Amsterdam Sights

Songs about the Jordaan

No other Dutch city is sung about as much as Amsterdam, and in particular the Jordaan neighborhood. As an icon of Amsterdam the Westertoren, the impressive tower of the Westerkerk, is sung about the most. The Jordaan vibrato were and are popular all over the Netherlands.

Andre Hazes The songs are about love, poverty, drink, drugs and evenings out but also about social injustice. People recognize themselves in the songs because the ballads are primarily about life on the streets of the city. Amsterdam songs originated on the street. There were many street singers but Amsterdammers also sang in the pubs and their homes about their troubles, the fun times and their city. The famous singers Johnny Jordaan and André Hazes, for example, sang their songs on the street or in the pub. Singing in Amsterdam begins in the Jordaan in the centre of the city. This was a poverty-stricken neighbourhood where, as the words of a song tell us, many a child slept in a wooden chest in years gone by. As well as the poor Jordaan, there was the theatrical Jordaan with plays and lively revues.

Statues of famous musicians of the Jordaan at the Elandsgracht

The pub and love
The pub is the place where people drowned their sorrows. It was where many a labourer spent hours and hours propping up the bar, particularly in times of poverty and misery. Lots of famous artists took their first musical steps in the pub. That's how singers like Willy Alberti and later René Froger began their careers. Enjoying a beer and a dram, people sang at the tops of their voices. Drink was a popular subject of songs, sometimes in the tragic sense. Children were sent to fetch their fathers from the pub where the wages were paid out.

Famous singers of Amsterdam songs:
Louis Davids, Willy Alberti, Johnny Jordaan, André Hazes, Willeke Alberti

Accommodation in the Jordaan
The Jordaan is a very attractive place to stay overnight. It's a quiet and centrally located area with a rich history. Most hotels are situated in former canal houses that still breathe the historical atmosphere of the old Jordaan.

Recommended hotels in the immediate area:

Pulitzer Hotel *****   Prinsengracht 315-331
Hotel van Onna ***   Bloemgracht 102-104-108
The Shelter Jordan   Bloemstraat 179

Go Fun Shopping in the Jordaan (shopping route)

The most common theory on the origin of the name is as a derivation of the French word jardin, meaning garden. Most streets in the Jordaan are named after flowers.