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Liederen En Dansen Uit De Kempen * Harrie Franken (1978 / 2003 stichting brabants heem)

I saw this book in the local bookshop. As the title says, it contains “songs and dances from the Kempen”. The Kempen is the area in the Netherlands (and Belgium) that I am from. It is a massive 600+ book and comes with a cd. It is quite expensive and I have been in doubt whether or not to buy it. Today I ran into a second hand copy. This turns out to be the second printing of 1978 (first printing is from the same year) and the book has been reprinted with cd in 2003. I am curious about the cd, so maybe I will get the new printing after all. Not that I am much of a singer or a dancer, but I do like the fact that old songs and dances are compiled and saved for the future. I have learned some of them in my youth, others are quite universal. The songs are simple folksongs, childrens songs, but also devotional songs and interestingly enough, there are a lot of so-called “murder songs” in the book. The best part is, is that the book contains both the texts and the music, so people interested in singing traditional songs will have plenty if they buy this book (of course they are in Dutch or sometimes in the local dialect). This book perfectly fits into my motto, investigate your local history and learn to understand and appreciate it. <25/11/06><4>
I got the fourth printing from the library and this one contains the cd. Indeed there are recordings by Franken from the 1980’ies, one take, including mistakes, talking and laughter. Some songs are funny, other are a bit boring. Three songs have been replayed by Franken’s music group “Ut Muziek”. <17/12/06>

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