Tired of mocking the Mexicans. Let’s make fun of the Dutch.
This is Queen Beatrice of the Netherlands. Yes, as far as I can tell, she always has that goofy look on her face. She is abdicating the Dutch throne in favor of her son, Willem. Oh, don’t worry, that’s just how they do it over there.
To commemorate, the crown commissioned a song and — here’s where everything went badly wrong — the songwriter asked the Dutch people to submit verses and concepts to be incorporated. The result was so mind-bendingly stupid, 38,000 signed a petition to “kill it, kill it with fire!” Or, in the original Dutch, “doden, doden met vuur!”
It’s a weird mish-mash about watching over Willem while he sleeps, building a dike with bare hands, wakefully eating stamppot together, a traditional Dutch sausage and potato stew. Also, it breaks into a gentle rap in the middle that invites the Dutch people to make a W with their fingers and wave it around. Oh, it’s a treat.
But that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about how close Dutch is to English. It’s like goofy English. LOLcat English. It’s what somebody who didn’t speak English would make people say in a Warner Brothers cartoon starring people who speak English. Here, check out some random lines from the Koningslied (the King’s Song):
Wij lopen met je mee Door de regen en de wind
We walk with you Through the rain and the wind
Ik behoed je voor de storm
I am saving you from the storm
We staan voor elkaar, niet te breken
We face each other, not to break
Een vlag, twee leeuwen
One flag, two lions
Voor jou, mijn kind
For you, my child
Voor m’n pa, voor m’n ma
For my dad, for my mom
Loop voor jou door de wind en regen
Walk for you through the wind and rain
Ik bouw een dijk met m’n blote handen
I’m building a dike with my bare hands
En hou het water bij jou vandaan Laat me weten wat je droomt
And keep the water away from you Let me know what you dream
Drie vingers in de lucht, kom op, kom op De W van Willem is de W van wij <--- rap, y'all Three fingers in the air, come on, come on The William W of the W we De W van Willem De W van wakker, stamppot eten
The W The W William of waking, eating stew
Only, it sounds more like, blubble-up-a-lubbiddle-up. Like a cartoon drowning man. Which…Holland, I guess. Makes sense.
Anyway, here it is in a Dutch newspaper. In Dutch (link to the song at the bottom). Enjoy!