The scorn of an entire nation was too much for British-Dutch composer John Ewbank. Saturday night he posted a message on Facebook announcing he was withdrawing his newly minted 'Koningslied' (Kings Song). However the National Commission charged with organising the festivities surrounding the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander was not impressed by the outcry.
'Reactions have been mainly positive. After consulting with John Ewbank and the NPO orchestra we have decided to keep the King's Song as it is', the Committee said Monday April 22nd.
The Commission originally said in a statement late Saturday night it respected Ewbank's decision. By that time over 37,000 people had signed a petition asking to have their citizenship withdrawn because of the 'stupid' King's Song. Many more had liked a Facebook page apologising for the Song - the latest score was 92,000 on Monday for 'Sorry voor het Koningslied'.
The song which is to be sang by the entire Dutch population at 7:30 PM on Tuesday April 30, was hardly presented Friday when a tsunami of protests came over Ewbank and his fellow composers. Criticism came in two ways: the text was lambasted, and condemned by teachers, linguists, and writers, and the composition too - a mix of classic, rap and choir music - was rejected. The video clip did not meet with much approval either.
Ewbank at first was unfazed by the criticism, but broke down under the increasingly personal attacks, asking for him to be stoned and such. The National Commission waited till Monday to come up with a solution, which was to many people's surprise, to reinstate the King's Song. In a press statement the Commission praised the efforts of the composers and musicians, only acknowledging that to ask the population to contribute lines for the song had made it difficult.
‘Koningslied’ on its release Friday immediately trended on Twitter. The song received so many complaints from Dutch listeners that YouTube temporarily blocked it. In the song the public is invited to put 3 fingers up to form a W for King Willem-Alexander. ‘Forget 3 fingers, just put 2 fingers in your ears’ disgusted listeners suggested.
The idea to compose a new song for the King was aired soon
after the announcement of the abdication of Queen Beatrix in January. It
proposed to let Dutch singers and songwriters come together to write a
the new King Willem-Alexander, with textual input from the Dutch. Some 51
musicians and singers went to work with those contributions. The song
was intended to unite the Dutch in song. Well, as come critics commented, united it has: in rejection. Updated and revised April 22nd.
© RoyalblogNL, Hans Jacobs
The translated text: There you are, you saw this moment so many times in your dreams The Dutch text: Daar sta je dan