Dec 31, 2011

Bohemian Rhapsody

Next to the oliebollen, here's another Dutch tradition for the last days of the year - this may be something we want to introduce in the US as well, as it has grown out to a true phenomenon. So for the non-Dutch followers of Gabroen, the Dutch public radio station Radio 2 broadcasts the "Top 2000" of best songs ever, starting each year at December 26, and ending with the number 1 song at midnight on December 31. The top 2000 was created in 1999 as part of activities surrounding the passing into the new millennium. The idea was to finish the year 1999, and enter the year 2000, with the 2000 best songs ever made. From the start of 1999, the listeners of Radio 2 were asked to select a song along with any special memories attached to the song, and send it to Radio 2 via mail or email. This way, 2000 so called "Millennium-songs" were collected throughout the year 1999. 

It became so popular, that Radio 2 decided to continue this as an annual tradition, dubbing it the radio event of the year. Currently, about half the Dutch population listens to it, and for 2011's edition the number of votes was around 20% of the population. It creates a feeling of nostalgia that perfectly fits the last days of the year. And it seems to fill a need for people to feel some good old "gezelligheid" or coziness in this individual era.

So what are the most popular songs according to the Dutch?

Well, the songs that make up the top 5 are almost always the same, switching places each year. But out of the 13 editions so far, Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen made it to number 1 a total of 11 times (!). 

So this year's top 10 was:
  1. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
  2. The Eagles - Hotel California
  3. Deep Purple - Child in Time
  4. Boudewijn de Groot - Avond (Dutch.........)
  5. Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven
Next to these classics (there is a large imbalance with mostly songs from the 1970s in this list), the highest new entry this year is actually from 2011: coming in at number 6, Adele's "Someone like you" is the highest new entry ever.

Anyone feeling melancholic? All you need is ......... the top 2000!

Happy New Year - that yours may be your stairway to heaven, your Hotel California, or whatever you wish it to be!


  1. Scaramouche! Scaramouche! will you do the

  2. Love the countdown!

  3. Off to listen to 'Someone like you' as I don't know it. A nice tradition. We maintained ours, well we added the hot tub, a nice meal and went to bed before midnight!