Friday, 19 September 2014

Never lonely

I was reminded today of a 1984 hit by Brood & Vrienten, called "Als je wint" (When you win). The immediate trigger was a sentence in a tweet from Will Smith (the one that this week scored 142 not out to save a draw against Kent and move Hampshire closer to promotion to the County Championship Division One, of course.)

I think the song, together with the mania around and subsequent break-up of Vrienten's band Doe Maar shortly before this was published, informed me about the costs of fame on a subconscious but very profound level, so when Smith tweeted: "Never had so much love on social media!" it was like setting off a musical grenade in my mind.

I was a teenage girl at the time and I was a fan, but I never behaved like the screaming girls at their concerts (or anywhere else they went, in The Netherlands at least). I genuinely liked the music and especially the (ideas behind) the lyrics. Relationships, sex, drugs, angst, what's not to like? ;-).

I've tried my hand at a translation, trying to follow the original as closely as I could, but making a couple of adjustments and ignoring the rhyme on a few occasions. I know I could've done it more justice, given more time, but the lyrics are quite naive and that still shines through, I think!

Looking at it so closely again, I should have known why this stuck with me so much, because at the time I was a big cycling fan (you could not get me away from the TV or radio for the three weeks' duration of the Tour de France, for instance). Plus watching Jens Voigt's World Hour Record last night will have primed me to remember a song that involves cycling.

When you win

He looks ahead, blank eyes;
He doesn't think, he rides.
Although his legs may ache,
He is in a break.
They'll never catch him now,
He thinks I've won somehow!

Never alone,
Never alone.

Half-naked she walks by
The judges in a row.
Flashes her teeth at them,
They're looking at her tits.
Tears streaming down her face
She's crowned Miss Netherlands!

Never alone,
Never alone.

When you win, you have friends,
Row upon row, real friends.
When you win, never lonely.
As long as you win.

No matter how tired you are,
They're knocking on your door;
You could be half asleep,
Or in your underwear.
No party starts before
You've made it through the door!

Never alone,
Never alone.

written: Henny Vrienten
performed: Brood & Vrienten

Closing thoughts:

Perhaps I should blog about cycling songs. Anyone interested? (Except all the ones I can think of are in Dutch, that's a bit tricky. I don't know if I want to translate all of them...)

I'm always surprised how many people, at work, or at church, know me or know about me. And most of all, that this hasn't put them off.

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