King’s song? All wrong

  • Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 12:01 a.m.

What do you do for a crown prince when he becomes king?

Give him a new tie? A book? A nice bottle of wine?

What you don’t do is compose a special song for him — not one that mixes rap, insipid lyrics and a traditional tune.

Dutch-British producer John Ewbank found that out the hard way when the song he wrote to celebrate the April 30 investiture of Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands was released and immediately slammed. Listeners were so uncomfortable with the lyrics and the music that within 24 hours of its release, 37,000 of them had signed a petition to reject the song.

Mr. Ewbank withdrew it as the official anthem after it was described as “overproduced,” dreadful,” and “imbecilic.”


They apparently didn’t like lines like “I build a dyke with my bare hands and keep the water away” and “through wind and rain I’ll stand beside you ... I’ll keep you safe as long as I live.”

Mr. Ewbank said the lyrics were based on words submitted by Dutch citizens and put together by four writers.

As in too many cooks spoil the broth.

Mr. Ewbank says he was not surprised by the reaction, given the intense scrutiny it is undergoing.

But despite the initial reaction, the five-minute song, performed by 51 Dutch artists, has rocketed straight to the top of the Dutch iTunes chart.

No word yet on what the 45-year-old prince and his Argentine-born investment banker wife, Princess Maxima, think of it.

Perhaps if Mr. Ewbank added a bit of tango in deference to the princess?

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