Songs in Dutch, Low Saxon, German and Norwegian

Dutch expat celebrations near Barcelona for coronation of King Willem-Alexander in 2013.

Dutch expat celebrations near Barcelona for coronation of King Willem-Alexander in 2013.

Nota bene:

  • All these street organ arrangements are home-made. Contact me if you want a custom arrangement for your own street organ, musical box, barrel piano, or whatever.
  • The MP3s below use Virtual Studio Technology: this is NOT the real sound (my organ also has percussion, and sounds more natural), and someone needs to sing!
  • Lyrics or translations can be displayed live on a screen, karaoke-style.
TitleArtistLaYearCommentsLinks
Mooi was die tijdCorry Koningsnl1990
Een jongen krijgt een meisjesbriefWillem Wilmink / Harry Banninknl1990Simple verse structure suitable for imitative improvisation
EmigrantenWillem Wilmink / Harry Banninknl1990Veel emigranten over zee / nemen al hun gewoontes mee / naar de overkant.
Naar de speeltuinHeleentje van Capelle met de Karekieten en het Orkest Zonder Naamnl1987
Kleine jodeljongenManke Nelisnl1987
Ik verscheurde je fotoKoos Albertsnl1984One of the greatest laments in the Dutch repertoire: I tore up your photo / Your letters I've burnt / In my heart I'm weeping / Though I pretend I weren't.
Smurf songPierre Kartnernl1977
Aan de Costa del Sol (tingelingeling)Trad. German-Italian / Johnny Hoes / Zangeres Zonder Naamnl1975?Waltz, apparently stolen from Trentino in the Tyrol - see the links.
In 't kleine café aan de havenPierre Kartnernl1975
Veerpont / The Floating BridgeDrs. P (Heinz Polzer) / The Singing Organ-Grindernl en1973The proprietor of a floating bridge over the River Lea at the Anchor & Hope philosophises, in my translation, regarding the good times and the bad: We stand here on the shoreline of a river swift and hot / The other shore is over there and this one here is not.
Jan Klaassen de trompetterLennaert Nijgh / Boudewijn de Groot / Rob de Nijsnl1973The life and loves of Jan Claesen, a legendary Dutch figure, supposedly trumpeter in the army of Frederick Henry of Orange-Nassau, afterwards a type of Punch figure.
Ik ben GerritGerrit Dekzeilnl1973My name is Gerrit and I steal like the ravens, / I am a rogue in the eyes of the goody-goodies. / But what can you do if you have nothing / In this world where everything's a con.
Peppi en Kokki intronl1972Dutch absurdist 70s children's show
ManuelaJacques Herbnl1971
Postman Pat / Pat el Cartero / Postmann PatBryan Daly / Ken Barrieno en1970In English or Norwegian. Virtual excerpt:
Het dorp / La montagneWim Sonneveld / Jean Ferratnl fr1970Another Dutch plundering of French repertoire: nostalgia available in both languages.
Huilen is voor jou te laatCorry en de Rekelsnl1970
De Soldatenmoeder / The Soldiers' MotherZangeres Zonder Naam / Singing Organ-Grindernl en1969A Dutch neo-broadside ballad about the Vietnam War in my translation. Probably unintentionally, its theme is similar to Brecht's Mother Courage, but the treatment is more startling and, I think, profound.
De glimlach van een kind (Toi tu voudrais)Gerrit den Braber / Willy Alberti / Jean Kluger / Daniel Vangardenl1968
Amsterdam huilt / Amsterdam weepsKees Manders / Zwarte Riek / Singing Organ-Grinderen nl1964Extraordinary Dutch khazan-style lament about the genocide of Amsterdam's Jewry. Evocative not only of the pre-nationalist-socialist ghetto, but also of a world still subconsciously recalled by Dutch wedding and light musicians. My translation.
Rhythm of the rain / Ritme van de regenThe Cascades / Rob de Nijsnl en1962Also on the soundtrack of Quadrophenia.
De Blinde SoldaatZangeres Zonder Naamnl1961A soldier back from the front can't see his new-born son because he has lost his sight.
