mayfly, one-day wonder 
[de een-dags-vlieg, de een-dags-vlie-gen]

"Eendagsvlieg" is used in two translations. The first is that of a 'mayfly', I'm not sure how long it really lives, but short, hence the 'one day' ('één dag'). The second is that of a short-lived success or phenomenon. It's typically used for artists, or their work of art, who were succesful once and never heard of again.

An example of an 'eendagsvlieg' is the Dutch band 'Abel'. Their song 'Onderweg' was a big hit in 2000 but they were never able to equal their success. Read more on the meaning of 'onderweg' in DWOTD Onderweg.

In this DWOTD we'll watch the 'Onderweg' video (shot in Amsterdam) and pick up some Dutch by examining the lyrics. The translation is deliberately close to the Dutch, to help you understand.


Ik doe de deur dicht / Straten lijken te huilen
(I close the door / Streets seem to cry)

Wolken lijken te vluchten / Ik stap de bus in
(Clouds seem to flee / I get on the bus)

Mensen lijken te kijken / Maar ik wil ze ontwijken
(People seem to watch (me) / But I want to avoid them)

Voordat ze mij zien
(Before they see me)

Het is allang verleden tijd / Dat je mijn verjaardag niet vergat
(Those are past times for a long time now / That you would not forget my birthday) 

Je onvoorwaardelijk koos voor mij
( (that) You chose for me unconditionally)

Ik zie de velden / Langs me heen gaan huizen
(I see the (open) fields / Houses go past me)

Het is stil achter de ruiten / Wie kan mij zien
(It's quiet behind the (window-)panes / Who can see me)

In blauw-verlichte treinen / Je hart is zo dicht bij me
(In blue-lit trains / You heart is so close to me)

Maar het klopt niet
(But it doesn't beat [note that this can also mean: "but it's not right"])

Het is allang verleden tijd / Je zwarte haren en je lach
(Those are past times for a long time now / Your black hairs and your smile/laugh)

Dat je heel de wereld voor mij was / Het zit nog veel te diep in mij
(That you were the whole world to me / It's still too deep in me)

Dat ik mocht delen wat jij had / Je door m'n haren ging en zei
(That I could share what you had / (that) You stroke my hair and said [lit. "that I was allowed to share what you had / that you went through my hair and said])

Je kent m'n stem niet / Wie ik ben is wat je nu ziet
(You don't know my voice / Who I am is what you see now)

Wil je dansen met illusies / In gedachten
(Do you want to dance with illusions / In thought)

Ben je verder dan het heden / Wil je terug naar je verleden
(Are you further than the present / Do you want to go back to the past)

Zegt je dat iets
(Does that mean something to you)

Het is allang verleden tijd / Rode wijn op het terras
(Those are past times for a long time now / Red wine at a(n outdoor) terrace)

Dat je heel de wereld voor mij was / Het zit nog veel te diep in mij
(That you were the whole world to me / It's still too deep in me)

Maar ik vergat hoe jij me zag / Dat ik zo anders ben dan jij
(But I forgot how you saw me [what you thought of me] / That I'm so different than you) 

Ik loop de straat in / Maar het zal mij nooit verwarmen
(I enter the street [lit. "I walk into the street") / But it will never warm me)

Omdat het mij niet kan omarmen / Wie zou mij zien
(Because it can't embrace me / Who would see me)

Het liefst zou ik willen schreeuwen / Ik zou oneindig willen schreeuwen
(I would really like to scream ["het liefst" is what you would like to do most of all] / I would like to scream infinitely)

Maar het gaat niet
(But I can't [lit. "but it won't go"] )

Jij bent nu alleen van mij / (Ik) kan de wereld laten zien
(You are now mine and mine only / I can show the world)

Dat het zo beter is misschien / Het is allang verleden tijd
(That it's better this way perhaps / Those are past times for a long time now)

Dat ik vergat hoe jij me zag / Dat ik zo anders ben dan jij
(That I forgot how you saw me / That I'm so different than you)

7 thoughts on “Eendagsvlieg

  1. Gosh, what a lot of work you put in today. I don’t see why that band should have been a one-hit wonder – the song wasn’t bad and the video went with it quite well.

  2. Hi Sander,
    Really appreciate all the effort you are putting into the site and I’m enjoying the new format – listening to Dutch songs while following the text really helps to give the phrase/word connection even if it doesn’t appear in the song.
    Question: do you (or anybody else) know where I could possibly download a podcast in Dutch to listen to on the train everyday? Nothing too tricky though!

  3. I think the “Laura speaks Dutch” website still offers archived podcasts.
    Or maybe I’ll start recording my own.
    First I have to work on a ‘duplication machine’ though 😉

  4. The new format with songs and all is awesome. Looking forward to some hip-hop appearing here some day 🙂

  5. Hi Gurus, I have been remiss in not checking out the site every week and Wow, love the new format! I am forwarding to my sister and family who are Canadians living in Den Haag for a year. The young nephews are not ‘getting’ the Dutch so this might be just the thing! Thanks from Ontario!

  6. Op een of andere vage manier kwam ik op deze website terecht, best leuk om even door te kijken. 😛
    Ik heb de website opgeslagen, ken denkik nog wel iemand die dit wellicht leuk gaat vinden
    Ohja, Abel – Onderweg, leuke meezinger ook al is het niet echt mijn soort muziek..
    In ieder geval veel succes met iedereen bekeren tot het Nederlands, haha 🙂

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