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Beatles Unlimited KIEVERS Reviews

Kievers: Dutch quibble of Beatles-covers; Dutch translations of Beatles songs.

Erik Bindervoet and Robbert-Jan Henkes - Help! The Beatles In Het Nederlands
Published by: Nijgh & Van Ditmar
Photo’s: black & white (various one-page and miniature pictures)
ISBN: 90-388-0327-3
Language: Dutch
Specifications: softcover
Released: 2003
Pages: 318
Price: € 24,50
Size: 185 x 185 mm
Index: 12 pages

There have been numerous translations of Beatles songs in various languages ever since Beatlemania hit the world. Dutch translations were no exception to the rule, and some of these have even been a hit for the recording artist. Part of the Beatles and solo repertoire has been translated in Dutch in Paul McCartney’s Blackbird Singing (De Bezige Bij / Thomas Rap, 2002) and Woorden Van Wijsheid (with translated versions of some Lennon and Harrison solo songs) by Rob Pullen (Ankh-Hermes, 1991). But now there’s this book with Dutch translations of the Beatles hits, B-sides, album tracks and even songs the Beatles have covered. Bindervoet and Henkes, who have already been successful with a translation of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, have opted for the chronological order, with each chapter starting with both the original and the translated tracklisting of each album, single or EP (with non-album tracks). Besides the mention of the page where to find the translation, a reference to the page with the accompanying background info on the song would have been welcome here, too. The story on some of the songs takes up more than one page, which is why the translated song often isn’t on the same page as the accompanying info. For this you’ll have to consult the index in the back of the book, which also lists personal names and the song titles. As opposed to the misinterpretations of the lyrics in Klaus Beyer’s book of German translations (BU 163), the translators have done their research on the matter and mention various background details on each of the original songs as well as on their Dutch counterparts. This extensive information is written in the inner section of each page, next to a translated song, which also includes references to earlier Dutch translations, available on disc or in print. These notes and discussions have been written with humour and therefore make a pleasant read (on the Let It Be album: ‘The nuclear dyed-in-the-wool remainders of Get Back, warmed up in Phil Spector’s no-nukes micro-wave oven’ or on The Long And Winding Road: ‘Violins! Female vocals! Out of tune! But the orchestra was taken in to hide saboteur John’s out of tune bass tunes’). There are exact word for word translations, which stay close to the original contents of the songs, whereas other interpretations are more or less phonetically similar to the originals, but a mixture of the two can be found as well. We Can Work It Out is here the sound-alike Weekend Wordt Het Koud (‘It’ll be cold this weekend’), while the lyrics are literally the same as the original; Eleanor Rigby is retitled as James Paul McCartney and tells about McCartney and Starr being left behind by ‘all those dead Beatles’. When reading / singing the songs, you’ll find some nice newfounds for the Dutch vocabulary (Te Dagzwaar ‘s Nachts for A Hard Day’s Night). Elsewhere, references to Dutch people, places and (historic) events, contemporary words (notebook, E-mail) as well as magnificently found sound-alike words and lines can be found. Some were clearly made with a smile (You Know My Name or Revolution Nr. 9), whereas in others, when a new item is taken in, there somehow appears to be some relation to the original contents of the lyrics (a ‘hidden’ mention of LSD in the translation of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds: Iglo in de lucht met eDeLSteen). The same goes for the translation of Only A Northern Song, where the spelling errors are not without reason, used as the verbal equivalent of the musical out-of tune parts of the original song. You’ll further see backwards printed words (Revolution 9), a medieval version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps, translations of the backing vocals, the sound effects and in-between remarks as well (as on the albums ‘The Beatles’ and ‘Let It Be’). Sometimes, the duo has printed alternate translations, which are either written in the inner section or graced with a page of their own (for Why Don’t We Do It In The Road, there’s a whole list of alternative lines (for sadists, stalkers, blasphemers, you name it …), besides the selected dirty version. The album titles have been translated as well (as are George Martin’s compositions on Yellow Submarine’s album B-side). Maybe you could nag about the give-away songs or the well-known outtakes not being included, reasoning that some of them were eventually released on the Anthology series (the single tracks of Free As A Bird and Real Love have been included), but I won’t be surprised if a song from this book will soon see the light in a recorded version. For this book not only gives you a couple of evenings worth of rich, enjoyable reading entertainment. The book is also an impressive horn of plenty for Dutch singing artists, but mind you, the first unique release of this kind comes along with the book: a bonus 7” vinyl (!) single by the band Dierenpark, including ‘In Mijn Tijd’ and ‘Weekend Wordt Het Koud’. During the press presentation of the book, an enthusiastic audience was treated by Dierenpark and a few other bands, who all showed how well these songs could be sung. A book for Dutch reading fans, obviously, but other readers may be interested to know that there’s an English version, made by a quartet from Liverpool…
(B.U. 173)

