2011/4 Summaries


Het liedeken vande joffrouw van Brugge en haar catteken: lachen om de sentimentalisering van de omgang met een eigenwillig huisdier
Ridiculing too sentimental a relation with pets: the song about a young lady of Bruges and her beautifid but headstrong small cat
These days the cultural-historical interest in the man-animal relation hos grown con­siderably. Yet in Flanders this relation still remains a rather unexplored domain. Therefore, this article draws attention to a late seventeenth / early eighteenth centu­ry teat dealing with the emotional relation between a young single in Bruges and her favorite pet. It was written by a well-versed person.
For altes domestic cats were looked upon as ill-disposed creatures, deceitful and mali­cious. They owed the bad name to their purported contact with witchcraft and to the fact that they are less tractable than dogs.
That may be one of the reasons why we could only find a few traces of (sentimen­tal) man-cat relations and only in the upper class during the early modern era. In fact, sentimentalizing broke definitively through in the second part of the nineteenth century. This song is one of the relatively early testimonies. It is worth mentioning that in 1841 the poet P.J. Renier incorporated a few elements of this song in a Holy Mary legend, situated in Bruges.



West-Vlaamse volkszangers met populistische trekjes?
Flemish songs as a source for social research
A selection of early 20’h-century popular songs proves that most West-Flemish non-professional singers were a combination of (rather light-hearted) populist and moral­ist. Eradicating prejudices was not their priority because they were by all means aim­ing at immediate applause. The singers preferred to exploit gender problems, defend traditional values (e.g. group loyalty/social immobility) and criticize (indirectly) the hypocritical establishment.



“God verhoor ons, dat zijn wij”. De functies van het Nederlandse Eerste Wereldoorloglied

“God answer our prayers, this is us”
Functions of the Dutch First World War Songs
Internationally the First World War is associated mostly with poems like ‘In Flanders Fields’ or, within the Dutch speaking world, Paul van Ostaijen’s Bezette Stad. Songs as well became famous through the war. By December 1914 les a Long Way to Tipperary (originally from 1912) was generally known as ‘The Marching Anthem on the Battlefields of Europe’. The Netherlands was not a battlefield, yet due to massi­ve mobilisation efforts thousands of Dutch soldiers had to march on a daily basis. In 1915 an official song volume for the Dutch army was published. The Dutch who were not mobilized also spent the war singing about the conflict – a very rich but hardly researched source to learn how the Dutch dealt with the official policy of neu­trality.



Rock is dood
Rock is Dying
Starting from the quote by Sting (The Police) in 2006 that rock music isn’t revolu­tionary, but instead reactionary music, and that rock music is dying, this essay tries to link the actual status of rock music to matters of authenticity, mainstream versus substream, business versus creativity, the phenomenon of cross-over and recycling. The conduding chapter tries to give an answer to the question if the rock-fan really is as open-minded, as he is supposed to be and has an omnivorous taste, as post­modern theory suggests.



De Vlaamse dimensie van de Nederlandse Liederenbank

The Flemish dimension of the Nederlandse Liederenbank
The Nederlandse Liederenbank (www.liederenbank.n1) is a database that unlocks about 150,000 songs and is used both by scholars and the genera’ public. Translating the name of the database into English yields a problem that is related to an impor­tant question of this essay: how relevant is the Nederlandse Liederenbank for the Flemish community? Usually ‘Nederlandse Liederenbank’ is translated rather easily as Dutch Song Database’ – so as a Dutch database of songs or as a database of Dutch songs -, but one may also interprete it as ‘database of songs in the Dutch language’. In the context of this essay one might ask if `Dutch’ is the most adequate translation for ‘Nederlandse’, because `Dutch’ seems to refer to the Netherlands, while the Nederlandse language indudes both the northern variant of the language, spoken in the Netherlands (`Dutch’), and the southern variant, spoken in Belgium (Tlemish’). The latter interpretation is in line with the policy of the Meertens Institute in Amsterdam, which hosts the database: the Nederlandse Liederenbank may contain songs both from the Netherlands and Flanders. In this essay the author, who is in charge of the Nederlandse Liederenbank, argues in favour of more Flemish-Dutch cooperation in this field.



