William and the Oranje

Dutch-related songs seem to have been the theme of the day yesterday, although Amanda took a more high-brow approach than I did. She went with the Dutch national anthem, which it turns out is the oldest national anthem and perhaps one of the longest, weighing in with 15 verses! Fortunately, they only seem to sing one or two at most.

Giovanni and I practiced the national anthem — it’s surprisingly difficult to get the word timing right — before heading out to the Potdeksel to see the Dutch football team take on Paraguay. We were excited to get a chance to blend in by singing along with the anthem. Once you get used to it, it’s quite fun. The last line is the most fun to really belt out at the end, although it’s kind of funny to think of the Dutch pledging any sort of loyalty to the Spanish in this day and age. I can’t help but hope the Netherlands and Spain don’t come up against each other at some point in the World Cup!

As for the match itself, we watched the somewhat lackluster first half at the Potdeksel before returning home for the second half. We had been perched on a couple of stools next to one of the speakers and were getting deaf in one ear. We were also watching the pull-down screen at an angle, so the shaded parts of the pitch were almost impossible to see and the Dutch were going to be aiming for the goal in the shaded side for the second half. If you care, you probably already know that the Dutch ultimately won the match 2-0, after the Danes gifted us with an own-goal, and then eventually Dirk Kuyt finally scored for the Netherlands. The team started to look much better toward the end of the second half and hopefully the next couple of matches won’t be so angsty for the Dutch fans!


It was fun to hear somewhat universal cheers going up all over the neighborhood as the Dutch team had a few close chances and also finally scored. After the match, it was like Queen’s Day all over again, with people out in orange in full force throughout the streets. A change from the ghost town most of the country turned into during the match itself.

Orange Everywhere

Oh yeah, Italy managed a tie in their first match yesterday. We were pleasantly surprised.

2 thoughts on “William and the Oranje

  1. I have never been to a bar to watch a match – neither here in NL nor in Arg. The atmosphere must be quite cheerful! Well, that is, when there’s something to celebrate!
    I watched the Arg match on my own yesterday and I have to say I felt horrible! I didn’t have anyone to share my outbursts with! I wonder what the neighbours must be thinking of me? :o)
    About the Wlhelmus – I’ve heard that not many people (Dutch people that is) know the words, actually! Apparently it’s not that common here to sing the national anthem for school ceremonies, etc.

  2. It’s interesting (but crowded and hard to get a good view) watching a game in a bar here — and that was a Monday afternoon! It is hard watching good games alone, though. If it helps, I was cheering along too during the Argentina match!

    I’ve heard from my Dutch friends that most people don’t know much more than the first verse, as well. Maybe it’s not worth the effort to get the music ready at school ceremonies and such if they’re only going to sing one verse. It’s over before it starts! 😉

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