Erik Bindervoet and Robbert-Jan Henkes - Help! The Beatles In Het Nederlands
Published by: Nijgh & Van Ditmar
Photo’s: no
ISBN: 90-388-0339-7
Language: Dutch
Specifications: softcover
Released: 2006
Pages: 256
Price: € 12,50
Size: 125 x 200 mm
Index: 9 pages

This ‘amazing sing-along pocket for Beatlesfans at the age of 8 - 88’ is a stripped re-print version of Bindervoet and Henkes’ successful, sold-out book with Dutch translations of the Beatles repertoire (reviewed in BU 173). At first you’ll find a slightly edited and re-arranged table of contents (f.i. the funny translations of the Beatles album titles have been removed). You’ll also have to dispense with the first edition’s comprehensive and highly informative details on the original Beatles songs and their translations. It’s all reduced to four pages of annotations referring to just 34 songs. Because of the ‘singable’ point of view, some translations are replaced here by fully new versions, such as a well-known Dutch scribble: Heet Boven Beethoven, which obviously had to replace the 4-page Proustian story on Chuck Berry’s Roll Over Beethoven and Hé Jude instead of Hé Joop (although this one proved a favourite sing-along during last year’s Lowlands festival). Other translations have only been retitled or include small alterations in the lyrics, whereas a few alternate translations appear here for the first time: Een Dag In De Stad (A Day In The Life) which describes a few Amsterdam tales and Slik Het (Dig It) and Tante Mien (Maggie Mae), which both include references to Dutch names. Some alternate versions were already printed in the inner sections of the first edition and are now given a full page acknowledgement: such as the slanging-match Ammehoela (I’m A Loser) and both the English and Dutch sweets versions of Savoy Truffle. On the other hand, De Jong En Windig Weg (The Long And Winding Road), Christmas Time (Is Here Again), Acteren Naturel (Act Naturally) and the ‘single version’ Lijm Het Been (Let It Be) are all excluded. The lines of the Sgt Pepper innergroove are literally faded out at the bottom of the page. The index lists both the original song titles and their Dutch counterparts, as opposed to the previous issue, which mentioned just the original song titles and the numerous personal names. Given the size of this paperback, a CD single version of the 7” vinyl (that came along with the first edition) would have been an extra treat. Still, although this second edition lacks all the mentioned luxurious elements, it remains a convenient format softcover with both reprinted and new, fully singable translations. (B.U. 190)


Peter Tetteroo - Zoon Van De Natuur (Demo CD-R)
1 track / 3:03 / no booklet

In the Netherlands, Dutch adaptations of a Beatles song are commonly referred to as ‘Kievers’ (a Dutch quibble of Beatles/covers). These three CD’s are recent examples of such interpretations.
The first is a demo of a translated Mother Nature’s Son, which has been slightly retitled in Dutch and the new lyrics also stays close to the original contents. Accompanied on acoustic guitar, it is sung in a solemn but friendly way, rounded of with twittering birds. The singer’s currently recording Dutch versions of I Will, Act Naturally and Two Of Us, which may eventually turn up on a first full Dutch Beatles covers album, who knows. (B.U. 188)

De Kösters - Slim Lelk
(NL) Maura Music MM 027 (1998)
14 audio tracks + 1 video track / 41:56 / 8-page bookle