Twee liedverzamelaars: Pol Heyns en Ate Doornbosch

Two Song Collectors: Paul Heyns and Ate Doornbosch
The Dutch Song Database (DSD) contains some 4.000 recordings of ballads made by Ate Doornbosch from 1957 to 1993 in The Netherlands, using his radioshow Under the Green Lime to collect them. About twenty years before him the Flemish reporter Pol Heyns recorded hundreds of songs, also in the context of a radiopro­gramm. The recordings are now added to the DSD. In this artide it is argued that the two collections are extra valuable in combination. Obviously this is the case with new material, but even more so in the matching parts of the collections. To some extent the same songs or variants of songs were recorded and this leads to more knowledge about the circulation of both texts and melodies, used in contemporary research on oral transmission. Therefore it is a good idea to map as many collections of Dutch and Flemish recordings as possible.



Plat gezongen. Over muziek en streektaal in Vlaanderen en Nederland
Singing in dialect or regional language in Flanders and in the Netherlands
Singing in dialect has a long tradition in the Low Countries, that reaches back to the medieval folk songs and the broadside singers, who lasted until the middle of the 20’h century. The appearance and the increasing popularity of the modern media since the Interbellum caused great changes in the language use in popular music. The use of dialect became increasingly unpopular as music and shows got broad­casted for a much bigger, nationwide audience. Singing in the Dutch standard lan­guage guaranteed to local entertainers more audience and fame. From the fifties on many international artists with a repertoire in English were also favored by the broadcasting companies. It took as long as the eighties of the 20″ century before there was a revival of singing in local dialects, at least in the Netherlands. In Flanders it still remains a not really popular genre until today. The different attitude towards the Dutch standard language in Flanders and the Netherlands and a different legal position of regional language variants next to Dutch can explain, why there are some hundreds of Dutch artists with a dialect repertoire and at least a regional fame and airplay in comparison no more than a dozen in Flanders.



Pol Heyns’ veldopnamen van Vlaamse volksmuziek uit 1935-1938 in de universiteitsbibliotheek van Regensburg

Pol Heyns’ field recordings of Flemish folk music from 1935-1938 in the University Library of Regensburg
The ethnographer and radio reporter Pol Heyns (1906-1960) was the first collector of Flemish folk music to make recordings of the singers and musicians he visited. From December 1935 to the summer of 1939 he recorded about a thousand songs and instrumental pieces. With these field recordings he illustrated his radio talks on Flemish folklore. In 1941 Heyns published a volume ( Volksliederen) with a selection of 57 transcriptions of the songs he had collected. Only a small half of Heyns’ recordings survived in the archives of the Flemish public broadcasting company VRT. In 2007 the author published the study Pol Heyns en het volkslied (Pol Heyns and folk song), with an inventory of the extant recordings and a reprint of Volksliederen. After publication it appeared that about another 250 copies were kept in University Library of Regensburg (Germany), most of them lost in the VRT. They were made in Brussels in 1942 on the instigation of the German ethnomusicologist Alfred Quellmalz, a collaborator of Himmler’s Ahnenerbe. After the war Heyns’ recordings were transferred to Regensburg, where they were catalogued by the eth­nomusicologist Felix Hoerburger in 1953. In 2005-2007 they were digitized by the aterreiches Phonogrammarchiv in Vienna. The present artide tells the story of the Regensburg copies, catalogues them and presents some of the singers. The accom­panying CD contains the original recordings of 19 songs in Heyns’ Volksliederen, and also includes his very first recordings (Nos 1 and 2), the two oldest recordings of songs accompanied on the fiction drum rommelpot (Nos 22 en 23), and the only known recording of a Flemish broadside singer’s performance (No. 24).