I think our anthem doesn't make any sense at all. I mean, it's kind of nice to have an anthem, because everyone knows the tune and when it's played on the Olympic Games the sportsman/-woman will get teary, but the tune is so slow and boring (it used to be more aggressive though, I think I'd prefer that) and the lyrics are just stupid. I mean, in what way does it represent the Dutch people when your anthem starts with: 'Wilhelmus van Nassau, am I of German blood'?
Because it's not German. Plain and simple.
It says: "Ben ik van Duitsen bloed."
But 'Duitsen' has nothing to do with Germans at all. Think about the English word Dutch and the Dutch word Diets. It meant something like 'people'. In some parts it was written down as Duytschen, while in others it was Dietschen.
So he has the same blood (thoughts) as his people.
Also for a funny fact, the country Germany didn't exist back then, except as a part of the Holy Roman Empire, so there's no way this song related to German blood even tho he came from the Orange region somewhere around the German/French border.edit[
I read something new which doesn't agree with me, but neither with people who think it's only about Germany..
The word "Duytschen" in the first stanza as a reference to William's roots, whose modern Dutch equivalent, "Duits", exclusively means "German", could refer to William's ancestral house (Nassau) as well as to the lands of the Holy Roman Empire at large, including the Netherlands; scholars have pointed out that a sharp distinction between Duits ("German") and Diets ("Dutch"), which are dialectical variants of the same word, is unlikely to have existed in 16th-century usage
Dutch sloeg oorspronkelijk, ongedefinieerd, op alle Diets- of Duits-sprekende inwoners van het Heilige Roomse Rijk der Duitse Natie, met inbegrip van de hedendaagse 'Nederlandse' gewesten - vandaar ook dat het Wilhelmus vaststelt dat de Prins van Oranje 'van Duitsen bloed' is.
the prince simply states that his roots are Germanic rather than Romance - in spite of his being Prince of Orange in France as well."
I don't really mind actually.
But another thought why he joined the Netherlands might be, because he was a Protestant and not a Catholic. Maybe he didn't feel comfortable with the Catholics around Nassau?end of edit
"den vaderland getrouwe
blijf ik tot in den dood"
has a sense of nationalism too? (or does that refer to Spain or Germany in stead of the Netherlands...?)
Nope, this means he was there for his people. But in the last sentence of the first stanza he honours the king of Spain.
This leads to think he accepted the king of Spain, and actually didn't want the Netherlands to be a new nation. William of Oranje believed kings were chosen by God, so he had to accept the king of Spain. But the activities of duke Alva made him fight for the Netherlands. That's why the next sentence is in the 10th stanza:
And what about: "o edel Neerland zoet,"?
Duke Alva abused us, mistreated us. So William of Orange was fighting against the Spaniards who were led by duke Alva (again he still honoured the king of Spain!). William of Orange was hurt by the fact duke Alva molested the Netherlands.
But I already said that was one out of two stanzas that bears some nationalism.