"The Dutchman" as written by and Michael Peter Smith....
The Dutchman is not the kind of man
Who keeps his thumb jammed in the dam
That holds his dreams in
That's a secret that only Margaret knows

When Amsterdam is golden in the summer
Margaret brings him breakfast, she believes him
He thinks the tulips bloom beneath the snow
He's mad as he can be, 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
Dear Margaret remembers that for me

The Dutchman still wears wooden shoes
And his cap and coat are patched with the love
Margaret sewed there
Sometimes he thinks he's still in Rotterdam

He watches the tug-boats down canals
An' calls out to them when he thinks he knows the Captain
Margaret comes to take him home again
Through unforgiving streets that trip him, though she holds his arm
Sometimes he thinks he's alone and he 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 winters whirl the windmills 'round
She winds his muffler tighter, they sit in the kitchen
Some tea with whiskey keeps away the dew
He sees her for a moment, he calls her name
She makes the bed up singing some old love song

She learned it when the song was very new
He hums a line or two, they hum together in the dark
The Dutchman falls asleep, Margaret blows the candles 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

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




Lyrics submitted by musicalcure

"The Dutchman" as written by Michael Peter Smith

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

The Dutchman song meanings
Add your thoughts

1 Comment

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentFor an excellent treatment of the origins of this song and some respectable performances, see compvid101.blogspot.com/2011/02/… (especially listen to the performance by Liam Clancy). This is a song about an eldery couple, the Ducthman and his devoted wife Margaret. The Dutchman suffers from dementia, and cannot remember most of the things he used to know, but Margaret still believes in him, and what he cannot remember, "Dear Margaret remembers that for me."

    I heard this song for the first time tonight when I put my daughter to bed. She had the Celtic Thunder's "Heritage" CD in her stereo, and I just put the first song on repeat. It happened to be the Dutchman. As it kept repeating, I was more and more drawn in to what the song was saying, and the relationship he and Margaret still share, after mental illness (Altzheimer's? Post-WW2 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?) has taken its toll. After about the dozenth time, I went and hugged my wife of 17 years. She wondered why I was sobbing.

    Enjoy this song. If you are fortunate enough to have someone to grow old with, enjoy it together.
    timmysdadon August 12, 2012   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain