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Dutch 19th-20th century cultural songs  A-I

Dutch songs from the 19th century with music and English translation


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(translated in English)
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sheet music dutch folk song zilveren vloot thumb
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Did you hear about the treasure fleet
the silver fleet from Spain?
The ships they were loaded with silver coins
and oranges, pearls and spices!


        Heb je van de zilveren vloot wel gehoord
        de zilveren vloot van Spanje?
        Die had er veel Spaansche matten aan boord
        en appeltjes van oranje!


Piet Hein, Piet Hein
Piet Hein, is name is short
his deeds however great
his deeds however great
he conquered the Spanish silver fleet
he conquered surely the silver, the silver fleet!


        Piet Hein, Piet Hein
        Piet Hein, zijn naam is klein
        zijn daden bennen groot
        zijn daden bennen groot
        die heeft gewonnen de zilveren vloot
        die heeft gewonnen, gewonnen de Zilvervloot!


All the man on board climbed the rigging like cats
and fought as brave as lions.
They brought to the Spanish disgrace and shame
till in Spain they could hear them shouting.


        Klommen niet de jongens als katten in 't want
        en vochten ze niet als leeuwen?
        Ze maakten de Spanjers duchtig te schand
        tot in Spanje klonk hun schreeuwen.


Piet Hein, Piet Hein
Piet Hein, is name is short
his deeds however great
his deeds however great
he conquered the Spanish silver fleet
he conquered surely the silver, the silver fleet!


        Piet Hein, Piet Hein
        Piet Hein, zijn naam is klein
        zijn daden bennen groot
        zijn daden bennen groot
        die heeft gewonnen de zilveren vloot
        die heeft gewonnen, gewonnen de Zilvervloot!


  Lyrics: Jan Pieter Heije.
Music: J.J. Viotta.
19th century song.

Background: Piet Hein (or Piet Heijn) (1577-1629) was Commander of the Dutch West India Company during the Eighty Years' War (Dutch War of Independence) against Spain, 1568-1648.

Content: The Spanish treasure fleet was a yearly convoy of cargo ships with silver, gold, gems, pearls, spices, sugar, tobacco, silk, and other exotic goods, from the West Indies to Spain (Europe). Piet Hein conquered the fleet in 1628. The catch was so big, that the war could be financed with it for over a year (converted to modern value about 100 million euro's).

Commentary: Songwriter J.P. Heije often used historic and patriotic themes in his songs.

The song book Can you still sing, then sing along, collected by teachers J. Veldkamp and K. de Boer (1906), was very popular during the whole 20th century. It sold a record of roughly a million copies. Therefore the newly written songs collected in it (which are idealistic, educational and/or carry out values), became very well-known and widespread. Read more about this iconic song book Kun je nog zingen.

Sources (Dutch Song Database):
•  F.A. Snellaert, Oude en nieuwe liedjes (1864)
•  J.P. Heije, Nederlandsche liederen (1865)
•  J. Kwast, Gezelschapsliederen (ca. 1900)
•  Veldkamp en De Boer, Kun je nog zingen (1911, 1938, 1972)

dutch flag the netherlands holland   Lyrics 'Heb je van de zilveren vloot wel gehoord' on Dutch website: Nederlandse volksliedjes H.
 







sheet music dutch folk song langs berg en dal thumb
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The horn sounds along the mountain and dale
the tone so clear and loud,
the tone so clear and loud
and through the forest echoes strong
the sound so beautiful,
the sound so beautiful.


        Langs berg en dal klinkt hoorngeschal
        met vollen zuiv'ren toon,
        met vollen zuiv'ren toon
        en forsch en stout weerklinkt door 't woud
        die galm zoo schoon, zoo schoon,
        die galm zoo schoon, zoo schoon.


It strengthens colour, fragrances
of nature all around,
of nature all around
the creek does splash it's drops like pearls
as if it sings a song,
as if it sings a song.


        't Geeft schooner kleur en frisscher geur
        aan alles wat me omringt,
        aan alles wat me omringt
        en 't beekje spat zijn paarlend nat
        alsof 't een liedje zingt,
        alsof 't een liedje zingt.


I feel serene with joy for life
when listening to this tune,
when listening to this tune
the painful sadness leaves my heart
and runs away from me,
and runs away from me.


        Genot en rust en levenslust
        daalt bij die melodij,
        daalt bij die melodij
        verdriet en smart wijkt uit het hart
        en vlucht, en vlucht van mij,
        en vlucht, en vlucht van mij.


  Lyrics: Ch. von Schmid.
Music: F. Silcher.
19th century song.

Text: Because the text mentions an echo, the repeating sentences are sung softer.

Commentary: The song book Can you still sing, then sing along, collected by teachers J. Veldkamp and K. de Boer (1906), was very popular during the whole 20th century. It sold a record of roughly a million copies. Therefore the newly written songs collected in it (which are idealistic, educational and/or carry out values), became very well-known and widespread. Read more about this iconic song book Kun je nog zingen.

