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Mijn Vlakke Land
Jacques Brel Lyrics

Wanneer de Noordzee koppig breekt aan hoge duinen
En witte vlokken schuim uiteenslaan op de kruinen
Wanneer de norse vloed beukt aan het zwart basalt
En over dijk en duin de grijze nevel valt
Wanneer bij eb het strand woest is als een woestijn
En natte westenwinden gieren van venijn
Dan vecht mijn land
Mijn vlakke land!

Wanneer de regen daalt op straten, pleinen, perken
Op dak en torenspits van hemelhoge kerken
Die in dit vlakke land de enige bergen zijn
Wanneer onder de wolken mensen dwergen zijn
Wanneer de dagen gaan in domme regelmaat
En bolle oostenwind het land nog vlakker slaat
Dan wacht mijn land
Mijn vlakke land!

Wanneer de lage lucht vlak over het water scheert
Wanneer de lage lucht ons nederigheid leert
Wanneer de lage lucht er grijs als leisteen is
Wanneer de lage lucht er vaal als kleileem is
Wanneer de noordewind de vlakte vierendeelt
Wanneer de noordewind er onze adem steelt
Dan kraakt mijn land
Mijn vlakke land!

Wanneer de Schelde blinkt in zuidelijke zon
En elke Vlaamse vrouw flaneert in zonjapon
Wanneer de eerste spin z'n lente-webben weeft
Of dampende het veld in julizonlicht beeft
Wanneer de zuidenwind er schatert door het graan
Wanneer de zuidenwind er jubelt langs de baan
Dan juicht mijn land
Mijn vlakke land!

Contributed by Bentley D. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Comments from YouTube:


Belgium has the subtle geography where Frida meets Margot. It has a storm of languages and traditions in such a pleasant place... You're blessed to have this beautifully-colored culture. Belgium is outstanding for having so much life.

Willem DW

@Davy D'Hollander I forgot to say you can hear the names frida and margot only in the french version of the song.

Willem DW

@Davy D'HollanderYou can hear the names Frida le blonde and Margot in the lyrics. Frida the Blonde is the personification of the Germanic roots of the Flemish, while Margot is a figure of Wallonia, which is French-speaking and therefore Latin. This passage represents the unity of Belgium around a single figure, but one that takes on different traits depending on the region.

Davy D'Hollander

Hi Franko, it's been 8 years since you left this comment :D but I would like to know what you mean with "Frida meets Margot"... thank you @erikdegroot88 for the great video!


It's fascinating that the Brel family, although originally from Flanders, used to live in the big city Brussels and adopted French as their native language (language shift). And yet Jacques Brel still was able to speak Flemish and "Mijn Vlakke Land" sounds like a wistful hymn to his
lost roots at the Flemish North Sea coast. In Portuguese this melancholic-nostalgic feeling is called "saudade", so "Mijn Vlakke Land" is kind of Brel's Flemish saudade.

Theo N

It's fascinating but quite normal. The brain never forgets, at a deep level, one's mother-tongue, one's "moedertaal", the language of one's cradle.
At a daily, superficial level, the mother tongue may fall into disuse, but at a deep brain levels, where language and thought are rooted & connected, the language in which a baby is first taught to make sense of the world and find meaning, is not forgotten because it was the first foundation.


Many people did in Belgium. Brussels was a Flemish city, now it's almost total French. Although their are still more Flemish speaking Belgians then French speaking, most people in the world think that Belgium is French. The Flemish spirit is quit humble comparing to the French and the Netherlands, but their is a fire within that you can find in Brel , Lara Fabian ("Je suis malade"), Johnny Hallyday (the French Elvis Presley with more than 110 million records sold worldwide; is real name was Smet and his father a singer from Brussels) and Stromae (see "Formidable"; his real name is Flemish: Paul Van Haver).

Jean-François Perez

Magnifique cette langue. Et dire que certains ne l'aime pas. Elle est magique. autant que la chanson.

Jeb Bush

@TOTTI pourquoi?


Personnellement je hais le neerlandais mais j'apprécie cette version de la chanson

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