The other two albums originate from the north of the Netherlands and are both sung in native dialect. The Kösters album, with a Let It Be-like sleeve, mainly comprises of refreshing humorous interpretations of 60’s and 70’s songs (Elvis, Cliff, Fats, Stones and a few Dutch chart hits), Beatlewise, it includes She Loves You (as Ze Wil Die) and Imagine (as Ons Jong). The first is an almost exact Dutch translation of the original, performed as a wedding & dance band with prominent drumming and keyboard fills. Their version of Imagine has fully new Dutch lyrics about watching your kid go to school and is performed with a peaceful piano accompaniment and, close to the end, some drums. (B.U. 188)
www.mauramusic.nl / www.marista.nl

Frisse Wichter - Hereweg
(NL) MTA 0505001 (2005)
13 tracks / 41:14 / 4-page booklet

Although you won’t find true cover versions on the Hereweg CD, the album is meant as a Beatles homage, with numerous musical references as well as parodies of the Abbey Road and Let It Be sleeves in the CD-booklet. Deurtrapper obviously refers to Day Tripper, Dou Wat Veur De Laifde is modelled after All You Need Is Love, Alles Wat Ik Dou has familiar Beatles-like harmonies and in most of their compositions you’ll recognize Beatles intros and instrumental fragments. (B.U. 188)
www.mauramusic.nl / www.marista.nl

André van Amstel - Yesterday
(NL) 111103 (2004)
4 tracks / 14:19 / 2-page CDsingle sleeve

With this CD-single, Dutch singer-entertainer celebrated the 375 th. anniversary of Heerhugowaard, a small town in the north of the Netherlands. Besides a tribute song to this town, he recorded a Dutch version of Yesterday. Here, van Amstel sings about the town’s Yesterday Golden Oldies Café, where they used to close the evening with the original Beatles song. Except for the returning word Yesterday, he composed fully new lyrics and tells about the cozy atmosphere of the pub: the place everyone likes to visit and where the beer’s served cold. He sings the song with some echo and backing vocals added and quite like the original, but with fuller lead vocals. To finish off the disc, he recorded English versions of Buona Sera / Oh Marie and Staying Alive, the latter complete with the well-known high pitched Bee Gees vocals, which makes you wonder whether or not you’re still listening to the same singer - if so, he’s a really versatile artist for all your parties and weddings! (B.U. 178)

André van Amstel - Gezellig Naar 't Café
(NL) Multidisk MS2074 (2006)
2 tracks / 5:48 / CDsingle

As a follow-up to André van Amstel’s Dutch version of Yesterday (see BU 178), this vocal and instrumental version of Yellow Submarine is re-written in Dutch by the singer himself. In the Netherlands, this Beatles song has been altered before in a similar, festive style and was used during the Carnival days in 1967. In this version, André van Amstel sings about a pub and how pleasant it is to be there, and the chorus makes it a real sing-along drinking song. The ‘instrumental’ track starts with the intro and still features pub sounds, voice over and the chorus. (B.U. 191)

Melvin van Eldik - Un Held Út De Meenthe
(NL) Marista MCD 7180 (2005)
16 tracks / 58:53 / 4-page booklet

Melvin van Eldik, premiered in 2004 with ‘Cleaning Windows’ (Bepfalcon SSST 014) which already showed Beatles influences (sitar sounds, Penny Lane trumpet, sound-alike vocal harmonies) in some of its songs: After Years Of Session, Anna and I Believe In One Angel. Then he was awarded for ‘Un Held Út De Meenthe’ being the best translation of Lennon’s Working Class Hero. The song was subsequently put on a CD-single and received quite some airplay. Then it gave the name to Van Eldik’s poetry and music theatre show and a year later it became the title track of his second album. The album includes more adaptations of hit songs from various artists (Prince, Bowie, Kinks, CCR) and two Lennon solo songs: the above mentioned title track and a translation of Imagine (Stel Dy Nou Es Foar). The tracks breathe the same atmosphere in both performance and lyrical contents, being written in a similar vein with only a few rhythmic liberties taken. Other songs from the album tell funny nostalgic anecdotes from the writer’s past, sung over well-performed sound-alike renditions of these songs, played on various instruments. Most of the lyrics and poems can be found in his ‘Dryfsandforstinnen’ (Perio, 2006). And Van Eldik didn’t leave it at that, because this year he provided us with his translated version of Hey Jude, titled Hé Sjoerd, released on a 1-track CD-single. This time the lyrics (printed at the back of the CD sleeve) in each verse alternate between a line with sound-alike words (‘heel laat in bed’ for: ‘don’t make it bad’), fully unrelated lines to word for word translations, accompanied on synthesizer and guitar plus a 2-minute sing-along finale, with a bit too abrupt fade-out. (B.U. 197)

