Broadside ballads > 1. Wie Nederlands bloed - Those of Dutch blood

 Wie Nederlands bloedListen to the song, performed by Cantiamo Leidschendam

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Bekijk de melodie in muziekschriftView this melody  in musical notation

True Dutchmen sing out for fatherland and king, and call for God's blessing over their country. In the early twenty-first century, there is quite a bit of resistance to this song. The bombastic melody and excessively patriotic lyric are from another age. The second line, which states that Dutch blood must be free 'of alien stains', is now perceived as discriminatory. The fact that this line was changed to 'whose heart beats bravely and freely' in the late nineteenth-century has failed to diminish resistance to the song.

This wasn't much of a problem in the early nineteenth century. Written in 1815 by the poet Hendrik Tollens, the song was a winning submission to a contest for a national anthem. Until that time, the Netherlands had not had a national anthem. The melody was later composed by Johann Wilhelm Wilms.

Anthems are especially beloved in times of national crisis. This also applies to 'Wie Nederlands bloed', which didn't become popular until the Belgian Revolt (1830-1831). Confusingly, the 'Wilhelmus' was in circulation in the same period, and was played at official royal occasions. The Wilhelmus was ultimately selected as the only official national anthem in 1932.

The original lyric is sung here by the choir Cantiamo Leidschendam, conducted by Grigori Sarolea, and accompanied on piano by Bouke Feleus.

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