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In the Overtuin

Dutch songs with music and English translation !







 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



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Dutch folk songs with music and translation

Over 50 well-known folk songs translated in English
With music !


<<  Dutch Christmas songs
    (translated in English)
 


picture man with lute by frans hals dutch folk songs


  picture lute playing dutch folk songs Medieval Dutch songs

Egidius where have you gone to
    Egidius waer bestu bleven
Lord Halewijn sang a little song
    Heer Halewijn zong een liedekijn
  Once there where two young king's children
    Het waren twee conincskinderen
The day dawns in the east
    Het daghet in den oosten


  picture lute playing dutch folk songs 17th-18th century Dutch songs

Galathea, see the day begins
    Galathea siet den dach comt aen
My friends, come sit around me
    Komt vrienden in het ronden
  A sorrowfull sad little girl sat down
    Aan d' oever van een snellen vliet


  picture lute playing dutch folk songs 19th century Dutch songs

Did you hear about the treasure fleet
    Heb je van de zilveren vloot wel gehoord
The horn sounds along the mountain and dale
    Langs berg en dal klinkt hoorngeschal
In name of the prince, open these city gates
    In naam van Oranje, doet open de poort
In this green valley, peaceful, quiet
    In 't groene dal, in 't stille dal
If you want to sail to the cape
    Al die willen te kaap'ren varen
A small wooden cart, the moon was bright
    Een karretje op een zandweg reed
  Small tiny bird on your green branch
    Klein vogelijn op groenen tak
Three drummers young, marching from the east lands
    Drie schuintamboers die kwamen uit het oosten
Time flies as a twilight shadow
    Uren, dagen, maanden, jaren
To Den Bosch we're going
    Dat gaat naar Den Bosch toe
We're together here, good-natured fatties
    Wij zijn al bijeen, al goe kadulletjes
Where the white and gleaming dune top
    Waar de blanke top der duinen


  picture lute playing dutch folk songs 20th century Dutch songs

A farmer went to his neighbour, hai famer hai
    Ain boer wol noar zien noaber tou
The farmer had just one shoe
    De boer had maar enen schoen
In a blue chequered peasant smock
    In een blauwgeruiten kiel
  Jan Double Jan, is no longer found at the yearly fair
    Dubbele Jan die zie je niet meer op de kermis staan
Take any path you like, take any road you like
    De paden op, de lanen in


  picture lute playing dutch folk songs Dutch canons

Come with me to the countryside
    Kom mee naar buiten allemaal
The floor broom, the floor broom
    De bezem, de bezem
Heaven and earth can come to an end
    Hemel en aarde kunnen vergaan
Look, see the sun, so lovely bright
    't Zonnetje schijnt zoo heerlijk schoon
Look, the river named the Rhone flows real wild
    De rivier de Rhône is een wilde vloed
  Mokum's burning, Mokum's burning
    Brand in Mokum, brand in Mokum
The owl sat in the elm tree
    De uil zat in de olme
Three gooses on oat straw bales
    Drie ganzen in 't haverstro
Wake up, wake up! The morning begins
    Ontwaak, ontwaak! De morgen breekt aan


  picture lute playing dutch folk songs South-African songs

Jan Pierewiet, Jan Pierewiet
    Jan Pierewiet, Jan Pierewiet
Mummy, I want a husband
    Mama, 'k wil 'n man hê
  My Sarie Marais is so far from my heart
    My Sarie Marais is so ver van my hart


  picture lute playing dutch folk songs Dutch Christmas songs

All join here together
    Komt allen tezamen
Angels floating in the heavens
    Engelkens door het luchtruim zwevend
Cold is this little Child, cold is the air
    Hoe leit dit Kindeke hier in de kou
The divine Child is born today
    't Is geboren, het godd'lijk Kind
Honour to God, high in heaven
    Ere zij God, in den hoge
Jesus, little, small
    Klein, klein Jezuken
A little Child is born now into the world
    Er is een Kindeke geboren op aard
Midnight in this winter night
    Midden in de winternacht
  Now be welcome with us, Jesus our dear Lord
    Nu zijt wellekome, Jesu, lieve Heer
Oh, Christmas night, brighter than the day
    O Kerstnacht, schoner dan de dagen
Oh litte Child small, oh little Child frail
    O Kindeke klein, o Kindeke teer
Oh shepherds abandon sheep and goats promptly
    O herders, verlaat uw bokjes en schapen
Shepherds, he has been born in
    Herders, hij is geboren
The shepherds were lying round midnight
    De herdertjes lagen bij nachte
Silent night, holy night
    Stille nacht, heilige nacht


  picture lute playing dutch folk songs Search

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picture medieval harp playing folk songs

Medieval noble woman playing the harp.



About Dutch folk songs


A folk song ('volksliedje') means in Dutch a song that lives in the oral tradition and is verbally passed on from one generation to another. An author or composer is not known anymore by the singers. Folk songs are especially meant for singing (not listening). For example: the songs have much repetition in word and tune; it's easy to learn and sing along; there are no musical bars with only instrumental music (because it would be a pause in the singing without instruments); and often melody is imitated by sound-imitations like "lalala" and "tiereliere".

Because it's passed down orally (by word of mouth), variants come into existance and develop, both in lyrics and music. A folk song consists of a range of variants, with no one true shape (in lyrics or music), because the original song, the original author and composer, are not known anymore. Scientists always study the complex of a song (on this website is chosen for one variant, explained in the Colophon, under 'Selection').

