No. 17: Patriotic songs

The Dutch (like any small country with a slight inferiority complex) like love their patriotic, nation-affirming songs. In everyday life, however, Dutch people are not particularly overt in their patriotism – after all, the Calvinistic principle of doe normaal doesn’t allow for such open displays of emotion or country-pride.  Dutch people, however, are allowed to practice their own form of patriotism in socially-approved preselected instances, these being either  a) a national sporting event (i.e. World Cup)or b) Queen’s Day. On both fore-mentioned events you will find the Dutch united in their orange dress and fervently celebrating the homeland.

Apart from these predefined instances of patriotism, the Dutch also have their emotion-filled vocal praises of the lowlands. Songs which highlight the country’s notable history, strengths and oddities (a bit like this blog, eh?). Every 5-10 years a song with such attributes will enter the Dutch air waves and unite the Dutch in a way that only words-set-to-music can.

Below you will find my personal selection of such songs (with English subtitles, where possible). Feel free to shout out your suggestions as you wipe a tear from your ever-orange-loving eye!

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29 Responses to No. 17: Patriotic songs

  1. Pingback: No.13: Going Camping | Stuff Dutch People Like

  2. femke says:

    And what about all the Counties pride songs, I’m sure Friesland has loads and “Brabant” by Guus Meeuwis brings to memory all that is good about Brabant (totally true by the way)

  3. Bart Craenmehr says:

    Ever been in a pub.. seeing the national of England.. wow their song comprises 2 words. Try to immagine you are trying to cought and say ho ho and then scream from the top of you lungs Eeenglaaand or Rohoooneeeyy and listen to thath 90 minutes … I rather listen to a song like Hup Holland hup laat de leeuw niet in zijn hemdje staan.. etc.. seems a bit more creative and less primal

  4. Rochejagu says:

    I always hear Auld Lang Syne when they play this.

  5. Olavius says:

    I really like ‘Het land van’. Good choice!

  6. Arie says:

    I must admit… I’m teary-eyed now

  7. Gerben says:

    A dialect and an accent are definetly not the same, although you don’t here much dialect these these, you should ask an old Brabantic or Twents person to speak in dialect and you will see.

  8. Pingback: No. 20: Skating (on natural ice) | Stuff Dutch People Like

  9. Mirjam says:

    mmmm… that just made me miss the Netherlands, these songs always pull my sensitive strings :P Especially like the fact that you choose the videos with translation … good one!

  10. ablabius says:

    Never even heard the second, and I`ve lived in the Netherlands a good while now. Dutch are have few ‘national’ songs, but songs that sing praise of a province, region, or even a city will usually find a sympathetic ear among the Dutch from other places.
    Two well known city songs that ‘went national’ are Big City by Tol Hansse, en Oh oh Den Haag by Harry Jekkers. Sorry, but I couldn`t find a version with subtitles of either.

  11. Asturjana says:

    What about Wolter Kroes’s Viva Hollandia? I think that is the most-played Dutch song in parties. I love that song, it makes me want to dance!

  12. Valerie says:

    As soon as I read this post, I hoped that this song would be part of your list. Since it’s not, I would like to suggest it anyway. The version the link below leads to does not have subtitles though, so Dutchies would understand it. But for the non-Dutchies a small explanation could be useful: it is a very characteristic song about our country’s battle against water, and love for water at the same time. It describes how we have had to fight the water and all the devastation it can bring, and how we can enjoy the sea or rivers en-masse on a lovely summer day.

    The version below is made by a Dutch power company; I do not necessarily say this is the best company, but the images with the song do make for a very strong commercial. However, it is the song that is most powerful.


  13. Daan says:

    Where are the actual patriotic songs?
    Old songs like “Merck toch hoe sterck” or “In naam van Oranje/Koppelstocklied”.

  14. bart says:

    Another one for the dutch brabos


  15. Sandor says:

    If you ever have the strength and patience a particulary good song that all Dutch people know would be “Flappie”. As you have resided here some time undoubtedly you’ve heard it coming by around Christmas time and had people explain to you what it’s about.

    I have many not-native friends whom I’ve been dying to present with an English-subtitled video of the song however, I’ve never had the audacity to actually sit down and make one.

    So if one day you feel inspired….

  16. Marc Duteweerd says:

    Patriotic Dutch at “koninginnedag”

    Viva Hollandia

  17. Michelle Lambourne says:


  18. Dan I. says:

    My very first Dutch experience during my visit was when, upon landing at Schiphol after the trans-Atlantic flight from the USA, all of the the Dutch passengers on board the plane broke into some patriotic song together. I assumed at the time it was their national anthem, but now I see it could have been one of a number of patriotic songs.

  19. Joep t says:

    You forgot the quintessential “NEDERLAND”

  20. Andreea says:

    Het land van is one of the best dutch songs. but you have to admit, it speaks about both parts of The Netherlands : good and bad things.

  21. Pingback: Funny list of things Dutch people love « holinholland

  22. John says:

    Hollanders – by Alexander Curly (early 80′s I reckon):

  23. Pingback: No.9: Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag) | Stuff Dutch People Like

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