Cowboy BillyJan en Julesnl1959
ZuiderzeeballadeWilly van Hemert / Joop de Leur / Oetze Verschoor / Sylvain Poonsnl1959
De crocus en de hyacint Dorus / Tom Mandersnl1957
Tulpen uit Amsterdam / Tulips from AmsterdamRalf Arnie / Van Aleda / Max Bygravesnl en1956Typically Dutch: a German waltz about Turkish flowers. Virtual excerpt:
De postkoets / La diligenceJos Cleber / Ferry van Delden / De Selvera's / The Catsnl1956
El baile de los pajaritos / The birdie song / De vogeltjesdansEl payo Juan Manuel / Werner Thomas / Johnny Hoeses nl en1955
MexicoZangeres Zonder Naam / Luis Marianonl fr1951Paso doble in de stijl van de film Le chanteur de Mexico
BananasMachitoen nl ca1950The mambo king takes the pi$$ out of himself. Available in English, Catalan or Dutch.
Aan de Amsterdamse grachtenPieter Goemans / Johnny Kraaijkamp / Wim Sonneveldnl1949Nostalgic waltz.
Capri-Fischer / Fishermen of Capri (Bella, bella Marie)Rudi Schuricke / Gerhard Winkler / Ralph Maria Siegelde en1949Wenn bei Capri die rote Sonne im Meer versinkt: Lola sings this tango in Fassbinder's Wirtschaftswunderbar, but the version by Gracie Fields is also rather special.
Karussell (Wir reiten auf hölzernen Pferden) / Carousel (We ride on wooden horses)Leo Straus / Martin Romande en1944Translation of a song from the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. When you get off, will you be able to stand up? Quotes the Wiener Praterleben waltz by fellow-inmate of Death's waiting-room, Siegfried Translateur.
Diep in m'n hartJaap Valkhoff / Ernst van ’t Hoff / Willeke Albertinl1944Slow foxtrot
Als op Capri de rozentuinen bloeienHan Dunk / The Ramblers / Eddy Christianinl1942Foxtrot
KetelbinkieAnton Beuving / Jan Vogelnl1940When we from Rotterdam departed / In the Edam, an ancient hulk. Tragedy of a Dutch (colonial) ship's boy who misses his mum but doesn't know how to tell her. Illegitimate offspring of Thackeray's maritime parody?
Ik hou van HollandWilly Schootemeijer / Joseph Schmidt / Heintjenl1937
Isle of Capri / C'est à CapriWill Grosz / Jimmy Kennedy / Lew Stoneen nl fr1934Now with lyrics featuring the River Lea / Lee in East London: Twas on the banks of the Lea that I met her / Under the shade of an old apple tree / Now I can still hear the sirens around me / As I lie bleeding in A and E.
ZuiderzeeLouis Davidsnl1932The consequences of the construction of the Afsluitdijk dam, which turned the Zuyder Zee from a North Sea inlet into a fresh-water lake.
Oh zwarte zigeuner / Oh, play to me gypsy (Cikánka)Harry de Groot / Karel Vacek / Melody Boys / Willy Derby / Willy Alberti / Johnny Jordaan / Gracie Fieldsnl en1931Slow foxtrot.
De kikkertjes Anonnl1930?Dutch frogs are a sight for sore eyes.
Zeg, Roodkapje, waar ga je heen?Trad.nl1930?Red Riding Hood, in Dutch, now with a Spanish version.
Mijn kleine groene cactusComedian Harmonists / Gerrit Bellersnl de1930Dutch text by Gerrit Bellers: Bloemen en planten, zoals chrysanten, / Of rozen, tulpen en narcissen, / Willen de mensen, zo zijn hun wensen, / Ik hoef ze niet, ik kan ze missen.
Hengeler WeendComedian Harmonists / Fred van de Vennl1930Low Saxon lyrics by Hengelo's municipal poet Fred van de Ven.
Mackie Messer / Mack the KnifeBertolt Brecht / Kurt Weillde en1928Originally intended for performance with barrel organ.
Berlin im LichtKurt Weillde1928Foxtrot written for a festival of light staged by the Berliner Stadtwerke power company for the 1928 Berlin Festival. A companion piece to the Dutch electricity workers' union song, Op naar het licht.
Had je me maarLouis Davidsnl1916Song that provided the nickname for the Dutch anarchist politician, Cornelis de Gelder.
Holland ze zeggenSimon Abramsznl1906
O sole mioGiovanni Capurro / Eduardo di Capuait en nl1898
