Dag en nacht


Only when he died in 2009 I became aware of Ramses Shaffy. I knew that he was a singer, I knew he suffered from the syndrome of Korsakov, brought along by a life long alcohol habit. I also knew he lived quite close to me. When I say I became aware of him I mean musically. I never knew his songs.

The album contains one of the biggest hits of the singer. Laat me (leave me be) is translated from the French Ma dernière volonté (Vivre). In the translation, the song became exactly what fans came to expect of the singer. The original was a cry to be able to live from someone dying. It spoke of an existential fear. Shaffy’s version is that same cry, but now it’s about being alive. Leave me to live my own life. It turned into a celebration of life. Maybe for of death leads to celebration of life.

The album came out in 1978. In these years it was more common to just translate songs from our neighboring countries, with or without copyright. And even though our world is a lot bigger with internet, I still notice a sad lack of attention for the music in France and Germany, even though they are so close to us. It would still be easy to find and translate music there.

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