I’ve mentioned more than once on this blog that I hail from the best country in the world: The Netherlands. No seriously. We are.
When you look it up on a world map we are about the size of a pin. 17 million people cramped into a piece of land that’s about 350km tall and 200km wide. I think there are cities out there which are the size of multiple provinces here. Being such a tiny country has many advantages and disadvantages. One of the things we “struggle” with is that basically no one speaks our language. It’s one of the reasons that children here get taught English and other languages from an early age. It’s good because it makes our country more international but on the other side it also means that the proficiency in Dutch is slowly declining with new generations. A lot of our language is being saturated with English words, even when it’s not really necessary.
So today I want to put a bit of a spotlight on our beautiful language through the means of popular pop songs! I know that most of my readerbase won’t understand a word that’s being sung and that my language sounds like simlish to anyone who isn’t Dutch/Dutch speaking but give it a listen anyway. Enjoy! The songs are a mix of “hot right now” and older hits going back to around 2000.
My great-grandparents were both born in the Netherlands, but then emigrated to the USA in the 1890’s, which was where they met and married. GGrandpa Tammo was from Schildwolde in Groningen, while GGrandma Dievertje was from Delft in South Holland, so it’s unlikely they would have met in the Netherlands at all, but they both ended up in Utah, USA and met due to there being so many fewer Dutch folks in that part of the world. Gotta love how things work out, right? And then their kids married English and Scandinavian folks, meaning that 3 generations later we’re all “American mongrels.” 😉
Even with all that, I can’t say I’ve ever heard “Dutch music” until now. Thanks for sharing it! Good stuff!
In re: language mishmashing — I watched a Filipino movie recently (with subtitles on, obviously) but even with that I’d estimate about half of the movie was actually in English. I was surprised at how they’d often start a sentence in Tagalog and then finish it in English (or vice versa). And also by the sheer number of “borrowed words” from English that would be peppered in longer stretches of Tagalog dialog and whatnot.
Yeah Dutch is becoming that slowly over time. I see it in the ridiculous job advertisements where they’re using so much unecessary English hype words and in the language spoken by the younger generations. It’s not like I’m a language purist or anything but I don’t want to see it fade over time.
Nothing there that rings my bell except the last one, Brainpower, which is okay. Quite a lot of English words though!
Yup. We like appropriating English words in our music 😉
Love the songs! The only one I didn’t like was the last one but that is only because rap isn’t my jam.
It is the first time I hear Dutch and it has some nice sound to it. I am only sad that I probably would never be able to speak it well but I am terrible at speaking in any language, even my native one. XD
Anyway, thanks for sharing these songs! 🙂
Thanks! I figured I might aswell share a bit of Dutch “culture” on my blog. Even if barely anyone understands it haha.
Nice, more stuff to practice!
As I’ve proven countless times on the Blaugust Discord, my few bits of Dutch are really terrible, and understanding all those songs was so-so (1+3: not much, 2+3: more than half of it, 5: ~50%) – but I’m jumping on the bandwagon to plug my favorite Dutch songs.
Herman van Veen – Hilversum III – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqjRxINYLH4
It is actually at least known to some people because it was sampled/given a new text by a local band many decades ago (this is Bavarian and not high German) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWlcN8AHGRQ
The second is Zeven dagen lang by Bots – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le6uFnLwqYU
which I also originally knew because they also sang it in German. (But the music was also not original, and “Son ar chistr” is also cool :P)
So maybe not a coincidence, but I do quite a few more but these are my favorites, although I they don’t really fit my usual style of music.
Oh, and the Dutch version of the Alfred J Kwak theme song is also better than the German one although I only knew the German one from my childhood, but it’s also by Herman van Veen.