My favorite definition of poetry is “Compact Emotion”. So when I found that my translations are mulitiplying the word count at least three or five times, I knew right there I’m losing something. This is the last of the lyrical pieces on the “Pelita Hidup” album, and for me it was the hardest. I think I’ll go back to nursery rhymes after this; it’s more at my level. Anyone know where to get lyrics for “Bangau O Bangau”?

Hijjaz – Hidupnya Insan

Hidupnya insan
Tiada yang abadi
Menunggu saat panggilan azali
Hilanglah nafas tak bergerak lagi
Tanah perkuburan kita bersemadi

This worldly life
Is not forever
Waiting for the moment of the call to eternity
Lose your breath, no more movement
In the cemetery soil we rest

Ya Tuhan…. Ya Allah….ya rahman….
Ampuni kami

O God…. O Allah…. O Most Merciful….
Forgive us

Mayat terbujur telah dikafan
Dibawa pergi sanak saudara
Di kubur tempat akhir pesanan
Tinggal di dalam gelapgelita

The corpse lies outstretched enshrouded
Carried down by our kindred
In the grave is the final place
Left alone inside the total darkness

Ya Tuhan… Ya Allah…ya Rahman
Ampunilah kami

O God…. O Allah…. O Most Merciful….
Forgive us

Talkin dibaca ingatan diberi
Kepada semua yang hidup lagi
Jadikanlah tauladan kesedaran diri
Kubur yang sempit siksa sekali

Prayers are read, a reminder is given
To all who still live
Let it be a good example for our own awareness
That the grave is the narrowest suffering-place of all

Published by bingregory

Official organ of an American Muslim in Malaysian Borneo, featuring plants, pantuns and pictures from the Malay archipelago. Oversharing since 2002.

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  1. I’ll give it a try:

    Bangau o bangau,
    Kenapa engkau kurus?

    Macam mana aku tak kurus,
    Ikan tak mahu timbul,
    Ikan tak mahu timbul.

    Ikan o ikan,
    Kenapa engkau tak timbul,

    Macam mana aku nak timbul,
    Rumput panjang sangat,
    Rumput panjang sangat.

    Rumput o rumput,
    Kenapa engkau panjang?

    Macam mana aku tak panjang,
    Kerbau tak makan aku,
    Kerbau tak makan aku.

    Kerbau o kerbau,
    Kenapa tak makan rumput?

    Macam mana aku nak makan,
    Perut aku sakit,
    Perut aku sakit.

    Perut o perut,
    Kenapa engkau sakit?

    Macam mana aku tak sakit,
    Makan nasi basi,
    Makan nasi basi.

    Nasi o nasi,
    Kenapa engkau basi?

    Macam mana aku tak basi,
    Hujan timpa aku,
    Hujan timpa aku.

    Hujan o hujan,
    Kenapa engkau turun?

    Macam mana aku tak turun,
    Katak panggil aku,
    Katak panggil aku.

    Katak o katak,
    Kenapa panggil hujan?

    Macam mana aku tak panggil,
    Ular nak makan aku,
    Ular nak makan aku.

    Ular o ular,
    Kenapa nak makan katak?

    Macama mana aku tak makan,
    Memang makanan aku,
    Memang makanan aku.

    [And the last person singing the last phrases should imitate the snake eating the frog, heheh]

    Fuh, i am out of breath writing these lines…

  2. Yay, Affendi, thanks again! I’m sure there’s plenty of variation in the lyrics. The version my wife (partly) remembered has an extra verse between the nasi and the hujan:

    macam mana aku tak sakit
    makan nasi mantah
    makan nasi mantah

    macam mana aku tak mantah
    kayu api basah
    kayu api basah

    macam mana akut tak basah
    hujan timpa aku
    hujan timpa aku

  3. Nope, I was wrong and kakak is right. :). BTW, my fav, among others, is ‘Air Pasang Pagi’.

  4. i’m gonna give it a try (practising to sing for the future children, ehem)

    Air Pasang Pagi
    Surut Pukul Tiga
    Nyonya bangun pagi
    Siram pokok bunga

    Pokok bunga melur
    Tanam tepi kolam
    Itik bertelur
    Ayam mengeram

    Cik Baba jatuh dalam parit
    Cik Aminah ketawa berdekah-dekah

    heheh sorry for the last two, i can’t remember anymore.

    here’s what I found :

    That’s it, I’m gonna do the same also since I’ll be the only one in the family who is fluent in malay!

  5. When we were very small, our parents used to tape what we read and what we chatted about. One day an uncle of us taped my elder brother’s musings on some of the songs he knew including that Tok, Tok Noyang song. I have already forgotten part of the lyric and was very happy to know this link. However, all the songs on that page do not have exactly the same lyrics as what was taught to us and certainly do not sound right too – listen to that Henjut-henjut [Enjit-enjit?] Semut. I believe PNM has changed some of the lines to conform to the grammar of standard, modern BM. I may be wrong, :).


    Air Pasang Pagi
    Surut Pukul Lima
    Nyonya bangun pagi
    Siram pokok bunga

    Pokok bunga melur
    Tanam tepi kolam
    Itik bertelur
    Ayam mengeram

    Cik Baba jatuh dalam parit
    Cik Aminah ketawa jerit-jerit

    Naik keretapi sampai Kuala Lumpur,
    Nampak bini comel, tersepit celah* dapur!

    * a friend told of another variant: tersorok bawah

  7. Hello! I’ve been searching the web to find the definition of “katak” and stumbled upon this page. I was hoping that someone would be able to help me out! Thank you very much!

  8. Bin Gregory

    Bangau O Bangau is a song that goes into an infite loop until you’re stuck! 😉

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