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Official song for new Dutch king pulled after protests

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A Dutch-British composer who wrote a song officially chosen to celebrate the enthronement of the Netherlands' new king later this month has yanked the tune just days after its release following a storm of public criticism.

"Dear compatriots, after having to block yet another insult on my Twitter account, I am now totally done," John Ewbank wrote on his Facebook page late Saturday.

"My apologies to those who found it an appropriate song... but I hereby withdraw the Koningslied (King's Song) and wish you plenty of success" in singing one of the unofficial songs written for the inauguration of the new Dutch monarch, Willem-Alexander, on April 30.

Tens of thousands of Dutch citizens have risen in protest since Friday when the song was officially unveiled, trashing the anthem which is an unlikely combination of traditional, rap and choir music.

More than 38,000 people signed an online petition rejecting what was described as an "imbecilic" tune.

The song, which lasts just over five minutes, is performed by 51 Dutch artists, many of them stars in the Netherlands.

They belt out much-mocked lyrics such as: "I build a dyke with my bare hands and keep the water away."

The plan was for all the artists to come together for a concert in Rotterdam on April 30 in which the entire nation was invited to join in.

The National Inauguration Committee tasked with arranging the enthronement said they were disappointed but understood Ewbank's decision.

"The intention remains to serenade the king on April 30. Together with the Dutch public broadcaster the committee will seek a solution," national news agency ANP quoted the committee as saying.

Willem-Alexander, currently crown prince, will be the Netherlands' first king in more than a century when he takes over from his 75-year-old abdicating mother, Queen Beatrix.

The 45-year-old, who has an Argentine wife, has promised to be a traditional king, though one seen as approachable and not a "protocol fetishist".

jhe/cjo/rmb

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130421/official-song-new-dutch-king-pulled-after-protests