Sources (Dutch Song Database):
•  De zangvogeltjes (1875)
•  Veldkamp en De Boer, Kun je nog zingen (1911, 1938, 1972)

dutch flag the netherlands holland   Lyrics 'Langs berg en dal klinkt hoorngeschal' on Dutch website: Nederlandse volksliedjes L.
 







sheet music dutch folk song blauwgeruite kiel thumb
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In a blue chequered peasant smock
he turned and turned the giant wheel
all day long.
But Michiel his young boy's heart
suffered unbearable pain.
Ah, ah, ah!


        In een blauwgeruiten kiel
        draaide hij aan 't groote wiel
        den ganschen dag.
        Maar Michieltjes jongenshart
        leed ondragelijke smart.
        A-ach, a-ach, a-ach, a-ach!


As a sailor fast and neat
he stepped without delay aboard
that was a proper choice.
To the Indies, to the West
boys, it went all excellent!
Hojo, hojo, hojo, hojo!


        Als matroosje vlug en net
        heeft hij voet aan boord gezet
        dat hoorde zoo.
        Naar Oostinje, naar de West
        jongens, dat gaat opperbest!
        Hojo, hojo, hojo, hojo!


Now he is Holland's admiral
he is a man of fire and steel
the fear of the sea.
He's a horseman like his name
glorious he rides his horse
Hooray, hooray, hooray, hooray!


        Daar staat Hollands Admiraal
        nu een man van vuur en staal
        de schrik der zee.
        't Is een Ruiter naar den aard
        glorierijk zit hij te paard!
        Hoezee, hoezee, hoezee, hoezee!


  Lyrics: A.L. de Rop.
Music: R. Hol.
20th century song.

Content: Michiel is the famous Dutch admiral Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter (1607-1676). He scored several major victories at sea against the English and the French, during the Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 17th century.

The story of his life is partly told in this song.

Text: The family name 'De Ruyter' means 'the horse-rider'. That's why the text in the third verse states that he is 'a horseman by his nature'.

Commentary: The song book Can you still sing, then sing along, collected by teachers J. Veldkamp and K. de Boer (1906), was very popular during the whole 20th century. It sold a record of roughly a million copies. Therefore the newly written songs collected in it (which are idealistic, educational and/or carry out values), became very well-known and widespread. Read more about this iconic song book Kun je nog zingen.

Sources (Dutch Song Database):
•  R. Hol, De jeugdige zanger (school music lessons, 1875)
•  Lange, Riemsdijk en Kalff, Nederlandsch volksliederenboek (1913)
•  Veldkamp en De Boer, Kun je nog zingen (1911, 1938, 1972)

dutch flag the netherlands holland   Lyrics 'In een blauwgeruite kiel' on Dutch website: Nederlandse volksliedjes I.
 







sheet music dutch folk song naam oranje poort thumb
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          ©  copyright translations, sheet music and music

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In name of the prince, open these city gates!
The Sea Beggars lie for your shores.
The fleet's admiral will agree with no less
he demands the town of Den Briel.
The order of admiral lord of Lumey
so citizens, do not resist anymore.
The Sea Beggars will take Den Briel,
The Sea Beggars will take Den Briel!


        In naam van Oranje, doet open de poort!
        De Watergeus ligt aan de wal.
        De vlootvoogd der Geuzen, hij maakt geen akkoord
        hij vordert Den Briel of uw val.
        Dat is het bevel van Lumey op mijn eer
        en burgers, hier baat nu geen tegenstand meer.
        De Watergeus komt om Den Briel,
        de Watergeus komt om Den Briel!


The fleet counts no less than fivethousands heads
these men are so brave, full of fire.
Wait only a moment, they will step on land
it will be announced in the hour.
Don't hesitate longer, but open the gate!
The Sea Beggars, without a murder or kill,
they will take the stronghold Den Briel,
they will take the stronghold Den Briel!

        De vloot is met vijfduizend koppen bemand
        de mannen zijn kloek en vol vuur.
        Een oogenblik nog en zij stappen aan land
        zij wachten bericht binnen 't uur.
        Gij moogt dus niet dralen, doet open de poort!
        Dan nemen de Geuzen terstond zonder moord
        bezit van de vesting Den Briel,
        bezit van de vesting Den Briel!


Now quick, guarantee me, I have to go back
the clock did just now chime the hour
I tell you, if you do not give me the keys
your fate is then certain and fixed.
The watchful Sea Beggars stand grinding on guard
they sharpen their sabres and swords and prepare
and they all swear: death or Den Briel,
and they all swear: death or Den Briel!

        Komt, geeft de verzeek'ring, 'k moet spoedig terug
        de klok heeft het uur reeds gemeld.
        Ik zeg 't u, geeft gij mij de sleutels niet vlug
        dan is reeds uw vonnis geveld.
        De wakkere Geuzen staan tandknersend daar
        zij wetten hun zwaarden en maken zich klaar
        en zweren: den dood of Den Briel,
        en zweren: den dood of Den Briel!


