A Wilhelmus to the Netherlands

By: | Post date: March 22, 2009 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Countries

When I was an undergraduate, one of my lecturers was the quite Dutch Tobias Ruighaver. At the conclusion of his course on computer architecture, I stood up with a couple of musicians in the lecture theatre, and gave a stirring rendition of Het Wilhelmus, the Dutch national anthem. I think Tobias was more interested in the Amstel beer we’d also gotten him; but the performance got people talking for at least a semester.

I completely failed to get the Netherlands, of course; I should have bought that Undutchables book at the airport, I think it would have illuminated some things. Still, now that I’m back in Melbourne Town, and jetlagged (I slept like a log on the plane—but on the wrong leg of the flight), I bid you all please be upstanding for my rendering of the Dutch national anthem (a bit more T.S. Eliot than the original):

I’m William of Nassau,

My blood is Dutch.

I’m true to my country

beyond death’s reach.

A prince out of Orange,

free, unafraid:

my word is my bond to

the king of Spain.

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