Two lovely black eyes / Twee ogen zo blauwCharles Coborn / Willy Derbyen nl1886I learnt the Dutch lyrics first, but my Dad croons this Gladstonian warning by an East End comedian of the dangers of politics: Two lovely black eyes! / Oh! what a surprise! / Only for telling a man he was wrong, / Two lovely black eyes!
Zwei blaue Augen / Twee blauwe ogen / The two blue eyes of my sweetheart (Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen)Gustav Mahler / Dutch translation: Jan Rot / English: T.E. Clarkde nl en1885Auf der Strasse stand ein Lindenbaum, Da hab' ich zum ersten Mal im Schlaf geruht!
Song of a blind Dutch organ-grinder in IowaAnonnl1884
In een blauwgeruite kiel (Draaiersjongen)Anton de Ropnl1875
Waar de blanke top der duinenPieter Louwerse / Richard Holnl1870
De zilvervlootJ.P. Heije / J.J. Viottanl1870
k Zag twee berennl1850?
Der Leiermann (Winterreise)Wilhelm Müller / Franz Schubertde1827The owner of a hurdy-gurdy, which is not the same as a barrel organ.
Ode to Joy / An die FreudeSchiller / Beethoven / Rowan Atkinsonde en1824Bremain would have won if they'd featured this in their ads. Perhaps.
Das Grab ist tief und stille (The grave is deep and silent)Salis / Nägelide1822Accompanies the story 'Diogenes with his barrel-organ.'
Marmotte (Das Jahrmarktsfest zu Plundersweilern / Op. 53 no. 7)Goethe / Beethovende en1805Parody of a Savoyard organ grinder and his marmot at a fair: It's many a land I've travelled through, / Avecque la marmotte, / And I always found some thing to chew, / Avecque la marmotte.
Guter Mond du gehst so stille, durch die Abendwolken hin (Oh, dear Moon, you go so quietly, / Through the evening clouds away)Anonde1800Accompanies the story 'Diogenes with his barrel-organ.' Based on the version from Ludwig Erk's 1838 folksong collection.
O du lieber Augustinde1799
Herr BacchusAnonde en1789?Comparisons with Apollo in a drinking song!
Die Gedachte sind frei / De gedachten zijn vrijde nl1780sFreiheitslied from SW Germany (?)
AbendliedMatthias Claudiusde1779Der Mond ist aufgegangen...
O Jesulein süss! O Jesulein mild!Georg Christian Schemellide1620
Een kindelien zo lovelik / Ein Kindelein so löbelichTrad.nl de1618
Heer Jesus heeft een hofken daer schoon bloemen staenAnonnl1617Lord Jesus has a garden with beautiful flowers ... make of my heart your garden, it is ready / Seigneur Jésus a un jardin où se trouvent de belles fleurs ... fais de mon cœur votre jardin, il est prêt / Heer Jesus heeft een hofken daer schoon bloemen staen ... maect van mijn hert' u hoveken, het is bereyt
Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen Michael Praetoriusde1599
Het WilhelmusTrad.nl1570?Naar de versie voor Dubbele Biphone die door de Leidse politie in 1940 in beslag werd genomen en in 2012 voor het eerst opnieuw werd uitgevoerd.
Old 100th / All people that on earth do dwell / Herr Gott, dich loben alle wirLoys Bourgeois / William Ketheen de1561Available in full version and in mid-C19th small organ pastiche.
Der Kampf des Roraffen mit dem HanenAnon / The Singing Organ-Grinderde en1450?Translated excerpt from a Low German saga in which a puritanical rooster-man drives a fun-loving monkey-man out of Strasbourg Cathedral.
In dulci jubiloHeinrich Seuse / Robert Pearsallen de la1328I do both the German-Latin original and the popular Pearsall anglicisation
O Tannenbaumde
SinterklaasliedjesTrad.nlDutch Santa Claus songs.
Lang zal ze levennl
Es ist ein Schnee gefallenAnonen de
Gott erhalte unsern Kaiser! (God save our Kaiser!)Joseph Haydn / Freiherr v. ZedlitzdeAustrian imperial anthem with lyrics in use around 1813 during the reign of Franz I. Accompanies the story 'Diogenes with his barrel-organ.'

Update: 2018/01/29