I was talking on the phone with my daughter Anne, and she asked about a song "Mom taught us," and then started on the "Drink, drink, drink, drink."
"I taught you that one, I said, mentioning I had learned it from my own father. Anne had talked with someone of Dutch heritage, who had mentioned prejudices against the Dutch. She immediately thought of the song. It turns out the the song's title is "The Goddamned Dutch." Wikipedia says, "it first appeared in the book Gentleman About Town, Immortalia in 1927," but I suspect the song is much older, probably dating back to the eighteenth century when the Netherlands rivaled Britain as a maritime power. There are dozens of versions--many of them a lot more offensive than the one I learned from my dad. Here's the version I learned:
Drink, drink, drink, drink,
Drank, drank, drank, drank,
Drunk, drunk, drunk, drunk
Drunk last night. Drunk the night before,
Gonna get drunk tonight like I never got drunk before,
For when I'm drunk I'm as happy as can be;
For I am a member of the Souse family,
For the Souse family is the best family
That ever came over from Old Germany.
One keg of beer for the four of us!
Sing glory be to God that there are no more of us;
For one of us can drink it all alone, damn near.
There's the Highland Dutch, and the Lowland Dutch;
The Rotterdam Dutch, and the God damned Dutch.
God made the Irish. He didn't make much;
But a hell of a lot more than the God damned Dutch.
By the bar, where I smoked my first cigar
And the nickels and the dimes rolled away (rolled away).
It was there by chance that I tore my Sunday pants.
And now I have to wear them every day, damn near.
The last stanza, a parody of the hymn, "At the Cross," isn't part of the traditional song, but, in the way of folk songs, found its way into it.
You can find several versions of the song on YouTube, including a cleaned-up version by Mitch Miller, and the University of California version sung after the "Big Game" with Stanford last November. (They sing it very well--I don't think many of them were drunk.)
There won't be a PBS special on "The God Damned Dutch" as there was for "Amazing Grace," but it would be interesting to trace this song back.
Northern California Thanksgiving
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