Melvin van Eldink - Hé Sjoerd
(NL) Bepfalcon (2008)
1 track / 5:19 / CD-single sleeve

Ernst Langhout, Johan Keus & Koos Tiemersma - Lutske Laket
(NL) Marista MCD 7265 (2007)
4 tracks / 15:02 / 4-page booklet

After two albums of Friesian versions of Bob Dylan songs, this 4-song CD release arrived, with two Lennon-Beatles songs (Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and Norwegian Wood) and two Lennon solo songs (Imagine and Mind Games), in Friesian translation (printed inside the booklet). The title track features fully new contents about a girl visiting a fair, whereas Imagine and Mind Games (the only song which held its name) stay close to the original lyrics. Norwegian Wood starts off with a very close translation but further on it’s more free adaptation of the lyrics, which end in burning Ikea furniture. The acoustic performance of the band, using guitar, bass, percussion, kalimba and kantele, is highly enjoyable, even if you don’t understand the words. You’re treated to new intros and accompaniments, interwoven with snatches from the original melodies. Coinciding with the release of this CD-single and using the same Mind Games parody image, band member Koos Tiemersma published a novel, Mind Games, for the 2007 Friesian book promotion week. It tells about the mind journeys of someone under an anaesthetic during a heart transplant. (B.U. 197)

Lazarus - Oranje Kan De Hele Wereld Aan
(NL) Zjelva Records 00001 (2008)
1 track / 3:34 / promo CD single, no booklet

Another Dutch version (‘Kiever’) of a Beatles song, this time it’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, with new lyrics that have got nothing to do with the original. First there’s an account of the sport qualities of the former Dutch European Football Championship winners (1988) and follow by singing they’re sure that the new Dutch soccer team can manage all other teams in the world - there’s nothing you can do about it! However, this interpretation with fine vocals and tough backing didn’t help in winning this time and the promised follow-up using the same melody, titled ‘Oranje Maakt Er Weer Een Zooitje Van’ (meaning ‘the Dutch team made a mess of it again’) didn’t see the light, though. The above song is available as download via the company’s website. (B.U. 202)
Zjelva Pro Motions, Singel 162b, 1015 AH Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Mal Evans Memorial Band - Help! De Beatles In Het Nederlands
(NL) Fonos CDNT-030 (2007)
14 tracks / 40:44 / 4-page booklet

Performances of Dutch translations taken from the Help! The Beatles In Het Nederlands book started with Dierenpark’s bonus 7” single that accompanied the book and the concert given by them and a few other bands during the book presentation. This was followed by various other live appearances, including a 1-hour concert at Lowlands Festival 2006, where tribute band De Kevers backed various lead singers, who performed one of the translated Beatles songs. This album however is the first official CD release with these translations, performed by the band that won the first Golden Apple Award at Beatles Unlimited’s Beatles Convention in 2005. Barring their version of Something, they have chosen for a range of mainly rocking Beatles songs, varying from the book’s first translation, Toen Ik Haar Daar Zo Zag Staan (I Saw Her Standing There) to their version of  Don’t Let Me Down, Back In The USSR and Tomorrow Never Knows and the album’s smashing final track: the Sgt Pepper (Reprise), coupled with The End. While the band performs a powerful layer of detailed renditions of the Beatles melodies, the singer faithfully follows the Dutch translations, give or take a few occasional repeats and tiny alterations. The lead singer’s vocals, often joined by harmonies of his fellow band members, are a pleasant appeal to the ear, although it’s not Beatles sound-alike. You’ll be surprised to notice how soon you sing along with the band - otherwise, the translations book is within reach, of course. Their interpretations may very well be the reference point for future versions of this material.
The official CD presentation of the above CD was organized at the new building of Beeld En Geluid in Hilversum, on 16 February 2007. The event included a panel discussion on the subject of Beatles cover versions and parodies, hosted by Fonos manager Machgiel Bakker with publisher Vic van de Reijt and translators Erik Bindervoet and Robbert-Jan Henkes. The audience, comprising of press, media and family were treated to (and often joined in with) a mix of obscure, funny and odd cover versions of Beatles songs, presented by Machgiel Bakker. The panel guests then commented on these covers and gave details about the Dutch translations, upon which the Mal Evans Memorial Band was invited to jump onstage and perform the version in question. The set list included the Dutch versions of Day Tripper, Back In The USSR, Something, Help, Sgt Pepper (Reprise) / The End, Don’t Let Me Down, You Can’t Do That and they closed the presentation with Taxman. (B.U. 190)
www.fonos.nl / www.memb.nl

