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Frans van Schaik - Our ship-boy

Dutch songs with English translation, translated in English


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picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

Frans van Schaik - Our ship-boy
Lyrics: Anton Beuving / Music: Jan Vogel
(1940)

Frans van Schaik - Ketelbinkie
Tekst: Anton Beuving / Muziek: Jan Vogel
(1940)


©  copyright translation

picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation



Dutch song Frans van Schaik - Ketelbinkie, scheepsjongen, ketelbink
with lyrics, music, video and English translation songtext


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

We sailed from Rotterdam's big harbour
With the Edam, a quite old ship
With cockroaches swarming the midship
And many rat's nests in the bow
Amongst the sailors was a young boy
He was our ship-boy then on board
He'd never been at see before this
And he had never heard of sharks

Toen wij van Rotterdam vertrokken
Met de Edam, een ouwe schuit
Met kakkerlakken in de midscheeps
En rattennesten in 't vooruit
Toen hadden we een kleine jongen
Als ketelbink bij ons aan boord
Die voor de eerste keer naar zee ging
En nooit van haaien had gehoord


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

He said goodbye to his dear mother
Shy laughing to her at the quay
Because he didn't dare to kiss her
That poor street-kid from Rotterdam

Die van zijn moeder aan de kade
Wat schuchter lachend afscheid nam
Omdat-ie haar niet durfde zoenen
Die straatjongen uit Rotterdam


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

The stokers called him names and cursed him
Because the day that we sailed off
The wretch lied down already seasick
Below deck, when we passed the pier
With some jenever and some lemons
He got up and about again
'Cause seamen who are sick are harmful
And they mean damage to the load

Hij werd gescholden door de stokers
Omdat-ie van de eerste dag
Toen we maar net de pier uit waren
Al zeeziek in de foc'sle lag
En met jenever en citroenen
Werd hij weer op de been gebracht
Want zieke zeelui zijn nadelig
En brengen schade aan de vracht


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

He carried food in heavy kettles
From the cook's galley to the front
He just looked like despair in pieces
That poor street-kid from Rotterdam

Als-ie dan sjouwend met zijn ketels
Van de kombuis naar voren kwam
Dan was het net een brokkie wanhoop
Die straatjongen uit Rotterdam


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

And when he finally was sleeping
After his hard work, in his cage
The guard at night was angry with him
Because he called his mother's name
And then, one day, a sunny morning
On the Pacific, the high seas
The sailors yelled to bring them coffee
He didn't get up from his cage

Wanneer-ie 's avonds in zijn kooi lag
En na z'n sjouwen eind'lijk sliep
Dan schold de man, die wacht te kooi had
Omdat-ie om zijn moeder riep
Toen is-ie op een mooie morgen
't Was in de Stille Oceaan
Terwijl ze brulden om hun koffie
Niet van zijn kooigoed opgestaan


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

The helmsman brought him some quinine
And castor oil to wake him up
But he asked for some advanced money
For his old mum in Rotterdam

En toen de stuurman met kinine
En wonderolie bij hem kwam
Vroeg hij een voorschot op zijn gage
Voor het ouwe mens in Rotterdam


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

In canvas on a iron stretcher
They brought him to an open hatch
The captain raised his hat a moment
With husky voice he said a prayer
They counted: "One, two, three, in God's name"
And threw the ship-boy overboard
Who didn't dare to kiss his mother
'Cause that's not what real seamen do

In zeildoek en met roosterbaren
Werd hij die dag op het luik gezet
De kapitein lichtte zijn petje
En sprak met grocstem een gebed
En met een één, twee, drie in Godsnaam
Ging het ketelbinkie overboord
Die het ouwetje niet durfde zoenen
Omdat dat niet bij zeelui hoort


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

The sailors got a nip jenever
The mother got a telegram
That was the end of our 'seaman'
That poor street-kid from Rotterdam

De man een extra mokkie schoot an
En het ouwe mens een telegram
Dat was het einde van een zeeman
Die straatjongen uit Rotterdam



©  copyright translation

picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation



Frans van Schaik (1907-1990) was a Dutch singer from Amsterdam. He was also known under the name The singing vagabond/De zingende zwerver.

In 1940 he sang songs in a radio play, called Lady on board/Vrouw aan boord, written by Anton Beuving en Jan Vogel. The above song 'Our ship-boy'/'Ketelbinkie' from this play, turned out to be his biggest success as singer. Three years later, he recorded and released the song, accompanied on organ by musician Cor Steijn.

A 'ketelbink' is literally: a 'kettle-lad' (lad who is carrying the heavy kettles). This term was only used in this radio play. The official, historical nautical term is 'ship-boy'/'scheepsjongen'. However, after the song became famous, many people thought 'ketelbinkie' was an old word and used it instead of 'ship-boy'.

After this song, Van Schaik sang more shanty songs, like 'Song of the vagabond'/'Het zwerverslied' (1946); 'Just give me a ship'/'Geef mij maar een schip' (1947); and 'Always the ships are arriving'/'En altijd komen er schepen' (1948). Furthermore he played in two movies, in 1955 in the famous movie Ciske the Rat.

ketelbinkie         ketelbinkie         ketelbinkie

Lyricist Anton Beuving (1902-1977) wrote in above song about his own experiences. As young man he had sailed the deep seas for five years (but survived). Later he wrote songs for singers like Eddy Christiani, Willy Alberti, Annie de Reuver and Max van Praag. He also wrote childen's books and over 50 detectives.

The city of Rotterdam has a statue of the ship-boy/ketelbinkie on the quay along the Buizenpark (by Huib Noorlander, 1973). Also Maritime Museum Rotterdam has a statue of the boy, at the Leuvehaven.

André van Duin (1947), a comic from Rotterdam, recorded a well-known parody of the song (1976). As first lines he sang: 'When we sailed off from Rotterdam / Then we sailed off from Rotterdam' - and he kept repeating these lines with some despair, pretending not remembering the rest of the lyrics.

icon list orange   More translated Dutch songs in the genre 'shanty song' or 'film music' and more with the theme 'songs about sailing' or 'narrative songs'. See also the list of Dutch singers with all their songs on this website.
dutch flag the netherlands holland   Lyrics 'Ketelbinkie' on Dutch website: Nederlandse songteksten.



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©  copyright translation
(2017)


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Joseph Schmidt
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1940's
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