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.

Dutch pride

The one and only: André Hazes

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!



41 Responses

  1. femke

    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)

  2. Bart Craenmehr

    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

  3. Rochejagu

    I always hear Auld Lang Syne when they play this.

  4. Olavius

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

    • Fred (uk)

      As am I. Out of the country now for 10 years. And yes I sometimes miss it. Music is about emotion. and them 3 made me choke. Been reading this now all afternoon including all replies. lol. Is like looking in the mirror. Its good to hear how ppl think about you/us. I also realize the differences a bit more. Iam at nr. 17 now. still got more then 40 to go. I hope it doesn’t end and this blog goes further. Really enjoy it.

  5. Gerben

    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.

    • Sjors Smeets

      This is true, i’m limburgian, and my accent (a “soft” G, and having the words “in the back of my mouth”) is distinctive, but when i talk my dialect, you wouldn’t understand it if you don’t pay attention.

  6. Mirjam

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

  7. ablabius

    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.

  8. Asturjana

    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!

  9. Valerie

    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.


  10. Daan

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

  11. Sandor

    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….

  12. Dan I.

    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.

  13. Andreea

    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.

  14. No. 21: Herring

    […] Don’t you dare try to cut your herring into pretty pieces and eat it with a knife and fork?  Dat mag niet! To be truly indoctrinated Dutch-style, you must grab the fish by its slippery little tail, cock your head back to a slightly uncomfortable angle and take one large fishy bite. There’s something about this delightful little performance that has even the most humble of Dutch persons brimming with pride in nationalistic delight. […]

  15. Heleen

    Hup, Holland, hup!
    Laat de leeuw niet in zijn hempie staan.
    Hup, Holland, hup!
    Trek het beestje geen pantoffels aan.
    Hup, Holland, hup!
    Laat je niet het veld uit slaan,
    Want een leeuw op voetbalschoenen kan de hele wereld aan,
    Ja, een leeuw op voetbalschoenen kan de hele wereld aan!

    A footballsong, but I think it fits in this blog.

  16. Koningsdag 2014 | North-East-South-West

    […] other countries’ national day’s, April 27th (or 26th, this year) is not about in-your-face patriotism or royal worshiping, it’s about oneness. Everyone can participate, everyone can partake, […]

  17. Rudi

    I’ve been living in Canada now for the past 35 years (currently in Calgary, Alberta), but I was raised in Harlingen Friesland and still consider myself a Dutchie.

    Ode aan Harlingen – Wiebe van Dijk

  18. Marita Van Smoorenburg Flett

    My parents were Dutch and I was born in ” Amerika” I remember them busting out in song at so many occasions and each occasion has it’s own special song. My favorite was always “Dar bij de Mollen” it is a combination patriotic,, water and romance song, Basicly Only Holland claimed from the sea by the venerable windmill allows you to meet the most beautiful girl in the world,, woo her and live happily ever after in the shadow of said windmill.

  19. Ties

    Ik heb u lief mijn Nederland

    Merck toch hoe sterck



    Wien Neerlands bloed

    Wij houden van Oranje

    Hollands vlag je bent mijn glorie


    Dit zijn mijn patriottistische liederen. Hoewel ik uit de achterhoek kom en daar trots op ben, vind ik deze liederen veel mooier dan die regionale en provinciale liederen. Nederland mijn vaderland.

  20. Tim

    Wel try oranje boven oranje boven leven de konining butt Now king was famous for a while


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