Musings From A Musical Mind

The Dutchman

Here is a song written in the 60’s by Michael Smith – with lyrics so poignent and deep

about an old couple from The Netherlands.

This seems to be a story of a married couple, where the husband has memory loss and the wife is his caregiver and seems to understand him best – as he can’t remember his life very well anymore.  I found it very sweet.

Enjoy and God Bless!

The Dutchman’s not the kind of man
Who keeps his thumb jammed in the dam
That holds his dreams in,
But that’s a secret that only Margaret knows.

When Amsterdam is golden in the summer,
Margaret brings him breakfast,
She believes him.
He thinks the tulips bloom beneath the snow.

He’s mad as he can be, but Margaret only sees that sometimes,
Sometimes she sees her unborn children in his eyes.

Let us go to the banks of the ocean
Where the walls rise above the Zuider Zee.
Long ago, I used to be a young man
And dear Margaret remembers that for me.

The Dutchman still wears wooden shoes,
His cap and coat are patched with the love
That Margaret sewed there.
Sometimes he thinks he’s still in Rotterdam.

And he watches the tug-boats down canals
An’ calls out to them when he thinks he knows the Captain.
Till Margaret comes
To take him home again

Through unforgiving streets that trip him, though she holds his arm,
Sometimes he thinks he’s alone and he calls her name.

Let us go to the banks of the ocean
Where the walls rise above the Zuider Zee.
Long ago, I used to be a young man
And dear Margaret remembers that for me.

The winters whirl the windmills ’round
She winds his muffler tighter
And they sit in the kitchen.
Some tea with whiskey keeps away the dew.

And he sees her for a moment, calls her name,
She makes the bed up singing some old love song,
A song Margaret learned
When it was very new.

He hums a line or two, they sing together in the dark.
The Dutchman falls asleep and Margaret blows the candle out.

Let us go to the banks of the ocean
Where the walls rise above the Zuider Zee.
Long ago, I used to be a young man
And dear Margaret remembers that for me.

 

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Comments on: "The Dutchman" (4)

  1. Debi Selix (Verwers) said:

    I have never heard that song….My parents were German Dutch, this song reminded me of them so much, my Dad had Alzheimer in his later years…my Mom would just take his hand and lead him where he needed to go, she cared for him with such love as he had cared for her during their 64 years of marriage….sweet song Thanks Cindy!!

  2. It’s a new one to me, too. Good song.

  3. Never heard of that one before. Thanks.

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