CATHARSIS – A few days ago I stumbled upon a song text of a very successful Dutch children book writer, Annie M.G. Schmidt (Kapelle, 20 mei 1911 – Amsterdam, 21 mei 1995). Her outstanding and comprehensive work is also honored with the Hans Christian Andersen Price.  She wrote also many songs for musicals. Her life was filmed and broadcasted on Dutch TV.

One night I couldn’t sleep, I felt depressed. I threw the blankets aside, stepped out of bed and stumbled with bare foots down the stairs into the living room. Distraction I needed and I headed directly to the TV and put it on. I had no idea what was on it at that moment, but it felt a wise thing to do.

Before my eyes unfolded the wonderful story of a strong woman. Annie’s life. An artist life. She lived in Amsterdam and wrote her first tiny children’s poems in the archive department of a newspaper. Her life was not easy but her biggest asset was her humor and her catharsis. I watched it and without actually knowing a little smile appeared and in a few moments I began to feel better, inspired and moved at the same time.

This day I decided to share with you the lyrics of the song that most caught me. It all has to do with catharsis. Don’t be polite, don’t put up a mask but come into action, no matter what.

The song lyrics are originally written in Dutch. I had to translate it. I did it as best as I could. I made some specifiable Dutch ‘things’ more worldly .

This song she wrote for all the ladies. She hated all the WHINING we Dutch do (In Holland we have more than 71 synonyms for this word ;-)).

Her anarchistic way spiced up with exaggerations make me laugh out loud. I hope you do too and feel the action growing within you.


If you are tired
old and expired
If drizzling makes you run to the dryer
If your man sits with a lady on the stage again

If you’re fed up with your own conjugal fort
If your in-laws are systematically calling for support
If your dad holds onto the railing again
If there is snow, and, surely, when there is fog
If it’s icy or there is a lot of smog

If all that is your destiny
And you ask if there is a recipe

Go Slap the doors then

Tear up your best dress
But Do Stop, Do Stop WHINING

Cry in your bed, bite in your cloth
Swear at your neighbor, shout from the rooftop
But Do Stop, Do Stop WHINING

Kick all around you, don’t be that lady
Do throw the tea cups and don’t say maybe

But Do Stop, Do Stop WHINING

Take a pair of scissors and cut into the plush
Give the notary’s wife a very icy douche
Yes, surely do it all
Make a big scandal
But Do Stop, Do Stop WHINING

If you’re down
If you are sick
If  rheumatism makes your limbs loudly click
If the rain leaks through the roof on your spotless carpet

And your seven kids all ill from the changing climate

And no piece of food is in the Frigidaire
And mice are starving on the stairs
If your Austin collided on a pole
If the cat pukes on the mat you’d just adore
If you are poor as a church mouse
Must mop in a workhouse
If that all happens in your life
In every color every size

Do Stop, Do Stop WHINING

Jump into the canal or shortcut your hair

Marsh all the ladies onto Tahrir square

Go learn jujitsu, dance a striptease show
Piss in the mailbox, drop on the go

But Do Stop Do Stop WHINING

Go to the office and spit through the dream-hole
Pinch in the buttocks, Fry up your troll
Yes, surely Do it all

But Do Stop, Do Stop WHINING

Get fiercely drunk, hate all your boyfriends
Punch the director, Fire-up all pants
But Do Stop, Do Stop WHINING

Squeeze your parakeet, turn your cat dizzy
Say to the General: “You are a sissy”
But Do Stop, Do Stop WHINING

Boy-a-boy-a-boy wha-a-t a show

Nothing really abnormal

Just do it overall
With a cannibal

But Do Stop, Do Stop WHINING

P. S. Maybe you want to add your own phrase to it. You are welcome to do so. And, if you are feeling down and out, please read this and I promise you that you feel better and come into action by feeling her strength. I did.