December 3, 2020

Dutch Christmas song ‘Flappie’ gets American version

Filed under: Animals,Music by Orangemaster @ 10:12 am


‘Flappie’, the song about a Christmas rabbit written and sung by Dutch comedian Youp van ‘t Hek, a celebrity who has coined many catch phrases, has recently been covered by major American music figure Todd Rundgren who apparently likes to cover ‘obscure’ songs.

‘Flappie’, has become ‘Floppy’, which is a great name for a rabbit in English. I have not been able to find out the translator is as they’ve done a fine job, even according to Van ‘t Hek. Rundgren, who has performed in the Netherlands countless times according to music magazine Oor, is said to have made his version more dramatic than the original. One online criticism was that the new song was musically too busy, but I think it matches the story.

All I want is to know who the translator is to admire their work since translators are too often ignored.

Here’s the English version by Todd Rundgren:

Here’s a nice live version of original Dutch by Youp van ‘t Hek:

(Link:, Photo of Rabbit by J Ligero & I Barrios. Some rights reserved)

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November 16, 2010

Dutch comedian declares war on customer service desks

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 11:08 am

(“My fingers are itching… death to all customer service departments and impenetrable multinationals. Time for a fun revolution… I’m up for it.”)

Customer service here is so bad that Dutch comedian and columnist Youp van ‘t Hek decided to dedicate his column in NRC newspaper (Dutch) to exposing bad customer service after his own son battled a mobile phone provider for months to no avail. His own experience seems to be that these corporations only respond to public humiliation by celebreties and the fear of being exposed rather than actually provide ‘customer service’.

In late October Van ‘t Hek twittered about his son’s broken mobile phone woes and went on a talk show the same day to tell his tale. After appearing on TV and naming and shaming the mobile phone provider logo and all, the problem was taken care of faster than the speed of light. In other words, if you’re famous and bitch on Twitter to your 45,000 followers and then on TV, you’ll get ‘service’, a word that is used in English in Dutch as there is no equivalent.

Any customer service that involves ringing up a call centre usually costs you money per minute (it should be free!), takes a long time and makes people angry because they get promised things which don’t happen (like receiving a modem for your cable Internet) and having to call back and repeat your story again to someone else who’ll tell you you’ve already received it. Many a foreigner nicknames this type of situation ‘it’s not possible’, (‘dat kan niet’) or in proper English, ‘we can’t do that for you’.

Another example of service gone mad in Van ‘t Hek’s column involved a man getting fined repeatedly for paying his cable Internet bill late while not being a customer of the company in question. He keeps calling to explain he’s not a customer and never was, they keep saying they’ll stop the bills and the bills keep coming — it’s been months. Basically, he’s not in the system, but obviously he is because he keeps getting letters. The call centre employees keep asking for his customer number to be able to track the situation, but he doesn’t have one.

If you read Dutch, read the original newspaper column of Van ‘t Hek and his son’s problem.


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