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Willy Derby - On the Grebbeberg

Dutch songs with English translation, translated in English


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picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

Willy Derby - On the Grebbeberg
(about the Military War Cemetery on the Grebbe Hill)
Lyrics: Jacques van Tol / Melody: 'Hörst du mein Heimlisches Rufen'
(1940)

Willy Derby - Op de Grebbeberg
Tekst: Jacques van Tol / Melodie: 'Hörst du mein Heimlisches Rufen'
(1940)


©  copyright translation

picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation



Dutch song Willy Derby - Op de Grebbeberg
with lyrics, music, video and English translation songtext


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation      picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

Far from all the bustle in the cities
Where our soldiers fought against invasion
On Mount Grebbe, quiet and green
All these men now rest in peace
They just did their duty, won't come home
(If you're strolling on this hill
And you pass the war graves here
Please, don't pass by thoughtlessly
These men also died for you)

Ver van het gewoel der grote steden
Waar de Grebbestrijd werd uitgestreden
Rusten tussen 't stille groen
Zij, die door hun plicht te doen
Nimmermeer teruggekomen zijn
(Wandelaar die daar flaneert
En de Grebbe dan passeert
Loop niet gedachteloos voorbij
Ook voor u toch vielen zij)


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

Once in a while buy some flowers
And lay them down on a grave
All these heroes here
Fought on the Grebbe fields
And died for our country and queen
They sacrified all their lives here
But sleep so quiet now in peace
Tenderly the wind
Sings for each mother's child
Slumber... slumber... sweet

Koop eens een handjevol bloemen
En leg ze neer op zo'n graf
Want daar rust een held
Die op het Grebbeveld
Zijn leven voor 't vaderland gaf
Zij, die in vrede hier slapen
Hebben hun offer gebracht
Zachtjes zingt de wind
Voor veler moeders' kind
Sluimer... sluimer... zacht


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

For a human child the biggest gift is
Sacrificing their own life for freedom
Our respect and gratitude
Is the obligation for
Each and every Dutchman for all times
Mother, your son passed away
Be not alone in your grief
Small children, sorrowful and sad
Let us be one family

't Hoogste wat een mensenkind kan geven
Is het offer'n van zijn eigen leven
Eerbied en ook dankbaarheid
Rust als plicht ten allen tijd
Nu op elke man van Neêrlands stam
Moeder, uw jongen ging heen
Maar draagt uw leed niet alleen
Kind'ren verdrietig en nog klein
Laat ons één familie zijn


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

Once in a while buy some flowers
And lay them down on a grave
All these heroes here
Fought on the Grebbe fields
And died for our country and queen
They sacrified all their lives here
But sleep so quiet now in peace
Tenderly the wind
Sings for each mother's child
Slumber... slumber... sweet

Koop eens een handjevol bloemen
En leg ze neer op zo'n graf
Want daar rust een held
Die op het Grebbeveld
Zijn leven voor 't vaderland gaf
Zij, die in vrede hier slapen
Hebben hun offer gebracht
Zachtjes zingt de wind
Voor veler moeders' kind
Sluimer... sluimer... zacht


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

Memories will fade away so quickly
We forget the suffering of others
We get busy, life goes on
And we live our hectic lives
Sun is shining just like the old days
But here's just silence around
Sacred and grand is the earth
Please, take some time here to think
Of these boys who gave their lives

Snel raakt de herinnering versleten
't Leed van anderen is zo gauw vergeten
't Leven vraagt de aandacht weer
Mensen jachten altijd weer
En precies als vroeger schijnt de zon
Hier slechts heerst stilte in 't rond
Groots en gewijd is die grond
Blijf eerst een ogenblikje staan
Voor hen die zijn heengegaan


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

Once in a while buy some flowers
And lay them down on a grave
All these heroes here
Fought on the Grebbe fields
And died for our country and queen
They sacrified all their lives here
But sleep so quiet now in peace
Tenderly the wind
Sings for each mother's child
Slumber... slumber... sweet

Koop eens een handjevol bloemen
En leg ze neer op zo'n graf
Want daar rust een held
Die op het Grebbeveld
Zijn leven voor 't vaderland gaf
Zij, die in vrede hier slapen
Hebben hun offer gebracht
Zachtjes zingt de wind
Voor veler moeders' kind
Sluimer... sluimer... zacht



©  copyright translation

picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation



Willy Derby (1886-1944), stage name of Willem Dieben, was probably the most beloved and successful Dutch singer in the years between the two World Wars (the 'interbellum' in the 1920's and 1930's). He sold roughly ten million records. He started his career as singing bar waiter in Antwerp and New York and on the ferryboat from Holland to Harwich, England.

His wife Adelaïde encouraged him to find work in the theatres. First he sang with his brother Lou Bandy (as The Bandy Brothers), but their personalities clashed too much. From 1915 onward he had his own singing career and owned several record shops in The Hague. The financial success was very convenient, because he not only had his wife, but also provided for his mistress, Teddy.

Early in the 1930's Willy Derby lost all his money, because of the economic crisis. Although he had had a heart attack in 1933, he kept working fanaticly. Every year he released several albums. He had to record them in a studio in Berlin, Germany. Other well-known songs are 'Two lovely blue eyes'/'Twee ogen zo blauw' (1935); and 'White roses'/'Witte rozen' (1935).

willy derby grootste successen album hoes         jacques van tol portret foto         liedblad grebbeberg

In World War II Willy Derby sang veiled critical songs about the Nazi-occupation, like above song. Two times he was put in prison. Several times his mistress smuggled his heart medications into prison (saving his life and risking her own), but unfortunately his health worsened nevertheless. A few weeks after Teddy ended their relationship in 1944, Derby died from a heart attack, only 58 years old.

The above song 'On the Grebbe Hill'/'Op de Grebbeberg' (1940) is about the Battle of the Grebbeberg (11-13 mei 1940) during the invasion of Nazi-Germany in the Netherlands. For three days a heavy combat took place on and around this hill, but eventually the Dutch had to surrender (the beginning of the five year occupation, 1940-45). Nowadays the Military War Cemetery Grebbeberg is situated on the hill, with over 800 graves.

The song was written by Jacques van Tol (1897-1969). He was the regular lyricist for Louis Davids and Snip & Snap, with famous songs like 'To the bulb fields'/'Naar de bollen' (1936); 'When on the Leidseplein'/'Als op het Leidseplein' (1943); and 'I've forgotten your name'/'Hoe je heette' (1954). He wrote above song on the melodie of a German song, without mentioning the Nazi's - but the occupiers forbade to sell the record nevertheless. The song remained very much beloved though, during and after the war.

icon list orange   More translated Dutch songs in the genre 'war song or memorial song' and more with the theme 'songs about war'. See also the list of Dutch singers with all their songs on this website.



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©  copyright translation
(2017)


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