Some sneak out the city, some shelter and hide
they speak about Koppelstok's choise:
to give up the city, or else death for all.
The first option they sure decide.
But just when the ferryman brings their reply
the north gate is already under attack.
The Sea Beggars captured Den Briel,
The Sea Beggars captured Den Briel!


        Hier dringt men naar buiten, daar schuilt men bijeen
        en spreekt over Koppelstoks last.
        De stad in hun handen of anders den dood
        't besluit tot het eerste staat vast!
        Maar nauw'lijks is hiermee de veerman gevleid
        of Simon de Rijk heeft de poort gerammeid
        en zoo kwam de Geus in Den Briel,
        en zoo kwam de Geus in Den Briel!


  Lyrics: A.J. Schooleman (1872).
19th century song.

Dating: The song was written in 1872 for the celebration of the victory of Den Briel 300 years earlier (1572).

Content: The Capture of Brielle by the Sea Beggars in 1572 was a turning point in the Eighty Years' War (Dutch War of Independence) against Spain, 1568-1648. Many more cities fell the following years.

Text: The 'prince' is prince Willem van Oranje (William, Prince of Orange, 1533-1584). As first leader of the War of Independence, he is considered the Father of the Nation for the Netherlands.

The 'Sea Beggars': 'Beggars' ('Geuzen') was a nickname by the Spanish for the the Dutch rebels, but the Dutch took over the name and used it with pride.

The 'ferryman Koppelstok': Jan Pieterszoon Koppestok (or Koppelstok) told the Sea Beggars most of the Spanish were out of town a few days. He then went to the mayor and exaggerated there were 5.000 Sea Beggars at the shore. In fact there were about 600.

Commentary: The song book Can you still sing, then sing along, collected by teachers J. Veldkamp and K. de Boer (1906), was very popular during the whole 20th century. It sold a record of roughly a million copies. Therefore the newly written songs collected in it (which are idealistic, educational and/or carry out values), became very well-known and widespread. Read more about this iconic song book Kun je nog zingen.

Sources (Dutch Song Database):
•  M.A. Brandts Buys, Gezelschapsliederen Oud en Nieuw (1875)
•  Veldkamp en De Boer, Kun je nog zingen (1938, 1972)

dutch flag the netherlands holland   Lyrics 'In naam van Oranje' on Dutch website: Nederlandse volksliedjes I.
 







sheet music dutch folk song groene dal thumb
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In this green valley, peaceful, quiet,
so full with little flowers,
here whisper the creek and the clear waterfall,
the drops of water splash all around
so all the flowers get water, even
the smallest,
so all the flowers get water, even
the smallest.


        In 't groene dal, in 't stille dal
        waar kleine bloempjes groeien
        daar ruischt een blanke waterval
        en druppels spatten overal
        om ieder bloempje te besproeien
        ook 't kleinste,
        om ieder bloempje te besproeien
        ook 't kleinste.


And on the hilltop, pointed, high,
where big trees grow so impressive,
there blows a windstorm fierce and sharp
there strucks the flash of lightening a tree
and splits, in roaring thunderstorm
the biggest,
and splits, in roaring thunderstorm
the biggest.


        En boven op der heuv'len spits
        waar forsche boomen groeien
        daar zweept de stormvlaag fel en bits
        daar treft de rosse bliksemflits
        en splijt, bij 't daav'rend onweerloeien
        den grootste,
        en splijt, bij 't daav'rend onweerloeien
        den grootste.


Uphill, downhill, on top, in deep,
God's hand will guide and lead me!
But I choose, if I have to choose,
my quiet place, my waterfall,
I will remain, as I desire,
the smallest,
I will remain, as I desire,
the smallest.


        Omhoog, omlaag, op berg en dal
        ben 'k in de hand des Heeren!
        Toch kies ik, als ik kiezen zal
        mijn stille plek, mijn waterval
        toch blijf ik steeds, naar mijn begeeren
        de kleinste,
        toch blijf ik steeds, naar mijn begeeren
        de kleinste.


  Lyrics: Jan Pieter Heije.
Music: J. Beltjens.
19th century song.

Content: Contemplative, religious song. The songwriter prefers small over big.

Background: Songwriter J.P. Heije was deeply influenced by the ideals of the Enlightment (with education children can become virtuous and respectable citizens; also due to literature and song texts) and he wrote more idealistic songs.

Commentary: The song book Can you still sing, then sing along, collected by teachers J. Veldkamp and K. de Boer (1906), was very popular during the whole 20th century. It sold a record of roughly a million copies. Therefore the newly written songs collected in it (which are idealistic, educational and/or carry out values), became very well-known and widespread. Read more about this iconic song book Kun je nog zingen.

Sources (Dutch Song Database):
•  J.P. Heije, Nederlandsche liederen (1867)
•  Veldkamp en De Boer, Kun je nog zingen (1911, 1938, 1972)

dutch flag the netherlands holland   Lyrics 'In 't groene dal' on Dutch website: Nederlandse volksliedjes I.
 



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