Dutch Language Blog

Ke$ha’s Overrated: Ringing in 2011 with Queen, the Eagles, Meatloaf, Pink Floyd, U2, Golden Earring and Boudewijn de Groot Posted by on Jan 9, 2011 in Dutch Language

Pinpointing how exactly the Dutch like their pop music is not an exact science, except for in the days immediately preceding each Oud en Nieuw.  Starting on Christmas day, Radio 2 broadcasts what Dutch voters have designated as the Top 2000 songs of all time.  Number one airs as the last minutes of the old year tick away – and, since the number one song of all time is always either “Hotel California” or “Bohemian Rhapsody,” those last few moments can feel…elongated.

The twee duizend liedjesread the whole list here – do sum up at least one strain of Dutch taste, the strain I tend to identify with men of my father’s generation.  There is nostalgia here for a kind of seventies theatricality that has gone by the wayside – the kind of arena rock that icons like Freddie Mercury and Meatloaf perfected.  Number 9 on the list, Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” reminds us that the Dutch love both camp and cynicism.   I mean, this song is one step away from being the entire Rocky Horror Picture Show.

On the other hand, the top 2000 reminds us that though the Dutch may want cynicism from American weirdos, they’re very forgiving of sentimentality in Dutch recording artists.  In the top 10 songs of all time, you’ll always find Boudewijn de Groot’s “Avond,” a real Dutch love anthem.  They key lyrics in “Avond” are En je kunt niets zeker weten en alles gaat voorbij / Maar ik geloof, ik geloof, ik geloof, ik geloof, ik geloof in jou en mij. As you can see from the crowd’s reactions here, the emphasis on belief in love is appreciated – except by the cutie who came just for the guitar solo.

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  1. Zoe:

    Hallo Ik ben Zoe and I talk dutch en engels!!! I am only 12 and i moved to Australie in 2004 en I can now speak and write english better than dutch enven though i was born in Sneek, Nederland. I have millions of friends in Holland and i have realised how different the two countries are!!! In holland kids can just ride their bikes to school by themselves and go shopping alone at a young age. In Australia i suppose that you could do that to but it isn’t as safe on a bike since drivers aren’t as used to having kids riding their bikes on the road. And in the area that I live their have been quite a few of aductions and so my mum doen’t allow me to go out like i could in holland.