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Hans Mof
101036.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:49 am Reply with quote

Written between 1568 and 1572 Wilhelmus van Nassouwe, the Dutch national anthem, is the oldest national anthem in the world*.

The text tells of Willem van Nassouwe‘s (William of Orange‘s) life and is written as if it were sung by himself. The text is an acrostic, i.e. the first letters of the fifteen stanzas spell the name Willem van Nassov.

The melody is based on the French soldier‘s song Autre chanson de la ville de Chartres assiégée par le prince de Condé.

It was recognized as official national anthem on May 10, 1932. Only 14% of the Dutch population knows Het Wilhelmus by heart.

First stanza

Wilhelmus van Nassau
ben ik van duitschen bloed.
De vaderland getrouwe
ben ik tot in de doed.
Een prinschen van Oranje
ben ik vrij onverveerd
de koning van Hispanje
heb ik altijd geëerd.

Aproximate translation

William of Nassau, scion
Of a German/Dutch and ancient line,
Dedicate undying
Faith to this land of mine.
A prince I am, undaunted,
Of Orange, ever free,
To the king of Spain I've granted
A lifelong loyalty.

The melody

*The text to the Japanese national anthem has allready been written in the 9th century but its tune wasn‘t written until 1880.

Last edited by Hans Mof on Mon Oct 16, 2006 5:34 am; edited 1 time in total

did you know....
101248.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:03 pm Reply with quote

im part dutch

101522.  Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:35 am Reply with quote

Which part?



101545.  Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:11 am Reply with quote

You mean the Dutch are still proclaiming loyalty to the Spanish King? Or does that line mean that William has granted to the King of Spain a lifelong loyalty to him (William)? Very generous in either case, I wonder if Juan Carlos realises his good luck.

Hans Mof
101592.  Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:00 am Reply with quote

Wikipedia explain it quite well:

The last two lines of the first stanza indicate that the leader of the Dutch civil war against Spanish Empire of which they were part, had no specific quarrel with the king, but rather with his emissaries in the Low Countries, like Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba. This may have been because at the time (late 16th century) it was uncommon to publicly doubt the 'God-given rights' of kings. It strikes the modern Dutch ear as an obsolete formula. For some of the resistance fighters of the day the couplet may have resonated with irony or knowing sarcasm.

As mentioned above, the song tells the life of William I of Orange-Nassau. He was the main leader of the Dutch revolt against the Spanish that set off the Eighty Years' War and resulted in the formal independence of the United Provinces in 1648.
William‘s conflict of obligations is mirrored in the Wilhelmus. On the one hand he wants to be alligiant to the king of Spain, on the other hand he‘s , above all, true to Netherland and its people. This struggle can be observed throughout the whole anthem.

Extract from the tenth stanza

Field, village, town and city / Pillaged by roving hands. / O that the Spaniards rape thee, / My Netherlands so sweet, / The thought of that does grip me / Causing my heart to bleed.

As a side note:
Allegedly, William spend quite some time in the oldest café in Brussels called Coninck van Hispaengien (King of Spain).

101975.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:00 am Reply with quote

Bit on a par with the British people proclaiming loyalty to the Duke of Normandie then. Oh, they do, it's called 'God Save The Queen'!
Or us Aquitainois lording the true ruler of our fair land, the Duke of Aquitaine. Oh, we're back to her again!

Just joking, and probably inaccurately Hans, but I did find your information very interesting.

Had to edit this because my fat finger syndrome inadvertantly typed 'The Dike of Aquitaine'. Could have meant the tower.

102176.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:31 pm Reply with quote

I've always wondred if there is actually a region in The Netherlands called Holland or is that just a British myth?

Hans Mof
102179.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:39 pm Reply with quote

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is formed by the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.

The Netherlands consist of twelve provinces, two of which are North Holland and South Holland.

102180.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:43 pm Reply with quote

we had a lengthy discussion about what is/is not Holland and The Netherlands here: post 73769

102181.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:43 pm Reply with quote

Does anyone why the Brits sometimes call the Netherlands, Holland ?

102185.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:58 pm Reply with quote

all in that other thread I linked to I believe.

102239.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:37 pm Reply with quote

The French name Pays-Bas is a giveaway isn't it? 'Nether' meaning 'low'.

102349.  Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:13 am Reply with quote

Kingbarney wrote:
Does anyone why the Brits sometimes call the Netherlands, Holland ?

Much the same reason that most French people call Britain, England, and all Britons, English. Annoys the hell out of the Welsh, Irish, and Scots. I wonder if all the Dutch residents of the other 10 provinces get similarly worked up.
A footnote to that is that on more than one occasion when filling in an official form here and correctly giving my nationality as 'Britannique', the official present has altered it to 'Anglais'!

102352.  Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:22 am Reply with quote

As is said, quite often:

"British by birth, English by the grace of God!"



104051.  Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:43 pm Reply with quote

Holland means ‘Woodland’ in Dutch, the same as Guatemala means in Mayan-Toltec.

The North-West of the Netherlands was once covered with trees. The word 'Holland' is an elision of "holt-land" meaning 'woodland'.

The meaning of the word ‘Guatemala’ in the language of the ancient Mayan Empire is usually given as “land of trees”.

s: EBR


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