Broadside ballads > 7. De zilvervloot - The Silver Fleet

ZilverflootListen to the melody, performed in an instrumental arrangement

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The 'triumphant song of the silver fleet', also known as 'Piet Hein', was written in 1847 by J.P. Heije, with music by J.J. Viotta. This duo is known for classic Dutch songs like 'Ferme jongens stoere knapen' ('Strapping lads, burly fellows'), 'Zie de maan schijnt door de bomen' ('See the moon shining through the trees') and 'Een karretje op de zandweg reed' ('A wagon rode down the dirt track').

A physician from Amsterdam, Heijer wrote songs for the people with an educational approach, with themes that ranged from the patriotic to the domestic. 'De zilvervloot' became his best-known song. It depicts a glorious occasion in the Dutch Revolt (1568-1648): admiral Piet Heijn seizing a fleet of Spanish ships transporting silver from America.

Many other lyrics have been written to the melody of 'De Zilvervloot', a large number of which deal with national subjects.

'De Zilvervloot' can be heard here in an instrumental performance, with Bouke Feleus on accordion and Grigori Sarolea on violin.

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