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Port of Amsterdam

Music Amsterdam Jacques Brel (morceau - 1964)
The mere mention of the Dutch city manages to bring back memories of Amsterdam sung by Jacques Brel in 1964. However, this classic has no connection with the Netherlands.
Port of Amsterdam
"Port of Amsterdam" by januszsl is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

“He never did an encore and never did an encore either, except once, during the tour of Russia, in 1965: I don’t know what got into him, he did an Amsterdam encore.”

Jean Corti, Jacques Brel’s accordionist

While taking a leisurely stroll through the port of Zeebrugge, a Belgian city near Bruges, Jacques Brel had the idea of talking about the sailors in the port who sing, sleep, die and indulge in some not very catholic practices. The artist having decided to celebrate in some way the incredible and whimsical life of these workers.

Zeebrugge is a place that Jacques Brel is particularly fond of. In his song Mon père disait, later released in 1967 on the album Jacques Brel 67, the singer recounts how his father used to repeat: “C’est le vent du Nord, Qu’a fait craquer la terre, Entre Zeebruges et l’Angleterre”. Nearby, in Blankenberge, the artist bought the sails of his boat Askoy II, with which he sailed for several months between 1974 and 1976 with his partner Maddly Bamy. A ship rightly restored in the same port by the merchant’s descendant and his brother.

But why go from Zeebrugge to Amsterdam? The reason is very simple, explained by Brel himself: “Do you know any rhymes in ugge?” Amsterdam sounded better to the ear and for the composition of the lyrics of this song which is now remembered.

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There is no studio recording of Amsterdam. His main version is the one recorded during the first performance of the song at the Olympia on October 16, 1964.

Port of Amsterdam

The second largest port in the Netherlands after Rotterdam and the fourth largest in Europe, Amsterdam is also ranked 39th worldwide.

Closely linked to the city of Amsterdam since the 13th century, the port of the Dutch city covers 600 hectares of waterways and 1,900 hectares of land. The site specializes in the supply, storage and transp... Learn more about Port of Amsterdam

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By Damien Duarte

Thursday, December 16, 2021

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