The committee organising the celebrations surrounding the investiture of king Willem-Alexander have decided to go ahead with the controversial Song for a King, despite the composer’s decision to withdraw it.
The song was greeted by a storm of criticism when it was made public on Friday and on Sunday composer John Euwbank said he had had enough and was pulling out.
But on Monday evening, theatre impresario Joop van den Ende, one of the members of the organising committe, said plans to sing the song to the new king on April 30 would go ahead as originally planned.
The song will be sung at a concert in the Ahoy in Rotterdam in the evening of April 30 and broadcast to the new king live by video link ahead of the boat parade.
A survey shows 40% of people don’t like the song but 60% do, Van den Ende told reporters. ‘It is number one in the charts, schools have been studying it… so how difficult can it be. It is only a song after all.’
On Twitter the song was described as ‘horribly pretentious’, as sounding like a Eurovision Song Contest entry and a good reason for Willem-Alexander to move to Argentina. The rap in the middle of the song, based around the W from Willem, came in for particular fire.
Tens of thousands of people signed up to a petition calling for the song to be stopped and a Facebook page saying it should be banned.