The Paepers - Szt. Paepers Oeits Haos Sterre Band
(NL) C-11904 (2006)
14 tracks / 45:40 / digi-pack, 20-page booklet

The brainchild of Twan Mientjes, who died of a heart attack, during the first preparations of his project: recording the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper album in his own dialect - honouring both the Beatles and the Dutch city of Venlo. The band was to play the Beatles music as perfect as possible and on each song they were to be joined by another lead singer. Although I’m not that familiar with this dialect, you can see Mientjes’ translations follow the original contents in some of the songs. Sometimes there’s a slight alteration: When I’m 64 became 84, to suit the lead singer’s age or you’ll see the use of contemporary words like Internet - in Weg Van Hoés (She’s Leaving Home). Other interpretations include fully new lyrics (Being For The Benefit for Mr Kite is now a tribute to the initiator of Venlo’s boardinghouse for the homeless, ‘Doortocht’ - which also benefits from the sale of the CD). As opposed to the original title track and its reprise, the translations differ in contents. And now and then there’s an original line from a Beatles song (All You Need Is Love in ‘Benefit’, I’d Love to turn you on in A Day in the Life) and slight alterations in Mientjes’ lyrics were made during the process. The 5-man band (on the sleeve from left to right: Sef Berkers, Peter Tiggelers, Ben Benders, Jos Benders and pianist Collie Franssen) have done their job painstakingly well and stayed close to the original melodies. This great effort was also in debt to the use of authentic instruments and equipment and the help from a lively performing string ensemble, Indian musicians, a couple of sound samples (animal sounds from Good Morning, the A Day In The Life apotheosis) and such. Local vocalists of various ages and all not necessarily Beatles sound-alikes were matched to the songs - their unaffected diversity in singing also added up to this highly attractive result, as recorded by Lennon look-alike producer, Martijn Alsters and studio engineer Wim Kauffman. Two singers appear more than once and after the ‘hidden’ Innergroove sound collage, actor Huub Stapel closes the disc with the bonustrack, Roeëzig Veld Veur Ieuwig (Strawberry Fields Forever). And the project wouldn’t be complete without a parody of the album sleeve, so Venlo artist Jos Deenen designed a new collage using pictures of the musicians and well-known local celebrities. (B.U. 191)

Paeper In Ut Park

3 August 2006.
Zomer Parkfeest,
the Netherlands

The Paeper project also involved a live performance of the whole album at Venlo’s ‘Zomer Parkfees’. The whole project was widely promoted by a ‘making of’ documentary: ‘Op Waeg Noar Ut Park’, posters, news paper coverage and airplay on national TV as well as screening of the concert by local TV station Omroep Venlo.
On 3 August 2006, late in the afternoon, Venlo was being plunged into the sound of Beatles songs, when various local brass bands, the church carillon and a fairground organ all play Beatles melodies in the city centre. It was the perfect take-off for the integral live performance of Venlo’s version of the Sgt Pepper album as the opening act for the Zomerparkfeest. After an award was presented to Twan’s widow, Arno Adams and Dick Fransen played a piano-accompanied Stel Dich Ens Veur (Imagine) as an homage to Mientjes. The line-up of the concert was equal to the one on the album and showed the band, performing in their home-made Pepper suits and the lead singers dressed in similar shirts (although the female backing vocalists were excluded from this ‘uniformity’). Various musicians changed places when a new song was done: the string ensemble, the Indian musicians, who sat down on the floor (like on the Bangla Desh concert) and accordion players joined circus acrobats who were crossing the stage during the dialect version of For The Benefit Of Mr Kite. With their eyes fixed on the lyric sheets in front of them, some of the singers still seemed to have difficulty in recalling the lyrics. The gathered crowd of 18.000 people didn’t mind and all were having a good time. Both young and old in the audience joined in dancing and singing along with every chorus. They were also treated to animations and movies (including the Hello Goodbye clip, with the Beatles in their Sgt Pepper outfit) on a wide screen above the stage. The translated version of Strawberry Fields Forever was rounded off with a short instrumental jam finale by the band and then a stage-filling choir backed an all-star encore - a translated version of All You Need Is Love (as Liefde Is Al Wat Telt). George Martin once said, that the Sgt Pepper songs couldn’t be performed live, because they were designed to be studio productions. This project eventually proved that he’d got hold of the wrong end of the stick! (B.U. 191)

