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Music / Doe Maar

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Doe Maar is the most commercially succesful Dutch band of all time. From 1978 until 1984 they scored numerous Top 10 hits in their home country and were also quite popular in Flanders, Belgium. Their sound was a combination of New Wave Music and Reggae. They were especially huge during the early 1980s, inspiring a mania not unlike those of The Beatles, with hordes of young teenage girls crowding at their concerts and screaming their head off.

Unfortunately the group didn't like to be labeled as a boys band, because it caused critics not to take them very seriously. Also, most of them were already in their thirties and had no interest in the adoration of a teenage female audience. They tried to shed off this part of their audience by writing songs dealing with topics about people of their own age: adultery, fear of getting older, fear of nuclear war,... 4US (Album) (1983) was in that regard a veritable New Sound Album. Unfortunately it did little to gain more interest or respect from the audience and critics they had in mind. As a result they disbanded in 1984, at the height of their fame.

In 2000 the group reunited, released a new album and a proper live album note , and toured again. At this point their music had been Vindicated by History as actually being quite decent music with a very particular sound and lyrics that weren't as stupid as most other pop acts (at least not when they weren't lampshading it themselves). In 2008 and 2012 they reunited again.

A large tour was planned in late 2021, but all concerts were cancelled when Henny Vrienten got very ill. He passed away on the 25th of April 2022.


  • Doe Maar (1979)
  • Skunk (1981)
  • Doris Day En Andere Stukken (1982)
  • Doe De Dub - Discodubversie" (1982)
  • 4US (Album) (1983)
  • Lijf Aan Lijf (1983)
  • Klaar (2000)

This band provides examples of the following tropes

  • Absurd Phobia: "Bang" ("Frightened"), about somebody who feels anxious and frightened of all kinds of things but is unsure why.
  • Addled Addict: "O.K.", about an addict who starts smoking/drinking/overeating again, but accepts it.
  • Alliterative Title: "Doris Day", "Doe De Dub", "Liever Dan Lief", "Zoek Het Zelf Maar Uit".
  • All Men Are Perverts:
    • "Je Loopt Je Lul Achterna" ("You Walk Behind Your Dick"), about a man who was adulterous and lost his partner as a result.
    • "Wees Niet Bang Voor Mijn Lul" ("Don't Be Afraid Of My Dick"), a Bawdy Song about a man comforting his partner not to be afraid of his penis.
  • Atomic Hate: "De Bom" ("The Bomb"), about fear for nuclear war.
  • Audience Participation: Front singer Henny Vrienten usually lets the audience sing all the girl's names in the song "1 Nacht Alleen", because he can't remember all of them.
  • Big Brother Is Watching You: "Grote Broer" ("Big Brother") is a paranoid song about this trope.
  • Break Up Song: "De Eerste X" ("The First Time") is a story about a girl seducing somebody to have sex with her, but he feels he can't live up to her standards and leaves her, much to his later regret. "Zoek Het Zelf Maar Uit" ("Find It Out For Yourself") is about a guy telling a girl that he isn't the one for her.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: "Pa" ("Dad"), about a troubled son-father relationship.
  • Cut Short: The end of "Smoorverliefd" ("Hopelessly in Love") is cut short so fast that lead singer Henny voice suddenly sounds very high and silly.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: "Dans Met Mij" ("Dance With Me") is a romantic song about dancing with your loved one.
  • Darker and Edgier: 4US (Album) was an attempt to shed off their younger audience and present songs about more adult topics, such as adultery, heroin abuse and troubled father-son relationships.
  • Despair Event Horizon and Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: "Is Dit Alles?" ("Is This Everything?") has a man wondering whether having a happy married life and a job is everything in life? "Radeloos" ("Desperate") is about someone who is desperate for love.
  • Drugs Are Bad: "Heroïne", an anti-heroin song.
  • The End: "Alles Gaat Voorbij" ("Everything Has To End") is a melancholic song about how all dreams are just illusions. "De Laatste X" ("The Last Time") has pretty much the same message.
  • Epic Rocking: "Doe Maar Net Alsof", which is over 6 minutes long, Epic Instrumental Opener included.
  • Instrumental: The band released an entire album with instrumental dub reggae versions of their songs: "Doe De Dub". Apart from that there are also the instrumental tracks "Situatie" ("Situation"), "De Vrolijke Padvinder" ("The Happy Scout").
  • It's Not You, It's Me: "Nix Voor Jou" ("Nothing For You") "Zoek Het Zelf Maar Uit" ("Find It Out For Yourself"), "Vergeet Me" ("Forget Me") are all about somebody who informs a woman he's not the one for her.
  • Just Ignore It and Selective Obliviousness: "Doe Maar Net Alsof (Je Neus Bloedt)" ("Just Act As If You Don't See It"), a song about people shutting themselves of the Crapsack World they live in.
  • Large Ham: Some of their songs, especially the early ones, are sung in a Chewing the Scenery way that is so over the top that it has to be heard to be believed. Some prime examples: "Te Laat" ("Too Late"), "Smoorverliefd" ("Desperately In Love"), "Nederwiet" ("Dutch Weed"), "Winnetoe" ("Winnetou"), "Nachtmerrie" ("Nightmare"),...
  • Last Note Nightmare: "De Bom" ("The Bomb") is a song about the fear for The Bomb, a theme that was very real in the early 1980s. The song ends with the unnerving sound of a death clock alarm going off.
  • Leave Me Alone!: "1 Nacht Alleen" ("One Night Alone"), where the protagonist wishes to sleep out and without a woman between his sheets.
  • Letters 2 Numbers: "Sinds 1 Dag Of 2" ("Since 1 Day Or 2"), "1 Nacht Alleen" ("One Night Alone"), "De Laatste X" ("The Last Time") and "De Eerste X" ("The First Time").
  • List Song: "1 Nacht Alleen", in which several girl's names are summarized. Front singer Henny Vrienten usually lets the audience sing them, because he can't remember all of them.
  • Macho Masochism: "Macho" is a criticism of this trope. The man in the song prefers the company of women.
  • New Sound Album: "Doe De Dub", an album in dub music, and 4US (Album), with more adult topics.
  • Ode to Intoxication: "Nederwiet", a song glorifying Dutch weed.
  • One-Man Song: "Politiekman" ("Politics Man"), satirizing politicians.
  • One-Woman Song: "Anita", "Nachtzuster", "Belle Hélène".
  • One-Word Title: "Situatie", "Lajeninaja", "Nachtzuster", "Bang", "Heroïne", "Pa", "Walska", "Macho",...
  • Pep-Talk Song: "Hé, Hé" ("Hey, Hey"), "Verdomme, Ik Doe Het Wel Alleen" ("Goddamned, I'll Do It Myself"), "Het Leven Gaat Door" ("Life Goes On").
  • The Power of Love: "Wat Ze Doet" ("What She Does"), "Tijd Genoeg" ("Enough Time").
  • Rated M for Manly: "Man-O-Man", "Macho".
  • Raging Stiffie: "Je Loopt Je Lul Achterna" ("You Walk Behind Your Dick"), about a man who was adulterous and lost his partner as a result.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • "De Bom" ("The Bomb") was written when Ronald Reagan used a lot of threatening language against the USSR, causing many people across the globe to fear a nuclear escalation between the US and USSR.
    • "Heroine" ("Heroin") was inspired by drummer René Van Collem's heroin addiction and was a not very subtle warning to kick the habit. Van Collem eventually managed to do so, but it took him three decades. He also published an autobiography about it.
  • Real-Person Cameo: The band had a cameo in the TV show of Van Kooten En De Bie.
  • Reggae: The genre they wrote most of their songs in.
  • Shout-Out: "Doris Day" is a shout-out to actress Doris Day.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: The band has a song called "De Laatste X" ("The Last Time") and "De Eerste X" ("The First Time").
  • Silly Love Songs: "Sinds 1 Dag of 2" ("Since 1 Day Or 2"), "Smoorverliefd" ("Hopelessly in Love"), "Ik Zou Het Willen Doen", "Anita", "Als De Morgen Komt".
  • Spell My Name With An S: They enjoyed spelling song titles differently than the standard language: "Nix Voor Jou" ("Nothing For You", should be "Niks Voor Jou"), "4US" (should be Virus, which is a Pun-Based Title on the word "4" ("vier" in Dutch) and "virus".), "Sinds 1 Dag Of 2" ("Since A Day Or Two", should be Sinds een dag of twee),...
  • Spoken Word in Music: "Nederwiet" is basically a text on how to grow weed set to music. The text is sang, but most of the lines don't actually rhyme.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: "De kater" (The hangover), sung by guitarist Jan Hendricks and "Nederwiet" (Dutch weed), spoken/sung by frequent collaborator Joost Belinfante.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: "Pa", where they sing: "Ik doe de dingen die ik doe/ met mijn ogen dicht", which translates to "I do the things that I do/ with my eyes closed." Because of the word "doe" everyone expects the line to be "met mijn ogen toe ", but instead they use a synonym "dicht".
  • Take Me Instead: "Liever Dan Lief" ("Lovelier than Lovely"), in which the protagonist tells a women than she would be better off with him than the jerk she longs for.
  • Their First Time: "De Eerste X" ("The First Time") in which someone is deflowered by a woman, but feels he can't live up to her expectations. Then he leaves her, but feels regret afterwards.
  • Time Marches On: "Doris Day" is a song about the fact that there's nothing interesting to watch on TV, "only a movie with Doris Day". Nowadays Doris Day films aren't as common on TV as they were in the early 1980s. The song also namedrops Willem Duys, Henk Van Der Meijden and Marco Bakker, also TV stars from the past.
  • While Rome Burns: "De Bom":
    Laat maar vallen ("Just let it fall")
    Het komt er toch wel van ("It 'll happen anyway")
    Het geeft niet of je rent ("It doesn't matter if you run")
    Ik heb jou nooit gekend ("I've never known you")
    Ik wil weten wie je bent ("I want to find out who you are")
  • Worrying for the Wrong Reason: "Hé, Hè", a song where people worry about stuff in the news, but the refrain sings "Hey, Hey" to help them get over it.
  • You Watch Too Much X: "Doris Day", a song with the message that people should stop bickering about bad programming on TV and go out to a party and have fun.