The most famous European royals that most Americans know about are Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton, but one of the most popular blue bloods in all of Europe is Prince Willem-Alexander of Holland.
It comes as a bit of a surprise that just a week before his coronation as king of the Netherlands, music was chosen for the ceremony that is causing outrage throughout the nation. The controversy revolves around the song “Het Koningslied,” or “King Song.”
While some songs get criticized because of offensive words or subject matter, critics of “King Song” insist it is just plain bad.
The song begins with a standard, if a little cheesy, folk tune — along with shots of serene-looking Dutch citizens in the video — featuring lyrics like, “Through the wind and rain I’ll stand beside you … I’ll keep you safe as long as you live.”
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But then the song takes an odd turn and morphs into a folk-rap, full-on-orchestra mess. Particularly offensive to the song’s detractors is the part in the music video where singers break into a chant of “‘W’ is for Willem” and form the letter ‘W’ with their hands. (Fast forward to 3:07 for the hand signs). So far, the video has been viewed more than 500,000 times on YouTube, with the majority of viewers giving it the thumbs-down.
John Ewbank, who wrote the song, withdrew it in response to a petition against it called “In Protest at This Imbecilic King’s Song.”
Nevertheless, the coronation committee put it right back into the program. So barring some unforeseen change, the nation will sing along next week, and afterward perhaps try to forget the experience ever happened.