I'm extending my little tribute to a true Dutch chansonnier, actor, and citizen of Amsterdam: Ramses Shaffy.
Up Sammy look
Born in France, a son from an Egyptian father and a Russian mother, Ramses was put on the train to his aunt the Netherlands at the age of five, after his mother contracted tuberculosis. The bad momentum still wasn't over - for some reason (I still don't understand why), he ended up in child care. His chances turned: he met and was adopted by his foster family. His formative years were in the city of Leiden (in the province of South Holland). The adoption was his godsend. In Leiden, he learned to play the piano.
Never finishing his secondary school, Ramses moved to the School of Arts in Amsterdam. In 1960, he attempted a career as actor in Rome, travelling to Italy's capital with his partner, but to no success. Perhaps for the best. He returned to the Netherlands.
In 1964, in collaboration with many friends, Ramses performs a literary cabaret of poetry and song, called Shaffy Cantate. The combination of classical music and cabaret is both riveting and revolutionary in the Netherlands. His 1966 song "Sammy" exemplifies this. It is a spirited song and uplifting - the singer is cheering up a downcast person (Sammy):
Up Sammy look
His star rises, and does never really fade. During the seventies and eighties, Shaffy is active and successful as a musician, in cabaret, as actor both on stage and in television productions. Everything what he does is marked with passion and a feverish zest for life. His lively music and passionate voice could engender the sober Dutch with the rarity of dance, make them remember a joy de vivre. In the course of the nineties, he slowly retreats from the stage.
Shaffy's music is an ode to life, in the brightest colours possible.
Below an excerpt from one of his best, with my attempted translation. Though you'll need to listen to the song to hear the energy behind the words.