On April 30th (also known as ‘Queensday‘), The Netherlands will welcome their new king; Willem Alexander, as his mother (the reigning) Queen Beatrix will step down and pass the thrown on to him. The Netherlands are preparing big festivities for the coronation, which will take place in the nation’s capitol; Amsterdam.
For such a special occassion, het Nationaal Comité Inhuldiging (translated: the National Committee for the coronation) decided that a special song should be written for the future King, which would be known as ‘het Koningslied‘ (translated: the King’s song). One of The Netherland’s best known composers; John Ewbank received the honor to write the song, which he presented to the nation on a Dutch prime time television show: De Wereld Draait Door (DWDD) on the 12th of March, 2013.
In the days following the broadcast of the show, an outpour of criticism followed through social media; on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Many accused Ewbank of plagiarism, saying it was an exact copy of the Christian worship song 10000 reasons by UK workship singer Matt Redman.
First, Ewbank defended himself by stating that he had proof he wrote the song 8 years ago and he laughed and brushed away the accusations of plagiarism.
He continued to write lyrics to the song, since only the melody had been written up until that time. The search for the right vocalists to perform the song continued and the finalized song was available on iTunes to be downloaded by the Dutch people. It actually did very well and #koningslied was trending on Twitter.
Dutch columnist Sylvia Witteman started a petition against ‘het Koningslied’ on the 19th of April, 2013 because of the ‘bad’ lyrics and it received over 38,000 acts of support so far. On the 20th of April, Ewbank issued a statement on his Facebook page, in which he announced that he had enough of it.
He withdrew the song as the entry for the King’s song, because he was fed up with all of the negative attention he received because of the song. He then ended his statement with a sarcastic note, saying that he hoped the nation would enjoy the other songs that have been suggested as replacements for his song.
With only 9 more days until the coronation of the new King, it’s going to be very interesting to see what song will be selected and who will be the one to present it to the Dutch people. Any suggestions?
Edit on April 22nd, 2013:
After all the controversy surrounding the “koningslied’, the Nationaal Comité Inhuldiging decided to use the Ewbank song after all. The chair of the committee; Mister Joop van den Ende (a Dutch media tycoon and theatrical producer) issued a statement to the Dutch press saying the song received a lot of critisism, but there were also a lot of positive reactions. A survey showed that 40% of the Dutch people do not like the song and 60% do like it, but it reached the number one position in the Dutch charts anyway. He continues by saying: “It’s only a song, nothing more.” He responded affirmative when the reporter asked him if he supported the song and said: “It is what it is, and we will continue with it.”
So after all the hassle it looks like the Dutch people will be singing the ‘koningslied’ to the new king on the 30th of April after all. I will post the official video below, so you can decide for yourself what you think about it.