"Frisia non cantat" - The old Latin phrase original referred to the stubbornness of some peculiar nordic tribes. In later ages it was used to describe how non-musical the Dutch are, either in their culture or in their language.
My mother subscribes to this view. She thinks the Dutch language is bland and prickly to the ears. She doesn't believe a song in Dutch can be any good. It doesn't help that many of the Dutch agree with her.
If you are a friend of mine living in Amsterdam, chances are you were born somewhere else. If your English is good you were probably never really motivated to learn Dutch, let alone find appreciation for some of the good songs, music, books, films and poetry that's out there.
Here's some songs that I appreciate to get you started:
1. Herman van Veen / Anne
The only Dutch singer my mom listens to. That's high praise! Bam, the pianist in the Babak-o-Doestan band says none of the cool guys liked Herman van Veen back in the day. He was rather an artist you went to see with a girl to impress her. So here you go, impress a girl already:
2. Doe Maar / De Bom
The ultimate Dutch band, any guy or girl my age can sing along most lyrics of most songs. Written in the (anti-)climactic years of the cold war, it's about the uselessness of pursueing shallow goals (or indeed any goals) when the bomb will wipe us out anyway. Cheerful stuff.
3. Extince / Spraakwater
One of the first guys to start rapping in Dutch. I know all the cool kids are doing it these days, but this guy's a pioneer!
"Hitgevoelig als Abba /
flexibel als BarbaPapa!"
4. Opgezwolle / Eigen Wereld
No words to describe these guys, or the surreal clip. Just click on the video.