The Dutchman lyrics

by Liam Clancy

The Dutchman's not the kind of man
To keep his thumb jammed in the dam that holds his dreams in
But that's a secret only Margaret knows
When Amsterdam is golden
In the morning Margaret brings him breakfast, she believes him
He thinks the tulips bloom beneath the snow
He's mad as he can be but Margaret only sees that sometimes
Sometimes she sees her unborn children in his eyes

Let us go to the banks of the ocean
Where the walls rise above the Zuider Zee
Long ago I used to be a young man
And dear Margaret remembers that for me

The Dutchman still wears wooden shoes
His cap and coat are patched with love that Margaret sewed in
Sometimes he thinks he's still in Rotterdam
He watches tugboats down canals
And calls out to them when he thinks he knows the captain
'Til Margaret comes to take him home again
Through unforgiving streets that trip him though she holds his arm
Sometimes he thinks that he's alone and calls her name

Let us go to the banks of the ocean
Where the walls rise above the Zuider Zee
Long ago I used to be a young man
And dear Margaret remembers that for me

The windmills whirl the winter in
As she winds his muffler tighter, they sit in the kitchen
And the tea with whiskey keeps away the dew
He sees her for a moment
Calls her name, she makes the bed up humming some old love song
She learned it when the tune was very new
He hums a line or two, they hum together in the night
The Dutchman falls asleep and Margaret blows the candle out

Let us go to the banks of the ocean
Where the walls rise above the Zuider Zee
Long ago I used to be a young man
And dear Margaret remembers that for me

Song Details

Music & Lyrics: Michael Peter Smith - Born on Sept 7th, 1941 in South Orange, New Jersey, U.S.

Date: 1968

Brief: The song is about an elderly couple living in Amsterdam... Margaret and the Dutchman. He has become senile over the years but Margaret's love for him is undying. She remembers special moments with glimpses of happier times, yet there is a certain sadness she feels over what has become of him over the years. Beautiful lyrics - beautiful song.

Popularized by: Steve Goodman on the album, Somebody Else's Troubles in 1973.

Category: Folk Rock

Popular Recording Artists: Steve Goodman, Liam Clancy (featured), Celtic Thunder, Suzy Bogguss, Norm Hacking, Anne Hills, Mara Levine and Si Khan, John McDermott, the New Kingston Trio, Gamble Rogers, Tom Russell, Jerry Jeff Walker, Robert James Waller, Josh White Jr., Bernard Wrigley...

P.S. Although this is not strictly an Irish Song, it has been adopted by several Irish artists and their versions are outstanding especially the one by our featured artist - Liam Clancy... he owns it!

Logo The Dutchman by Liam Clancy is featured on the album Favourites 1 & 2

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