De vogels van Holland

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"De vogels van Holland"
Eurovision Song Contest 1956 entry
Cor Lemaire
Fernando Paggi
Finals performance
Final result
Final points
Appearance chronology
"Voorgoed voorbij" (1956) ►

"De vogels van Holland" ("The birds of Holland") was the first Dutch entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1956 (the only edition of the contest at which two entries per country were allowed). It was written by Annie M. G. Schmidt and performed in Dutch by Jetty Paerl.[1] The song is particularly significant for being the first song performed in Eurovision Song Contest history,[2][3] and the first of many to sing the praises of the singer's homeland.[3][4]

Description and background[edit]

Composed in the chanson style characteristic of the contest's early years, the song is about the titular "birds of Holland". Paerl sings that they are especially musical, learning to "twitter in their early youth / So they can celebrate spring in Holland". She goes on to explain that it is the unique nature of the Dutch climate and the faithfulness of Dutch girls that cause the birds of the country to sing; they really sing, in contrast with the French, Japanese, and Chinese birds, all of which sing "tudeludelu" (a sound roughly approximating birdsong).

According to Des Mangan this song set the tone for the Eurovision tradition of nonsensical lyrics, although he admits that there are other contenders for such a claim as well.[5]

Performance and result[edit]

The song was performed first on the night, preceding Switzerland's Lys Assia with "Das alte Karussell". Though in early editions of the contest only winners (not individual entry's scores) were announced,[1] Simon Barclay, in The Complete and Independent Guide to the Eurovision Song Contest 2010, states it finished second.[6]

The song was accompanied at the 1956 contest by Corry Brokken with "Voorgoed voorbij"[6] and was succeeded as Dutch representative at the 1957 contest by Brokken with "Net als toen".


  1. ^ a b Crommert, Richard van de (27 May 2010). "Jetty Pearl vandaag jarig". De Telegraaf (in Dutch). Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  2. ^ Sivertsen, Eirik (13 May 2009). "Hva vet du om ESC?" (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  3. ^ a b Wolther, Irving (2009). "Musik im Medienkorsett: Der Eurovision Song Contest zwischen Kompositionswettbewerb und Fernsehereignis". In Peter Moormann. Musik Im Fernsehen: Sendeformen und Gestaltungsprinzipien (in German). Springer. pp. 11–29. ISBN 9783531919058.
  4. ^ Wolther, Irving (2006). "Kampf der Kulturen": der Eurovision Song Contest als Mittel national-kultureller Repräsentation (in German). Königshausen & Neumann. p. 128. ISBN 9783826033575.
  5. ^ Mangan, Des, This is Sweden Calling, Random House, Australia (2004), ISBN 978-1-74051-295-4
  6. ^ a b Barclay, Simon (2010). The Complete and Independent Guide to the Eurovision Song Contest 2010. Silverthorn. ISBN 9781445784151.

External links[edit]