The Dutch Anthem
Anthem of the Netherlands
The national anthem "Wilhelmus"of the Netherlands
is a song originating from the Freedom War
against Spain which lasted from 1568 to 1648.
The text was written in the first years of the war
by exiles in Emden, Germany and later
redone by Philip van Marnix of Saint Aldegonde.
The melody dates from 1569 and was later
part of "Valerius Gedenck Klanck"
a famous album of resistance songs from the Freedom War.
The Valerius Songs are heard ever and ever again
on many occasions in daily life.
The Wilhelmus anthem is officially instituted
since May 10, 1932.
The Royal Dutch Navy (Marine) and the Police
did not recognize the anthem until 1939.
From 1813 until 1932 the official anthem was
"Wiens Neerlands Bloed" by the poet Tollens.
The Dutch population however has sung the Wilhelmus
on many brave occasions both in defeat and victory.
The first time known was in 1573 and since then
more and more during the centuries,
pushing away the "official" anthem
until the final recognition came in 1932.
Although there are 15 verses in the anthem,
only the first and sixth verse are sung
The translation of the First and Sixth verse is:
1 William of Nassau, seed
Of a Dutch and ancient line,
True to the fatherland
Will I be into Death.
A prince of Orange I am,
fearless, ever free.
To the king of Spain
I've granted unwavering loyalty.
6 My shield and my reliance,
Are you O God, my Lord.
I'll trust unto Your guidance.
Leave me never and never.
That I may stay a pious
Servant of You for ever
And drive the tyranny away
that injured my heart.
A very special place,
where the Anthem is cited is at the Dutch War cemetery
upon the Grebbeberg at Rhenen.
At this place 850 soldiers stayed behind in May 1940,
stopping the invading German troops during five costly days.
Den vaderlant ghetrouwe
On the side of the entrance of the War Cemetery.
Blijf ick tot inden doot.
On the side of the graves.
"True to the fatherland
Will I be into Death."
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Updated June 19, 2008
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Copyrightę2002-2008 by Robert and Susan