Tetteroo & Swindels - NIET The Beatles
(NL) Wrede Kater / Gazon (2006)
10 tracks / 25:48 / 2-sided CDsleeve

It seems that Dutch translations of Beatles songs (a.k.a. ‘Kievers’) are flooding the market these days. In the next issues of BU, you’ll read more reviews of such cover versions. Earlier on, I’ve reviewed a demo version of one of the tracks from this album, Zoon Van De Natuur (Mother Nature’s Son) - see BU 188, as being sung ‘in a solemn but friendly way’. The translation is slightly altered, but has the same feeling as the first version. The added instrumental and vocal backing give a much fuller sound. I Will, Act Naturally and Two Of Us had then been mentioned as CD candidates - and they are all included here. The lyrics have contents related to the original, whereas others deal with related subjects - like Wij (Two Of Us), which tells about driving in a car, singing and writing (Beatles) songs. Specific Dutch words appear, like Gouden Kalf (Dutch Film Award) instead of the Oscar in Speelfilm (Act Naturally) and Scheveningen (that one, yes) in Wij. In a few sentences the word sequence is somewhat artificial for rhyming reasons. The songs vary from uptempo to laid back, with an odd final part in Speelfilm, a sitar-like intro for Regen (Rain) and a medley of The End / Her Majesty (as Uiteindelijk / Hare Majesteit), the latter an expressionless interpretation - followed by a track with: 22 seconds of silence… It all culminates in a fine Harrison tribute, Magniet (means: Not allowed), which comprises of lines from Harrison songs - translated into the opposite: Er is hier niets in de manier waarop ze beweegt (‘There’s nothing in the way she moves’) and original Harrison song lines are spoken, though almost inaudible, during the choruses. The song replaced Laat Me Met Rust (Don’t Bother Me), which they weren’t allowed to include on this album - for copyright reasons. The lyrics of all the songs appear on their website. (B.U. 191)

Compilation - De Bietels Op Z’n Brabants
(NL) Visco CDA 0815 JV (2008)
17 tracks / 48:39 / 12-page booklet

Noord-Brabant is a province in the Netherlands with a specific dialect and well-known for their annual ‘Carnaval’ festivities in the spring. From this part of the Netherlands now comes this disc, with various artists and bands performing Beatles songs in their own dialect. The chosen songs are taken from various Beatles phases: it starts with a New Orleans old style jazz version of When I’m 64, Yesterday, Penny Lane, Piggies, Hey Jude, all four sung by female singers, an a-cappella She’s Leaving Home, and an orchestra & choir version of The Fool On The Hill. Some of the translations stay close to the original lyrics or have similar themes (Flora Plein describes the people working and all things happening at that square, as is done in Penny Lane). Others tell a totally different story: In Het Weekend Wordt Het Koud (We Can Work It Out) tells about growing old and wise in the week-end, whereas in some others, just the title is a straight translation (Ze Vat Oe = She Loves You) and the rest is new. The instrumentation often stays faithful to the original or have an alternate but appropriate setting, with special features here and there: Lady Madonna with a prominent role for the saxophone, a medieval sound of Eleanor Rigby, a relaxed acoustic guitar and percussion in Let It Be and accordion intermissions in The Fool On The Hill. Obviously a hard to understand compilation for foreigners, but a worthy collection for language / dialect fanatics. (B.U. 202)

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