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Sylvain Poons en Oetze Verschoor - Ballad of the Southern Sea

Dutch songs with English translation, translated in English


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picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

Sylvain Poons en Oetze Verschoor - Ballad of the Southern Sea
Lyrics: Willy van Hemert / Music: Joop de Leur
(1959)

Sylvain Poons en Oetze Verschoor - Zuiderzeeballade
Tekst: Willy van Hemert / Muziek: Joop de Leur
(1959)


©  copyright translation

picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation



Dutch song Sylvain Poons - Zuiderzeeballade
with lyrics, music, video and English translation songtext


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

Granddad, I found in the attic
A photo of a fishing boat
Does it show the Southern Sea still
Before they reclaimed the land

Opa, kijk ik vond op zolder
Een foto van een oude boot
Is dat nog van voor de polder
Van die oude vissersvloot


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

That's a bit of luck, my dear boy
I lost that picture years ago
This brings back a little fragment
Of the former good old days

Jochie, dat is een gelukkie
Ik was dat prentje jaren kwijt
'k Heb nou weer een heel klein stukkie
Van die goeie ouwe tijd


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

There is the water, there is the harbour
You heard the seamen shout: "Get all aboard"
But now the horses trot here on dry land
And in the distance now is Emmeloord

Daar is het water, daar is de haven
Waar j' altijd horen kon: "We gaan aan boord"
De voerman laat er nou paarden draven
En aan de horizon leit Emmeloord


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

The sea raged here long ago
But those days won't return
Southern Sea is now IJssel Lake
A tractor's digging trenches and ditches
Till the horizon you won't see a ship

Eens ging de zee hier tekeer
Maar die tijd komt niet weer
Zuiderzee heet nou IJsselmeer
Een tractor gaat er nou greppels graven
'k Zie tot de horizon geen schepen meer


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

Look, that's me on deck, that young man
Yes, I was captain of that ship
And that fisherman, that fat one
Is Silly Japie, that tall lad

Kijk, die jongeman ben ikke
Ja, ikke was de kapitein
Hiero en die grote dikke
Ja, dat moet Malle Japie zijn


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

Granddad, who was that young boy there
Near the fore sheet, that blond guy
Granddad, say something! That fellow
Was your uncle, he is dead

Opa, en die blonde jongen
Vooraan bij de fokkeschoot
Opa, zeg nou wat! Die jongen
Is je ome, die is dood


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

In those deep waters, far from the harbour
In a November night, twenty years back
The lad was burried in the salt water
It won't be long before I'll see him back

In 't diepe water, ver van de haven
In die novembernacht, voor twintig jaar
Door 't brakke water is hij begraven
Maar als 'k nog even wacht, zien wij elkaar


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

The sea raged here in those days
In an angry defence
Try to tame her means punishment
Now horses trot here on drained and dry land
I see the hand and strength of our Lord

Toen ging de zee zo tekeer
In een razend verweer
Ongestraft slaat niemand haar neer
Nu jaren later hier paarden draven
Zie ik de hand en macht van onze Heer


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

Where is the water, where is the harbour
You heard the seamen shout: "Get all aboard"
But now the horses trot here on dry land
And in the distance now is Emmeloord

Waar is het water, waar is de haven
Waar j' altijd horen kon: "We gaan aan boord"
De voerman laat er zijn paard nou draven
En aan de horizon leit Emmeloord


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

The sea raged here long ago
But those days won't return
All the water is behind dikes
The waves once covered the earth completely
Now stalks wave in the wind, the grain is ripe

Eens ging de zee hier tekeer
Maar die tijd komt niet weer
't Water leit nou achter de dijk
Waar eens de golven het land bedolven
Golft nou een halmenzee, de oogst is rijp



©  copyright translation

picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation



Sylvain Poons (1896-1985) was an Amsterdam actor and singer. His father was a singer and his mother an actress, so Sylvain Poons played his first role in a theatre when he was only 16 years old (1912). Later he played and sang in revues and operettas and after the Second World War also in television series, like The small truth/De kleine waarheid (1970-1973).

As a singer Sylvain Poons recorded several duets with the famous singer Heintje Davids, like 'Because I love you really much'/'Omdat ik zoveel van je hou' (1934). Furthermore he recorded mainly yiddish songs and well-known film songs. But his biggest hit was above song, with fourteen-year-old Oetze Verschoor (1944), the 'Ballad of the Southern Sea' (1959). It reached the status of Golden Record.

The Southern Sea/Zuiderzee was a small inland sea in the north of the Netherlands, in between the provinces North-Holland (left), Utrecht and Gelderland (below) and Friesland (right) -picture Netherlands with Zuiderzee in the middle-. It was called 'southern', because the Frisians high in the north named it that way.

sylvain poons en oetze verschoor zuiderzeeballade album hoes         sylvain poons en oetze verschoor zuiderzeeballade album hoes         sylvain poons portret foto zwart wit

However, in 1932 the Dutchmen built the 20 miles/32 kilometres long Enclosure Dam/Afsluitdijk (from North-Holland to Friesland), to prevent floodings. The former sea became a fresh water lake and was now called: the IJssel Lake/IJsselmeer. Moreover, a big part of the former sea was drained and impoldered, so new reclaimed land was created. This became the new, 12th province Flevoland (a polder about 2500 km2 big) - picture nowadays 12 provinces; and picture Enclosure Dam, IJssel Lake and Flevoland-.

These South Sea Works/Zuiderzeewerken took from 1891 until 1975 and are (with the Dutch Delta Works) one of the largest hydraulic engineering projects ever accomplished. However, over a hundred harbours lost their access to sea (including Amsterdam, Volendam, Enkhuizen, Harderwijk, Stavoren and Urk) and seamen spoke with melancholy of those good old days - as expressed in above song.

The province of Flevoland nowadays has two cities, Lelystad and Almere, and many villages, like Dronten, Emmeloord and Zeewolde. It also has a national park, but most of the province is farmland.

Willy van Hemert (1912-1993) was a film and theatre director, actor, comedian and lyricist. He adapted several books for tv. Well-known songs he wrote (besides above song) are: 'Like those days' (1957); 'A little' (1959); 'Sun in Scheveningen' (1959); and 'It's such a luck' (1960).

icon list orange   More translated Dutch songs in the genre 'songs for a radio programme' and more with the theme 'songs about former days', 'songs with a historic subject' or 'Dutch historic maritime shipping'. See also the list of Dutch singers with all their songs on this website.
dutch flag the netherlands holland   Lyrics 'Zuiderzeeballade' on Dutch website: Nederlandse songteksten.



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©  copyright translation
(2017)


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