Made in Belgium: Raymond Van Het Groenewoud

"Raymond"....we don't need to name his full name anymore: Raymond is Raymond and we all know him. We've all known him all our lives so it seems and his songs have been embedded in our memories. As a kid in the youth organisation we play-backed to "Je veux l'amour", as teenager we thanked our favourite substitute teacher with our own versioin of "Liefde voor muziek" and we sang "Vlaanderen boven" at the campfire , we sent each other moving powerpoint presentations with the music of "2 meisjes" on it in the nineties.... We've seen him in a little tent for a fund raising activity of the local youth organisation and we've seen him on plenty of festivals. For 15 years he was the official all night closing concert at the Gentse Feesten.

And yet I think we'll only realize what a great artist he is when he's gone. Humor, philosophy, absurdism, political statements, ...all is mixed in his texts whereas his music ranges from rock, intimate ballads, jazz, ... He's a creative octopus, although I must admit that for years I thought he surely had to be also the ugliest Belgian artist we had :p.

2 meisjes - 1996

(2 girls on the beach, they are reading fashion magazines, they look around and dream about prince charming....)

Je veux l'amour - 1980

(I sang everywhere, I've filled halls, I've emptied halls, i've had applause, I've known misery, ....

I don't know why but artists usually only have one request:
I want love
I want love wherever I go, wherever I stand,
before I die, before I perish


I want love for me and for my dog, who waits all night faithfully for me in the car
...for my friends who can't find the road to my concert tonight, ....

and I also want money, money to buy presents to hand out to everyone so they would love me.)

Liefde voor muziek - 1991

(yesterday I went to see a movie and what I saw made me happy and touched me deeply,
I saw Prince's grandfather preceding in a service
not one like here where many store owners come with a grey soulless suit to listen to a mumbling old no it was a group of excited monkeys and the most crazy of them all was in front

and it went on
and it was building
with so much style
and so much fire
it was the love for music

so I wondered, my dear believers, why the white are so much more uptight than the black.
are we truly so bothered by our civilisation?
pull me out of the Flemish clay , give me a drummer and make me happy

Gelukkig zijn - ?

(To be happy, I'd give everything
away what is too much
no more stress to my boddy
being happy....)

Meisjes - 1977

they break us , sir
they drive us nuts , sir
mmm girls

girls, are the most beautiful things on the earth,
there's nothing that can match their beauty
it's Van 't Groenewoud who told you so)

Vlaanderen boven - 1978

(Flanders above all,
where they can praise the Lord
where people are important
where the bellies are significant
Flanders outside
where the birds whistle
Flanders my country
at the North Sea beach


jokemijn said…
ja, raymond moet zowat een van de grootste vlaamsen zijn. En zo eentje waarvan je nog steeds kippevel krijgt, eentje die niet platgekookt en voorspelbaar is.
Virtualsprite said…
I love this! He kind of reminds me of Billy Joel.
Brian Miller said…
i can not ee the vids but the snippets of verses are cool...give it all away, yes...because all i need is love...smiles.

thanks for your support today...
Nel said…
Zijn aller aller mooiste nummer nog vergeten: ik zal jou(w?) man zijn!


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