The VARA television station has a show called ‘Kinderen voor Kinderen’ (‘Children for Children’) that has been around since 1980 and lets children ask for songs to be written on topics that interest them, ranging from a girl getting her breasts to a boy with Attention Deficit Disorder and everything in between.
According to Wikipedia, the 1984 song ‘Bruin’ (‘Brown’) falls under the category ‘taunting and mobbing’, avoiding using adult words like ‘discrimination’ or even ‘racism’. Would a song like this that claims it’s trying to discourage ‘taunting and mobbing’ of a non-white Dutch boy actually be socially acceptable today? When I first watched it, my jaw dropped probably because there’s no politically correct wording that you’d be strongly encouraged to use today. In the end, the ‘brown’ boy actually sings that maybe white people aren’t so mean after all, implying that stereotypes are a two-way street. The music and choreography are fun to watch.
Here is a taste of the more straight up lyrics:
I would rather be paler
Then I wouldn’t be so insecure
Then I wouldn’t be so sad
And not as mad when they called me names
(White chorus sings) ‘He’s so brown’
This song from the Kinderen voor Kinderen choir (‘Children for Children’) was voted their best song last Saturday, public broadcaster VARA announced according to Volkskrant. The song is called ‘Op een Onbewoond Eiland’ (‘On a Desert Island’).
Kinderen voor Kinderen was a choir initially founded by VARA for charity, the idea being that the proceeds of their records would go to help children in poor countries. It was heavily ridiculed for the snooty, Gooi ‘R’ that the children in it used, and which sounds almost exactly like the British word ‘air.’ You can hear a sample at the start of this Kinderen voor Kinderen parody Ik Heb Die Zwaar Bekakte R Niet (‘I Lack That Snooty R’) by fake children’s choir De Boksbeugeltjes (‘The Brass Knuckles’).