Broadside ballads > The recordings of the Top 30

An appropriate contemporary singer (male or female) was sought out for every melody in the Top 30 to perform the song for this website. The reactions to requests for cooperation have been overwhelmingly positive. Fourteen of the artists and a choir we approached were willing and able to perform two or three songs for The Memory.

The music for the songs was then prepared, and arrangements were made for the accompaniment. Instruments that were popular for playing street music around 1900 were employed wherever possible: accordion, concertina, hurdy-gurdy, guitar, violin and double bass. A few of the songs were accompanied on piano.

The songs were recorded in four days in November and December 2003 in theatre De Tobbe in Voorburg, under the leadership of Grigori Sarolea. Only Freek de Jonge's recording session took place in Jan Schuurman's studio (The Van) in Spakenburg.

A selection of songs from the top 30 has appeared on the CD 'De Kist van Pierlala. Straatliederen uit het Geheugen van Nederland' ('Pierlala's coffin. Street ballads from the Memory of the Netherlands') on the Globe label ( and is available from Dutch music stores.

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Examples from this collection Broadside ballads

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