Dutch etiquette for dating
Although the "Wilhelmus" was not recognised as the official national anthem until 1932, it has always been popular with parts of the Dutch population and resurfaced on several occasions in the course of Dutch history before gaining its present status.The Wilhelmus originated in the Dutch Revolt, the nation's struggle to achieve independence from the Spanish Empire.But most probably it is simply a reference to the broader meaning of the word, which points out William as a ''native'' of the fatherland, as appose to the king of Spain, who was seldom or not in the Netherlands. Another legend claims that following the Navigation Acts (a 1651 ordinance by Oliver Cromwell requiring all foreign fleets in the North Sea or the Channel to dip their flag in salute) the "Wilhelmus" was sung (or rather, shouted) by the sailors on the Dutch flagship Brederode in response to the first warning shot fired by an English fleet under Robert Blake, when their captain Maarten Tromp refused to lower his flag.The prince thus states that his roots are Germanic rather than Romance – in spite of his being Prince of Orange as well. At the end of the song, which coincided with the third (i.e.In the current Dutch spelling the first words of the 12th and 13th stanzas begin with Z instead of S.Like many of the songs of the period, it has a complex structure, composed around a thematic chiasmus: the text is symmetrical, in that verses one and 15 resemble one another in meaning, as do verses two and 14, three and 13, etc., until they converge in the 8th verse, the heart of the song: "Oh David, thou soughtest shelter from King Saul's tyranny.
In the first person, as if quoting himself, William speaks to the Dutch people about both the revolt and his own, personal struggle: to be faithful to the king, without being unfaithful to his conscience: to serve God and the Dutch people.A French translation of the "Wilhelmus" appeared around 1582.Dutch and Flemish researchers (Meertens Institute, Utrecht University and University of Antwerp) discovered by chance a striking number of similarities between his style and the style of the national anthem. The anthem is an acrostic: the first letters of the fifteen stanzas formed the name 'Willem van Nassov' (Nassov was a contemporary orthographic variant of Nassau).Though only proclaimed the national anthem in 1932, the "Wilhelmus" already had a centuries-old prior history. last) English warning shot, Tromp fired a full broadside thereby beginning the Battle of Goodwin Sands and the First Anglo-Dutch War.It had been sung on many official occasions and at many important events since the outbreak of the Dutch Revolt in 1568, such as the siege of Haarlem in 1573 and the ceremonial entry of the Prince of Orange into Brussels on 18 September 1578. During the Dutch Golden Age, it was conceived essentially as the anthem of the House of Orange-Nassau and its supporters – which meant, in the politics of the time, the anthem of a specific political faction which was involved in a prolonged struggle with opposing factions (which sometimes became violent, verging on civil war).
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Some see this as evidence that neither Marnix or Coornhert wrote the anthem as they were both experienced poets when the "Wilhelmus" was written and they would not have taken these small liberties.