Your Guide To Carnaval: Muziek
When it comes to music, the Dutch are known for electronic music and rap. Some of your favorite artists probably have a Dutch DJ on their tracks and you might not even know. Golden Earring, Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, and Tiesto all come from this little country. Naturally, there are plenty of other artists popular here who don’t produce English music, but we’ll save that for another time.
When it comes to Carnaval music, all rules are out the door. The instruments are loud and obnoxious, the lyrics vulgar. In my personal opinion, it sounds like pirate music. However, I have never heard songs more fun to sing along and dance to. Perhaps this is why the Dutch have such a good time?
Carnaval music is another thing that varies from town to town. Just a few towns over in s’ Hertogenbosch they have their own unique songs and down south in Limburg they even sing a few in German. There are a few classics that stick around for years, as well as a few new songs every year. Everyone knows every lyric, as well as every corresponding dance move.
There are a few songs that you end up hearing well over 20 times a day during Carnaval. Vrouwkes and Links Rechts by Snollebollekes are definitely two of them. The first time I heard these songs back at a festival in November, I was not expecting the sheer force with which people would dance from left to right. Not to be dramatic or anything, but my life flashed before my eyes as people tried to prevent my American self from being stampeded. Carnaval was like one big “don’t get crushed” moment.
Other Carnaval songs are based off of an existing tune, just with different words. For example, the song Sex Met Die Kale is based of an English tune that you are sure to recognize if you give it a listen. Oh and by the way, the name of that song translated into English is “Sex With that Bald Man” and you can probably guess how the rest of that song goes. For the Dutchies, that’s just Carnaval and nobody really gives it a second thought. I mean, it’s a really fun song to sing.
Overall, there aren’t words to sum up Carnaval music, and I definitely haven’t done it justice in this post. However, the absolute best way to familiarize yourself is to just give it a listen. I couldn’t find any good English translations of the songs, but to be completely honest, maybe it’s better that way... Carnaval music is just fun and easy to sing and dance to. That’s the whole point of it really. Don’t be surprised if you find me belting Sex Met Die Kale on my drive to school next year...
If you want to listen to some more Carnavalsmuziek, this playlist is a great place to start