Folk songs cover many genres, for example: love songs, narrative songs, historical songs, Sea Beggar's songs, sailor songs, religious songs, mockery songs, murder songs, Saint Martin songs, Saint Nicholas songs, Christmas songs, children's songs, etcetera.

Folks songs can also be classified by their function, like: working songs, weaving songs, street songs, dance songs, drinking songs, etcetera.

In the 17th and 18th century, song books were very popular in the Netherlands. Thousands were published. Many of these songs became well-known under the common people. Besides books, also many single (seperate, detached) song sheets (broadsides) with folk songs were published. They were sold by professional market singers, but also by poor or disabled people. Unfortunately most of them were lost, because they were considered as articles of everyday use (and made good toilet paper) - but still vast collections (of over 5000 sheets) were preserved (in the Royal Library and other research institutes).

In the 19th century, under influence of the Romanticism, many folk songs were for the first time written down and printed by researchers. The ideal was to look for the roots of the culture. Most important was the collection of F. van Duyse, The old Dutch song (1903-08, 4 volumes), with 714 folk songs, over 1500 versions and over 1000 musical notations. The folk songs in all these publications and collections can be older of course than the 19th century. Most of these folk songs, written down from the oral tradition, in fact cannot be dated.

In the 19th and 20th century some song writers began to write new songs in the style of folk songs. Many of these songs became very popular. Most successful was Jan Pieter Heije, who was influenced by the Enlightenment. Many of his songs are still known today, like: "Did you hear about the treasure fleet"; "In this green valley, peaceful, quiet"; "A small wooden cart, the moon was bright"; and "Small tiny bird on your green branch".

Very influential in the 20th century was the song book Can you still sing, then sing along (collected by Jan Veldkamp and Klaas de Boer, 1906). It was in print the whole century. Together with songs of J.P. Heije, it contained well-known songs like "In name of the prince, open these city gates"; "The horn sounds along the mountain and dale"; "On the big, vast heathland, a shepherd lonely wanders"; "Time flies as a twilight shadow"; and "Where the white and gleaming dune top".

Later in the 20th century the song book Dutch folk song was published (collected by Jop Pollmann and Piet Tiggers, 1941). It became very popular and sold almost 500.000 copies (last print in 1977). Their ideal was to sing again old folk songs, because the singing itself had to be most important in musical education. This ideal was spread in several youth organisations, and also carried out by Renske Nieweg, a music teacher on the School for Elementary Education. Under her motivational teaching, many young teachers started to use folk songs in their lessons.

During the 1960's and 1970's, the popularity of singing folk songs decreased. The pop and rock songs from the radio, especially in the English language, became very popular in the decades after the Second World War. From the eighties singing in Dutch was slowly but surely revalued in the pop music. But the listening to pop songs, both in English as in Dutch, displaced the singing of folk songs.

The best, scientific source of folk songs (from medieval times till the 20th century) is the Dutch Song Database. It is an online database with over 170.000 folk songs (including versions). It is run by the Meertens Instituut (a research institute of Dutch language and culture), part of the Royal Dutch Acadamy of Science. You cannot only find a song on first line or refrain, but also all versions and all melody-lines are connected. It's also possible to search for contrafacta, by characteristics of the strophes.

Most of the mentioned songs can be found on this website. Have fun with these old, traditional and well-known Dutch folk songs!


By Rozemarijn van Leeuwen
(I earlier wrote about this, in more detail, on the Dutch Wikipedia, 'Volkslied'/'Liedboek'/'Liedblad'/'Liederenbank', with references and sources)




picture dutch song sheet with folk song             picture dutch song sheet with folk song

Two song sheets (broadsides) with Dutch folk songs.




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  From  The farmer had just one shoe
             (De boer had maar enen schoen)


  up to  My Sarie Marais is so far from my heart
             (My Sarie Marais is so ver van my hart)



  From  Once there where two young king's children
             (Het waren twee conincskinderen)


  up to  Jan Double Jan, is no longer found at the yearly fair
             (Dubbele Jan die zie je niet meer op de kermis staan)



  From  In this green valley, peaceful, quiet
             (In 't groene dal, in 't stille dal)


  up to  Three drummers young, were marching from the east lands
             (Drie schuintamboers die kwamen uit het oosten)



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picture market singers singing and playing dutch folk songs and music

Two market singers singing folk songs on a fair (1892).



Search all Dutch folk songs
alphabetically


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icon dutch flag     Didn't you find the song you were looking for?     icon dutch flag
Visit our Dutch websites with Dutch songtexts:


About 500 Dutch children's songs:
www.kinderliedjes.overtuin.net
   
Over 230 Dutch folk songs:
www.volksliedjes.overtuin.net

Over 3000 Dutch and English songtexts
of well-known songs in The Netherlands:
www.songteksten.overtuin.net



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picture man with lute by frans hals dutch folk songs

Frans Hals,
Young man with a lute
(ca. 1625).



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herzlich willkommen ~ bienvenue ~ bienvenido

niederländische Volkslieder aus den Niederlanden, die Niederlande, Holland, traditionelle historische Volkslieder mit Musik, mittelalterliche Lieder mit Übersetzung in Englisch ~ ~ chansons folkloriques de pays bas, chansons traditionnel historique néerlandais, Hollande, chansons médiévales avec de la musique, avec traduction en anglais ~ ~ canciones folk de Países Bajos, Holanda, canciones tradicional histórico holandès, canciones medievales con música, con la traducción en Inglés

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In the Overtuin
Dutch songs with music and English translation

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    (translated in English)
 


           


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