Listen to this song, performed by Maarten van Roozendaal
By the banks of a rapid brook sits a grieving orphan girl. A passing gentleman asks her what is wrong. She directs him to her mother's grave and tells him of the death of her father and brother, who both drowned in this brook. The gentleman takes her home with him and offers her a good life.
The song was translated from German. The song 'An einem Fluss der rauschend Schoss' was published anonymously in 1781. The oldest Dutch version dates back to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Several variants exist of the Dutch lyric as well as the melody. The song was passed on in many songbooks and magazines and remained popular until the early twentieth century.
Some other songs set to its melody will also sound familiar to us. Most of them are about sad events: a car or ship accident, or a little boy in need of Band-Aids.