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December 18, 2006, by Léon Krijnen

Was it The Fool, speaking Dutch?   

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Real (Dutch) Beatles fans know the answer to the question: in which song, written and recorded by The Beatles a sentence is spoken in Dutch? The answer is 'I Am The Walrus', where someone says 'Dat zouden ze wel willen' in the dying seconds of the song.

In English that would haven been 'they should (have) want(ed) that', or something similar. Play a bit with the settings of you favorite MP3 player and you will find it.

Translation in Dutch at @ DutchCowboys

As far as I 'm concerned the complete text of I Am The Walrus might as well be Dutch - or Swahili - as I've never really understood what John Lennon is telling us there. Might have been due to a favorite hobby of Lennon, who sometimes knotted words together at random, for fun. To keep busy those who came up with all kinds of explanations, even for the simpler things, like She Loves You (Yeah, right, yeah, yeah).

The Dutch sentence came back to my memory in the process of selling my old albums and singles on Marktplaats. I did not sell the Beatles albums, because I'd like to frame those sleeves, and I kept a few rarities like a pristine 'Autobahn' from Kraftwerk, the very first album of The Golden Earring(s), Just Earrings, and some more.

In the process I was listening to The Magical Mystery Tour, and heard the sentence again. Would it also be on the 'new' version of The Walrus, on the 'Love' album, mixed and remastered by George Martin?

Sure enough! When I fired up Google I found out I'm not the only one in Holland who's interested in the whereabouts of Dutch words in a Beatles song. There are some questions on the forum of a Dutch Beates fan club, but while nobody seems to know the answer, I think I do.

I remember I've read who it is, way back in the beginning of the seventies: Simon Posthuma.

Wikipedia: Simon Posthuma: Dutch artist and founder of The Fool, a Dutch design collective who were influential in the psychedelic style of art in British popular music at the end of the 1960s. The colourful art draws on many fantastical and mystical themes. According to Wikipedia the name is a reference to The Fool tarot card, according to other sources The Fool is named to the Beatles song 'The Fool on The Hill'.

Original members were Posthuma and Marijke Koger, who were discovered by photographer Karl Ferris among the hippies of Ibiza in 1966. He took photographs of clothes designed by them, and sent them to London where they were published in The Times of London and immediately caused a sensation.

Ferris took The Fool back to London, and together they opened a studio, with the Dutch artists producing clothes and art, and Ferris pursuing photography. Barry Finch, and an artist recorded only as Josie, joined later.

There's much more on Wikipedia, but nothing about The Walrus.

Google however does find a Simon Posthuma website, and more about The Fool over there: John Lennon and Paul McCartney came to visit the couple in their apartment in Saint Stephen's Gardens, in early 1967. They sat down on the ground and stared at all those outrageous colours and arabesques. 'I want to live in it,' Lennon said.

(At the end of the sixties, beginning of the seventies I'd painted my bedrooms (in Helmond and in Breda) completely in The Fool colors and designs. My parents thought it all horrendous, but my friends loved it, and I did some walls at friends rooms).

Wikiepedia agaion: Later in 1967, during the 'lovest' summer of them all Simon and Marijke formed art collective The Fool, with Josje Leeger and Barry Finch. The quartet visualised the mind expanding spirit of the time so meticulously - a style later to be called psychedelic - which resulted in the orgasmic mural of The Beatles' Apple boutique in London (1967) and culminated with the extensive painting of the Aquarius Theatre (1969) on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, where rock-musical Hair was staged.

I seems Simon Posthuma if the one to answer the question about Dutch talking on The Walrus.

So I've send an email to an address I've found on his website and asked if . . .

An hour or so later a reply came from the webmaster of the site, who is also a writer, together with Simon working on a biography. Joost Goosen tells me he never heard Simon talk about, but he will ask him, and If Simon says so, I will receive an answer.

Was it The Fool, speaking Dutch?


Posted: December 18, 2006 02:24 PM (765 words).   

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