambod, (remember Cambod?) got a high
heel through his hand as he tried to stop the heel from going
into his head, all the while at G-pub, and later, after he left
bleeding and cursing, (ha ha ha) they would have played it
just as the sun was rising and the pub was closing. It was an
energetic, wake-up, stand up, kind of song.

Then it was gone, never to be heard again.
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Re: Khmer Songs Beyond Lyrics

Postby Spigzy » Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:10 pm

Playboy wrote:
Joon wrote:ស្រាមួយកែវ
A glass of wine

ច្រៀង​ដោយ រស់ សេរីសុធ្ធា
Sung by Ros Sereysothea

You do realise that she is not actually singing about a glass of wine ...


Agreed, my take away from the lyrics was something more akin to this ...


Baloo wrote:Forget about those. They ain't nothing' but trouble"
Meum est propositum in taberna mori,
ut sint Guinness proxima morientis ori.
tunc cantabunt letius angelorum chori:
"Sit Deus propitius huic potatori."
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Postby Playboy » Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:11 pm

Is Florida off his medication, again ???
"We, the sons of John Company, have arrived"
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