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Word of the Day: koningslied (King’s Song (in English translation)

So there it is. The King’s Song that you knew was coming is finally here… in translation! Are you ready? Can you ever really be?

koningslied

KING’S SONG

There you are
You’ve seen this moment often in your dreams
Now there it is
The day that you knew was coming is finally here
Are you ready?
Can you ever really be?

There you are
Everyone has a task in this life
Done everything to prepare yourself
So there it is
You promise that you’ll give everything
Every step you took led to here
And look around you
We’re walking along

Through the rain and the wind
I will stand by your side
I’ll protect you from anything that comes
I will watch when you’re asleep
I’ll guard you from the storm
Keep you safe as long as I live

One fight, two lives
We vouch for each other, not to be broken
One flag, two lions
With each other in sun and in rain
Side by side, chest out
Proud as a peacock, this is our sound
And small as we may be
Our deeds are great
Will not fail
For you, my child
For my dad, for my mom
Walk before you through wind and rain
And will always stand behind you
I’ll carry a banner with your name
Believe in you as long as we exist
I’ll build a dike with my bare hands
And keep the water away from you

Let me know what you dream
What is your heart’s desire
I will not rest till it has come true
And if you ever lose your way
I’ll be your beacon in the night
I’ll show you the harbour in the darkness

I will fight like a lion
Till you shall want for nothing
Keep you safe as long as I live

Double U of Willem
Three fingers in the air, come on, come on
Double U of Willem is Double U of We
All Orange standing side by side
Double U of Water which we will not yield to
We make it dry and build dikes
Double U of Welcome in our midst
Whichever God you may pray to
Double U of Willem
Double U of Wake, eating stew
Millions of coaches who know best
Double U of always Wanting to win
Whatever it is that we take up
Double U of We are one together
Shoulders side by side
And so we call today

Through the rain and the wind
I will stand by your side
I’ll protect you from anything that comes
I will watch when you’re asleep
I’ll guard you from the storm
Keep you safe as long as I live

Let me know what you dream
What is your heart’s desire
I will not rest till it has come true
And if you ever lose your way
I’ll be your beacon in the night
Show you the harbour in the darkness

I will fight like a lion
Till you shall want for nothing
Keep you safe as long as I live

(Translation: Ruud Hisgen, Direct Dutch Institute, The Hague)

Over the last few weeks the media have been buzzing with discussions about the quality of the national song that was written for the investiture of Willem-Alexander as King of the Netherlands on 30 April 2013.

What is it all about? Is it really that bad? Is the fuss a futile revolt of the cultural elite trying to snub the masses? Does the text reflect in any way on the kingship to be? Or is it just a whopper of a singalong that we should be happy to embrace after having drunk a few beers?

Now here is an opportunity to judge for yourself. The Direct Dutch Institute has rendered HET KONINGSLIED into English. Mind, it is not an artistic rendition. It is just there to give you an impression. A small gift for our birthday King to Be!

You can read the original Dutch text here: http://www.hetofficielekoningslied.nl/tekstpagina/hetkoningslied.html

For those who have been slumbering here is a short reminder of what it is all about. The Nationaal Comité Inhuldiging (National Committee Inauguration) commissioned John Ewbank to compose and write a song that would be used as part of the investiture celebrations. The entire Dutch nation was invited to participate in the lyrics. Ewbank, however, only used few of the suggestions that were sent in through Dutch social media and the website of the inauguration. Several of his artist friends (Ali B, Daphne Deckers, Guus Meeuwis and others) helped him write the lyrics. He used a melody that he had composed some ten years ago. Despite the fierce criticism of the music, the rap and the lyrics, the song reached the first position on iTunes.

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