Flappie: An English translation of a Dutch Christmas classic

Flappie: An English translation of a Dutch Christmas classic

American singer Todd Rundgren has released an English version of a classic Dutch Christmas song, made famous here in the Netherlands by comedian Youp van ’t Hek. 

It was Christmas morning, 1961…

Dutch national treasure Youp van ’t Hek has been on stage for decades. He wrote his alternative Christmas song, Flappie, in the 1970s for his sister’s cabaret group before it was released in 1978. At first, the song didn’t prove particularly successful. However, with time, Flappie would become one of the most beloved Christmas songs in the Netherlands and at this time of year, it’s difficult to escape it. 

Maybe you’ve heard the song, and always wondered what Youp was singing about. Well, wonder no longer! In 2020, Todd Rundgren was asked to release a Christmas single. He was looking for something original that no one had ever heard before when he came across Flappie.  

Todd made practically no changes to the track, directly translating the lyrics from Dutch into English. Even though Youp and his team didn’t know an English version was in the works, he responded enthusiastically on social media, telling Het Parool: “Everyone is free to record their own version of it, of course. I also think he did well. When I heard him sing Flappie, I thought: well, not a bad song at all.” 

Find out what happened to Flappie

Curious about the song? Find out what Youp has been singing about all these years in Todd’s version below!

Video: YouTube / Youp van 't Hek

Video: YouTube / Todd Rundgren - Topic

What do you think? What's your favourite Christmas song? Let us know, or check out some other Dutch Christmas songs here!

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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