06 November 2022

อีกไม่นาน นานแค่ไหน

Two Thai bands, Getsunova and Three Men Down, collaborated on the single อีกไม่นาน นานแค่ไหน (‘how long is ‘soon’?’), released this time last year. The title is a despairing reply to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s lyric “ขอเวลาอีกไม่นาน” (‘give us a little more time’) from his propaganda song Returning Happiness to the Thai Kingdom (คืนความสุขให้ประเทศไทย). Prayut’s song promised that his junta would not outstay its welcome; the bands’ response is: after all these years, how much longer will it be?

Like Paeng Surachet’s กล้ามาก เก่งมาก ขอบใจ (‘very brave, very good, thank you’), อีกไม่นาน นานแค่ไหน uses heartbreak as a political metaphor. Paeng’s song is about splitting up with an unfaithful partner, though it could also be read as a statement of the singer’s feelings about the monarchy. Similarly, อีกไม่นาน นานแค่ไหน describes the agony of waiting for a girlfriend to change her wayward behaviour, just as Thailand waits in vain for Prayut to improve the country:

เธอสัญญา เธอสัญญา จะทำตามอย่างว่ามา
ฉันก็รอ ฉันก็รอ อดทนอย่างไม่ท้อ
ยอมให้โอกาส ปล่อยเธอทำผิดซ้ำๆ

(‘she asked for time to improve herself
only asked for a short time
she promised she’d do as she said
I waited patiently without giving up
I let her make the same mistakes over and over
it hurts so much and my heart’s lost all hope
because a long time has passed’).

In the อีกไม่นาน นานแค่ไหน music video, three young children present their progressive ideas to improve Thai society, only to be dismissed by their conservative teachers. The three kids look remarkably like younger versions of anti-government protest leaders Panusaya Sithjirawattanakul, Parit Chirawak, and Arnon Nampa: could the video be an origin story for the protest movement? A schoolchild’s progressive policy ideas dismissed by an authoritarian teacher was also the central theme of Duangporn Pakavirojkul’s short film Demockrazy (ประชาทิปตาย).

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