King's song scrapped after online criticism

AP News
Posted: Apr 21, 2013 7:08 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A song specially written to be sung by the nation to the Netherlands' new king on the day of his inauguration has been "withdrawn" by its producer after it triggered a storm of online criticism and ridicule, a government committee confirmed Sunday.

The song that was supposed to unite a nation behind its new monarch instead had the effect of dividing it into two camps; those who hated the song and those who loved it.

An online petition against the song, which was written using suggestions from the public and features a blend of Dutch rock ballad and rap styles, had been signed by more than 30,000 people Sunday. But the song clearly also had its fans as it was ranked No. 1 on the Dutch iTunes chart.

Most complaints focused on the quality of the lyrics, saying that the idea of writing a song based on suggestions from the public was a recipe for disaster.

The song features lines such as: "I'll build a dike with my bare hands/And keep the water away from you," fitting both for this flood-prone low-lying nation and the future King Willem-Alexander, who is an expert in water management.

The lyrics also urge people to raise three fingers — forming the W of Willem — while singing.

Producer John Ewbank said on his Facebook page late Saturday that he was scrapping the song after being subjected to a torrent of online abuse since its official launch Friday.

The national committee coordinating celebrations for the April 30 inauguration said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press it "regrets the situation" but understands Ewbank's decision.

The committee said it still wants the nation to sing to its new monarch on the evening of his investiture and is looking for alternatives to the "King's Song."