Abang Beca (My Rickshaw)

Country: Malaysia
Language: Malay

“My Rickshaw” (“Abang Beca”) is traditional Malaysian song about the rickshaw drivers in the tourist-friendly parts of Melacca,
a port city on the southwestern coast of the Malay Peninsula.

Founded as a port town in the early 1400’s, Melacca had became a strategic pan-Asian trading hub long before the Portuguese conquered it in 1511. The Dutch ruled from 1641 to 1798, then the British until World War II, then the Japanese during the War…eventually Melacca became part of independent Malaya.

Today it is a tourist-friendly, Portuguese-oriented port town, and a UNESCO-registered World Heritage site. We sing in class about the town’s uniquely colorful, musical three-wheeled pedicabs.

Original lyrics:

Naik Beca di Melaka

Abang beca, abang beca di tengah jalan
Rickshaw driver, rickshaw driver in the middle of the road

Cari muatan untuk mencari makan
Looking for passengers to earn a living

Puter puter, puter puter kaki mengayung
Round and round, round and round go his pedaling feet

Pergi jauh keringat pun lalu jatuh
As he goes far so he begins to sweat


Dari pagi hingga matahari terbenam
From morning until the sun sets

Barat timur selatan serta utara
West, east, south, and north

Hujan panas tiada merintanginya
Rain or shine, nothing stops him

Lyrics of All Around This World version:

Abang beca, abang beca di tengah jalan
I drive my rickshaw in the town
Abang beca, abang beca di tengah jalan
I pedal hard to keep those wheels going ’round
At sunrise I wake up and drive my rickshaw
When the sun sets I’ll be driving too
Round and round go my feet as we glide down the street
Who will take a ride? Will you?

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