Composer withdraws Song for the King after storm of criticism

Composer John Ewbank, who wrote the Song for the King which was to be sung at Willem-Alexander’s investiture, has cancelled the project because of the storm of criticism.


The committee organising the celebrations issued a statement saying it ‘understands’ the decision.

The song went public on Friday morning but was lambasted for its trite lyrics and style, which included a rap based on ‘the W from Willem’. The text was written by a group of Dutch celebrities ‘inspired by’ text sent in by the public.

Social media

‘After blocking the latest afterbirth from my twitter account, I have absolutely had enough,’ Ewbank wrote. He went on to list the alternative songs which have since been produced and wished everyone ‘much pleasure’ in singing them.

The committee says it plans to press ahead with plans for a mass sing-in for the new king on April 30 but is not sure what form that will take.

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.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation