A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Dutch music: a brief introduction… (and/or Dutch Lesson #2)

I thought of basing my ‘Dutch Lesson #2′ post around a song that I recently heard, however due to the wealth of new lexicon that I have been exposed to via my housemates’ various Dutch music recommendations, I found it difficult to pick just the one. I therefore present to you your new Dutch playlist and I’m sure that you’ll be listening to it on a loop from now on. Either that, or it might well make you scared to party in the Netherlands ever again. I would also like to draw your attention to the word ‘housemates’ – I do not want to be held *entirely* responsible for the following cheese-fest…


1. De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig – Watskeburt?!

Roughly translated as ‘The Youth of Today’, these guys hit the top of the Dutch charts with this, their debut song, back in 2005. It also reached #15 in the Flemish Ultratop although I doubt that that means anything to anyone. Even Belgians.

watskeburt? = wassup? (lit. contraction of ‘wat is er gebeurd’)

Yup, you now have neder-swag.



2. The Amazing Stroopwafels – Oude Maasweg

This one starts in English but patience is a virtue and having some of it will reward you with a Dutch second verse. The rift at 1.26 is guaranteed to have you playing air guitar.

olievlek = oil slick

Not your usual love song vocab, but you never know when it could come in handy.



3. Def Rhymz – Schudden

Now, there’s a veritable plethora of poetic verse to be taken away from this classic track; seemingly Def Rhymz knows how to charm the ladies like the next man/Snoop Lion.

schudden = shake (maybe 2013’s Dikke van Dale will include ‘twerk’ as a possible translation)

De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig just got a whole lot tamer.



4. Harry Jekkers – Oh Oh Den Haag

This is a Den Haag classic and is one for all the Hagenaars out there. Hagenaars are the traditionally more affluent residents of Den Haag, the slightly less pecunious normally preferring to brand themselves as ‘Hagenezen’ (sing. ‘Hagenees’).

kerstboom = Christmas tree

The Yuletide is, after all, almost upon us.


If this isn’t quite to your taste, then you are obviously more of a ‘Hagenees’ and will therefore much prefer the 21st century, Oh Oh Cherso version. For the record, Oh Oh Cherso is the gloriously trashy Dutch equivalent of Jersey Shore:

I have absolutely no idea what they’re saying however I think it’s safe to assume that there is little vocabulary of merit to be learned from this one.



5. Boudewijn de Groot – Jimmy

This one is my definite favourite and opens with the description of a cyclist hunched over the handlebars of his bike, leaning into the wind. It makes me want to brave the autumn weather and cycle to Katwijk 🙂

stuur = handlebar

In Holland, cycling words are always useful.



6. Doe Maar – De Bom

Apparently Doe Maar suffered from ‘over-exposure’ however I’m quite sure that this wasn’t amongst the Anglophone community. Their punk reggae vibe is really cool though and they remind me quite a lot of Madness. It’s worth watching the video if only for the mullet-flick at 0.42

woordenschat = vocabulary

You can write this on the front of the jotter that you’re probably not writing any of the other words in.



7. Jochem Myjer – Lalala Leiden

Remember Dutch Lesson #1? *Ahem*, well anyway… This song was written specially for this year’s Leidens Ontzet by Jochem Myjer, himself a Leidener and a Dutch music personality. The sweeping shots of Leiden should give you a good overview of the city but the people are what elevates the song from the realms of Koningslied cheese to something more personal. All are Leideners and a few of them ‘local celebrities’: namely the DJ Armin van Buuren and the man with the beard from the Saturday market’s herring stand.

“en de grachten gevuld zijn met bier, hutspot en pis” = ‘and the canals are filled with beer, hutspot and piss’

I told you Leidens Ontzet got messy.



Well done! You made it. As a reward you get to be reminded of the fact that the Vengaboys were (/are – I think they might be still with us) all proud Dutch citizens and brought the concept of the Vengabus into our lives:

Ah, memories… embarrassingly of last weekend. Put any other Dutch favourites in the comments below!

7 comments on “Dutch music: a brief introduction… (and/or Dutch Lesson #2)

  1. Inge
    October 30, 2013
  2. Philip Wagstaff
    October 30, 2013
  3. Local1
    October 31, 2013
  4. Mo
    November 16, 2013

    I would like to share my ‘guilty pleasures’ ..

    1) A new version of Doe Maar’s ‘De Bom’ with the now world-famous Def Rhymz

    2) The epic Rubberen Robbie…

    3) De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig’s best song… please not the black dude cumming all over the fried chicken at the 1:16 mark….

    4) The best thing since sliced bread… Dutch Carnaval..

    please enjoy 😉

    • theleidener
      November 24, 2013

      Mo, this is a Dutch playlist of distinction! Thanks for sharing!!

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This entry was posted on October 30, 2013 by in Andrew, Leisure, Uncategorized and tagged , , .

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