Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Minangkabau folk song - ayam dan lapeh

I have often wondered what the Minang folk song, Ayam dan Lapeh says and means. Heard it sung by S Effendi ages ago. Got the meaning with a few clicks, left it as it is, as the translator is a Minang:

Ayam den Lapeh
(My chickens ran away)

Luruihlah jalan payakumbuah
babelok jalan kayu jati
dima ati indak karusuah
ayam den lapeh den lapeh

Mandaki jalan padangsikek
basimpang jalan ka biaro
dima ati indak kamaupek
awak takicuah den lapeh

Sikucapang sikucapeh
sa'ikua tabang sa'ikua lapeh
tabanglah juo nan karimbo
oilah malang juo

Pagaruyuang batusangka
tampek bajalan urang baso
duduak tamanuang tiok sabanta
oi takanang juo den lapeh

The straight road is to Payakumbuh
The twisty path to Kayu Jati
How is my heart not suffering?
My chickens ran off
Ai ai, my chickens ran off

The uphill road to Pandai Sikek
The junction, to Biaro
How is my heart not regretful?
You don't care.
My chickens ran off
Ai ai, my chickens ran off

Sikucapang sikucapeh, such a to do!
One flew, the other just ran
Both into the jungle
How unlucky I am!

Pagaruyung and Batusangkar
where the people of Baso make merry
Still I'm brooding now and then
Still remembering...
My chickens ran off
Ai ai, my chickens ran off!
English translation from :

Ayam dan Lapeh with an Angklong Band, sung by powerful lead voices.

Siti Norhaliza gives it more life. Siti is always a terrific
perfomer performer.

Oslan Hussein version


Jong said...

Hey, isn't that an Indonesian song first stolen by P.Ramlee? Hahaha, watch out the Indons are going to protest again! :D

Salak said...

It was not really stolen but shared, brought over by the Minangs during Srivijaya times ! ;)

The Minangs, the Indonesian matriarchs are prevalent in 9Negeri. I think the women lost out in Seremban with people like Isa Abu Bakararound and who now wants the Bagan Pinang seat.

Can't recall P.Ramlee singing that. I think it's more of a folk song. The lyrics sound like a fierce matriarch who drove away the menfolk to sleep in the mosque! :))

The language is strangely a little like a few odd Malay dialects in Sarawak coastal areas, although I've never met a Minang in Sarawak.

BTW, I read the Jakarta Post today running some articles of some Jakarta people, from Batawi reputed to be "hired" hands. They now want to seek out Malaysians on Jakarta streets. If they're "hired" people you know who from Malaysia just might hire them for a good spin to make things hazy at home!

Jarod said...

Aiyoh... Should we send those indon back home since they might threaten us any time?

What the fuss lah.. just a song!

Again, i wonder where they place their mind.

Jong said...

SPOT ON, Salak! Hired hands - that's what I always suspect! Yeah it always happen when UMNO is pushed to a corner, a Mamakutty scheme, what else!

I just posted my comment on Lim Kit Siang blog, check it out...

Salak said...


You're missing the picture!

Malaysians have good spin services from Fox media shrink heads. Anything to mask the real problems, like the surgical masks, are good for "some" Malaysians. The cow head didn't work. Maybe in Bagan Pinang, they'll try the chicken head!

Salak said...


The Betawi boys only want to 'harrass' and embarrass Malaysians!

Jakarta is one of the most populated Asian cities (8.5 m) and with ends to meet Jakartans will do what Malaysians do well (if not better) and the Betawi boys are good at it, too!