|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2007)|
A levenslied (Dutch, lit. "life song" or "song about life") is a sentimental Dutch-language sub-genre of popular music. Levenslied-lyrics can be sweet or bitter, light and sentimental but also reflective and dark, about subjects such as love, misery and far-away, sunny, exotic holiday places. It is related to the chanson though for a lower class audiences, like the schlager.
A typical levenslied has catchy, simple rhythms and melodies, with many pop and folk tunes, and is always built up in couplets and refrains. Essential, traditional musical instruments in levenslied-music are the accordion and the barrel organ. In recent years, many levenslied-artists also use synthesizers and guitars for their music.
Music critics are often critical of the levenslied, judging the simple and catchy chorusses and tunes as a lack of creativity. For this reason, the word "smartlap" (Dutch, lit. "sorrow scrap" meaning "sentimental song") is often used for this music style.
Notable Dutch levenslied singers:
- Koos Alberts
- Frans Bauer
- Sylvia Corpiér
- André Hazes
- Johnny Jordaan
- Tante Leen
- Manke Nelis
- Dries Roelvink
- Jan Smit
- Marianne Weber
- Zwarte Riek
Famous Flemish levenslied-artists: