Friday, October 25, 2013

Jukebox Friday: Yevgueni - Oud En Versleten



"Oud En Versleten" ("Old And Worn") appeared on Kannibaal, Yevgueni's 2005 debut album.

Like many of Yevgueni's most compelling songs, this is a first-person narrative. It is written from the perspective of someone who, nearing the end of their life, encourages friends and family to euthanize them.

The song became the center of a controversy this summer, when the pastor and entire parish council of Putte decided to ban it from the funeral of Anna De Wachter (88). De Wachter lived the last ten years of her life in a nursing home, of which seven years were spent battling Alzheimer's disease. The family thought that "Oud En Versleten" mirrored her final days perfectly.

The request was declined, however, supposedly because the pastor thinks it encourages euthanasia.

Although euthanasia is widely accepted in Belgium (the 2nd country to legalize it after the Netherlands), the Catholic church continues to oppose it.

To which I say: if you don't agree with the Church, don't leave them in charge of sending you off.

Lyrics (original Dutch):

Als ik oud ben en versleten
en ik voor mijn raampje sta
of in mijn rolstoel neergezeten
nauwelijks weet da'k nog besta

Als ik oud ben en versleten
jou moet vragen wie ik ben
al jouw liefde ben vergeten
en mijn vrienden niet meer ken

Geef me dan alsjeblief een spuitje of een duwtje door het raam
ik schrijf vooraf wel een briefje dat het per ongeluk is gegaan

Als ik oud ben en versleten,
mijn hersenen al gestorven zijn
maar mijn lijf 't nog niet wil weten
en blijft leven voor de schijn

Als ik oud ben en versleten,
enkel mensen werk verschaf
als ik niet meer alleen kan eten
meer dan een been al in't graf

Geef me dan alsjeblief een spuitje of een duwtje door het raam
ik schrijf vooraf wel een briefje dat het per ongeluk is gegaan

Ik ben geboren zonder luier en zo wil ik ook graag dood
ik kan nog uren zitten kauwen op een simpel stukje brood
zo blijf ik nog wel bezig maar het hoeft niet meer voor mij
want laat ons eerlijk wezen het is al lang voorbij

Ik schrijf vooraf wel een briefje dat het per ongeluk is gegaan


Lyrics (English translation):

When I'm old and worn
and I stand before my window
or sit in my wheelchair
hardly knowing that I still exist

When I'm old and worn
Have to ask you who I am
Have forgotten all your love
and don't know my friends anymore

Then please give me a shot or a push through the window
I'll write a note first, saying it was an accident.

When I'm old and worn,
my brains have died
but my body's too stubborn
and stays alive just for show

When I'm old and worn,
only giving people something to do
if I can't eat by myself
more than one leg already in the grave

Then please give me a shot or a push through the window
I'll write a note first, saying it was an accident

I was born without a diaper and that's how I want to die
I can still munch on a single piece of bread for hours
Keeping myself occupied, but I don't need it anymore
Because let's be honest, it's long gone.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, Yevgueni, one of the few Belgian acts singing in Dutch who are really good. Lyrically too.

    I would say this song is a bit controversial in church terms, but then accepting it on the funeral would have been a statement of the church that it is wanting to progress. If the church wants to save their "empire" in a more and more secular Europe, they'll need some clergymen who are openminded and adapted to modern society. Which means accepting gays and more important roles for women, allowing priests to marry, and daring to debate (rather than avoid) on matters such as euthanasia, abortion, gay marriage, ...

    A modern church may be able to re-attract those who left it behind. A static church will just get emptier and emptier.

    As an atheist myself I wonder why they chose a religious funeral in the first place, but probably there is a good reason for it.

    "The biggest miracle god ever realised, is that people in the years 2000 still believe".

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