New Year’s song in Cranendonck ‘important for the sense of togetherness’ | Cranendonck

CRANENDONCK – Dialects such as Soerendonks (Zurriks) or Budels (Buuls) are almost no longer spoken by the Cranendonck youth, but many children can easily recite the traditional New Year’s song. On the last morning of the year, the song is sung again.

Cranendonck’s mayor Ronald van Kessel gives the unofficial starting signal for the New Year’s song on Saturday morning after two years. Primary school pupils then go from door to door singing with bags and rucksacks, in return for a reward in the form of sweets, toys or a contribution to the piggy bank. New Year’s singing has traditionally been popular in Budel-Schoot, Budel, Soerendonk, Gastel and to a lesser extent on Budel-Dorplein. In Maarheeze it was always an unknown phenomenon.

Sweet lady, sweet lady

In Budel, this text written in dialect is sung: Lievrouwke, dear lady nijaor give, you must serve the owig life, owig life is better won than um a generous thread spun. Kiek des in euw körrefke dò ligge drei roezige eppelkes in gift wa, spaort wa, op un ânder jaor (al) wèr (us) wa. Koekemerello!

The song is over a hundred years old. It is not known who wrote it. In the other Cranenonck centers the text sometimes differs slightly. For example, ‘Koekemerello’, a combination of the words koek(en) and caramel, does not appear in the Soerendonk variant because the exchange consists of change. Some wordings are also different.


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Children used to get much less candy than they do now

Harry Jaspers

Harrie Jaspers from Budel-Schoot already years ago described in detail the tradition of New Year’s singing in Cranendonck in Aa-kroniek, Heemkundekring De Baronie van Cranendonck’s magazine. Although the New Year’s song is no longer as popular as it used to be, he is not worried about the tradition dying out in the short term. That the enthusiasm is less than for e.g. thirty years ago, or in his own youth, is no more than logical for the seventies. “Kids used to get a lot less candy than they do now,” Jaspers said.

Early as a child in Gastel, Jaspers traveled around the entire village. “You don’t see that today. There is almost no singing in the suburbs. Hardly anyone has visited me in the last ten years. Many young people move to the village centres, especially to Budel.”

Specific tradition

Jaspers thinks it is important that folk customs are respected. “New Year’s singing is a very specific tradition which is found almost nowhere in Brabant.”

Arian Compen, known in the region as a barrel speaker, is also engaged in the local New Year tradition and the Soerendonk dialect. “New Year’s singing is important for the feeling of togetherness in the village. Moreover, the song is one of the few lyrics that people still speak in the local dialect,” says Compen.

He also sees interest declining. Partly because more and more people come to live here who do not know the tradition. He used to visit every door in Sørendonk himself. “But today it can no longer be done in one morning”, says Compen, who hopes for a large turnout.

You can sing in the assembly hall in Budel on Saturday mornings from 09.00 to 10.30. The mayor then distributes candy bags to singing children.

© Kees Martens / DCI Media

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