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Jacques Brel - My flat low land

Dutch songs with English translation, translated in English


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picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch song translated English translation

Jacques Brel - My flat low land
Lyrics and music: Jacques Brel / Dutch translation: Ernst van Altena
(1965)

Jacques Brel - Mijn vlakke land (Le plat pays)
Tekst en muziek: Jacques Brel / Nl. vertaling: Ernst van Altena
(1965)


©  copyright translation

picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch songs translated English translation



Dutch song Jacques Brel - Mijn vlakke land
with lyrics, music, video and English translation songtext


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch songs translated English translation

When our North Sea stubborn breaks upon the sand dunes
And flocks of foam burst white and spatter on the dike tops
And when the high tide brutal bangs the black basalt
And on the dike and dune is falling a grey fog
When during ebb the beach is rough and desert-like
And western winds are wet and howling with venom
My country fights, my flat low land

Wanneer de Noordzee koppig breekt aan de hoge duinen
En witte vlokken schuim uiteenslaan op de kruinen
Wanneer de norse vloed beukt aan een zwart basalt
En over dijk en duin de grijze nevel valt
Wanneer bij eb het strand woest is als een woestijn
En natte westenwinden gieren van venijn
Dan vecht mijn land, mijn vlakke land


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch songs translated English translation

And when the rain falls down on streets and squares and gardens
On roofs and on the spires of towering high churches
The only mountains in this flat unending land
And when beneath the clouds the people seem like dwarfs
And all the days in clueless order passing by
When puffed up east winds flatten the land even more
My country waits, my flat low land

Wanneer de regen daalt op straten, pleinen, perken
Op dak en torenspits van de hemelhoge kerken
Die in dit vlakke land de enige bergen zijn
Wanneer onder de wolken mensen dwergen zijn
Wanneer de dagen gaan in domme regelmaat
En bolle oostenwind het land nog vlakker slaat
Dan wacht mijn land, mijn vlakke land


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch songs translated English translation

When the low sky is skimming over water plains
When the low sky is teaching us humility
When the low sky is grey and bleak as stones and slate
When the low sky is pale and ashen as the mud
When northern winds are harshly quartering the plains
When stinging northern winds are stealing our breath
My country creaks, my flat low land

Wanneer de lage lucht vlak over ’t water scheert
Wanneer de lage lucht ons nederigheid leert
Wanneer de lage lucht er grijs als leisteen is
Wanneer de lage lucht er vaal als keileem is
Wanneer de noordenwind de vlakte vierendeelt
Wanneer de noordenwind er onze adem steelt
Dan kraakt mijn land, mijn vlakke land


picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch songs translated English translation

But when the river Scheldt is glimmering in sun
And every Flemish woman strolls in summer dress
When the first spider weaves it's first web of the spring
Or steaming fields are trembling in the July-sun
And when the southern winds are laughing through the grain
The south winds are rejoycing here along the streets
My country cheers, my flat low land

Wanneer de Schelde blinkt in zuidelijke zon
En elke Vlaamse vrouw flaneert in zon-japon
Wanneer de eerste spin zijn lentewebben weeft
Of dampende het veld in juli-zonlicht beeft
Wanneer de zuidenwind er schatert door het graan
Wanneer de zuidenwind er jubelt langs de baan
Dan juicht mijn land, mijn vlakke land



©  copyright translation

picture garland guirlande symbol of dutch songs translated English translation



Jacques Brel (1929-1978) was a singer and songwriter from Brussels, Belgium. His native language was French. Although Brussels is situated in Dutch speaking Flanders, the majority in Brussels and the elite of those days mainly spoke French. Jacques Brel recorded some translated songs in Dutch, with an unmistakable French accent.

Jacques Brel became internationally famous in the 1950's and 1960's. Some of his greatest hits are 'Ne me quitte pas'/'If you go away' (1959); 'Marieke' (1961); 'Le Plat Pays'/'My flat low land' (1962); Bruxelles/'Brussels' (1963); 'Amsterdam' (1964); 'Les vieux amants'/'Long lasting love' (1967); and 'Voir un ami pleurer'/'To see a friend cry' (1977).

jacques brel mijn vlakke land single hoes 1965         jacques brel singing microphone

Most of his French songs were translated to Dutch by Ernst van Altena and sung by Dutch performers ('Brel-interpreters') like Liesbeth List, Herman van Veen and Jeroen Willems.

After years of giving a high number of performances, but also of intensive smoking and drinking and hardly sleeping, Jacques Brel had to give up being on stage in 1967. He worked as an actor, but not very successful and sailed around the world with a beloved one, Maddly Bamy. They ended up on the island Hiva Oa in the Pacific Ocean. In 1974 he turned out to have lung cancer. Brel passed away in 1978, only 49 years old.

dutch flag the netherlands holland   Lyrics 'Mijn vlakke land' on Dutch website: Nederlandse songteksten.



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