February 18, 2011

It’s a matter of playing the cultural card at the right time

Filed under: General,Music by Orangemaster @ 2:37 pm

The once very popular Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party has been losing a lot of ground particularly in provinces such as Limburg, to make a long story short. Interestingly, many prominent politicians such as Maxime Verhagen (right), currently Deputy Prime Minister (and first Dutch politician to Twitter) comes from Limburg, speaks dialect, especially as of late when asked to because it’s election time for the Dutch Senate.

Picture your favourite American or British band yelling ‘we love [fill in city or country of your choice]’ to woo the audience. And it works. In this case, Maxime loses points for not being able to fill in the blanks of a hugely popular song by Rowwen Hèze, Limburg’s number one ‘export’ who play American TexMex style music mainly in Limburgs dialect and have been around for some 20 years.

Presentator Twan Huys also from Limburg decided to see if Maxime wasn’t just ‘talking nonsense’ and made him switch to Maastricht dialect. At least he was able to fill that in. You could hear the sound of the students’ hearts strings twanging when ‘one of their own’ spoke their language.

The chorus of the song ‘Kwestie van Geduld’ (‘A Matter of Patience’) is in ‘standard’ Dutch on purpose.

” ‘t Is een kwestie van geduld,
rustig wachten op de dag,
dat heel Holland Limburgs lult,
dat heel Holland Limburgs lult.”

(’tis a matter of patience, waiting quietly for the day,
that all of Holland ‘yaps’ in Limburgs,
that all of Holland ‘yaps’ in Limburgs.)

The verb ‘lullen’ means ‘to bullshit’ or ‘talk nonsense’, but is much more neutral, so I went with ‘yapping’.

Holland is a large part of the Netherlands, South Holland and North Holland, a differentiation made by Limburgers to point out their cultural differences, especially their use of dialects in daily life instead of the ‘standard’ Dutch language.

No one give me a lesson on all of this, I’ve been hearing it for 12 years from my Limburg co-blogger.

(Link: limburger.nl)

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January 31, 2010

25 years of Tex-Mex in the province: Rowwen Hèze

Filed under: Music by Branko Collin @ 2:47 pm

For a long time the band Normaal symbolised music from the sticks, the ZZ Top of the Achterhoek (literally: back corner) sang in their local dialect about beer, women, and any combination of the two. Then in 1985, the Limburg band Rowwen Hèze was founded, and suddenly people were speaking of a trend.

Like Normaal, Rowwen Hèze makes good party music, based oddly enough on the continental immigrant music of the United States: Tex-Mex, polka, fanfare, Irish folk. They take standards (or songs that sound like they ought to be) and add silly local texts to them: Enselma becomes Bestel Mar (order up), and Ay Te Dejo En San becomes Kroenenberg (a place name). Of course, when they sing Los Lobos’ and Flaco Jimenez’ songs, they invite these guys onto stage too.

The other side of Rowwen Hèze (named after a local tramp) is introspective:

Saint Anthony was said to know
— dear friend, he wrote, it is true —
it can be better to lose something beautiful
than to never having had it before

(Link: AD.nl)

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