How Rob de Nijs revealed his privacy through lyrics from his ex | NOW

Rob de Nijs is finally saying goodbye to performing on Wednesday night with a final concert at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam. The singer stops singing because he suffers from Parkinson’s disease. For years, he gave his listeners an insight into his privacy through his songs, often written by his ex-wife Belinda Meuldijk. lists a number of these very personal songs.

De Nijs, who already broke through in 1963 with hits like The rhythm of the rain and For Sonja, I do everything, rarely contributes to his own songs during his career. In the 1970s, the singer mainly scored hits with songs written by Lennart Nijgh and Boudewijn de Groot, such as. Malle BabbaTrumpeter Jan Klaassen and Goodbye sister Ursula† Later, writers such as Jan Rot and Daniel Lohues also provided him with many songs.

In 1980, while still married to his first wife Elly Hesseling, De Nijs met actress and lyricist Belinda Meuldijk. She became his second wife in 1984, and the two worked together very regularly from the first meeting. Over the years, Meuldijk has provided countless lyrics to De Nijs’ albums, including one of his greatest hits, Banger Hart from 1996.

Belinda Meuldijk continued to write songs for her ex-husband Rob de Nijs even after their divorce.

Belinda Meuldijk continued to write songs for her ex-husband Rob de Nijs even after their divorce.

Belinda Meuldijk continued to write songs for her ex-husband Rob de Nijs even after their divorce.

Photo: BrunoPress

Yoshi Little StarWorth the effort

De Nijs and Meuldijk became parents to two sons in 1983 and 1986. Their youngest son, Yoshi, provides inspiration for several songs. The lyrics are mainly about what it is like to raise a child with autism and how they want to eliminate its problems. The first song about their son is called Yoshi and will be published in 1991.

De Nijs sings, among other things, the sentences written by Meuldijk: “For me the role I did not want, hey Yos, how can that be? I can not buy happiness.“De Nijs provides text and an explanation of this in the magazine Lotje & Co† “The role of father of a disabled child. You do not want that.”

appears in 1994 Little Star, whereupon Meuldijk delivers a Dutch text about Yoshi with a composition by Billy Joel. †Who knows the fear that holds him captive? Who gives his world something he trusts? I take his hand even though he shouts at me. And then, as he struggles, he gets closer“, De Nijs sings about the sometimes difficult times with his son.

Also on Worth the effort, which was released in 2001 when Yoshi was fifteen years old, focuses on the bond between parent and son. †Even my stupid grief that sometimes there is a moment when I see normal children and see what you are missing makes my life worth living“, writes Meuldijk as a denouement of the song.


Robbert, the eldest son of Rob de Nijs, is also central in a song that he also sings along to. Number one Papa-Oto is a duet between father and son. Meuldijk wrote this song from De Nijs’ perspective as an absent father. †JI was not there for your first step and I only know a picture of your kindergarten class. you learned to ride a bike without me because I was away. I was never free, so you called me ‘papa-oto’“, De Nijs sings about his son who called him that as a child because he was always away by car.

“Belinda puts her finger on the sore spot with her text, but without reproach. Just with a lot of warmth. Like: okay boy, you did not know better. I wrote it down for you and now you know it,” says De Nijs in 2017 in an interview with Fidelity† “What she writes is very often about her and me. I notice that every time. She makes me sing her words. It sometimes feels a bit like masochism because she just puts me on the dissection table.”

Tell me one more time

De Nijs and Meuldijk broke up in 2006 because he had an affair with Henriëtte Koetschruiter. He marries her two years later, and they have a son in 2012. In the years after the relationship, Meuldijk still continues to provide lyrics to De Nijs’ songs, which often seem to be about the end of a relationship that f. ex. Swan lake (2017) and Do not write to me (2008).

De Nijs says the song was written by Meuldijk Tell me one more time (2017) on the end of their marriage. †Tell me once again how much you loved me. Then I ask no more, but today goes“, the chorus sounds.” It touches me enormously, really deep in my heart “, says De Nijs about this song in The language state on Radio 1. “When I heard the words I thought: damn, I could not have done it any other way.”

“When the passionate love is over, a relationship does not have to end. I made that mistake at some point. She pointed it out to me in a poetic way.”

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