The ballad of idiots


Text by Renee van Marissing, music by Allerd van den Bremen. Written for the Ballad Portal Meeting at Castrum Peregrini 11 june 2010. Performed based on a dramaturgy by Anneke Jansen. See recording from 12 june 2010 below.


The idiots have come


The idiots have come

They don’t hesitate to clean a toilet, dig a canal, place a sewer pipe

They don’t mind getting their hands dirty

Now we can keep ours clean.


The idiots have come


First there was one, then another one and another one.

Then they came in small groups.

Their members grew and grew but no matter how many there would be, we pretended they were not there.

Help us!

The idiots have come. And they want to stay.


The idiots walk through our streets and knock on every door

They want to introduce themselves with cookies and a bow

They don’t understand the codes, don’t understand what is polite

When we have our curtains closed it’s too late to just drop by

If a seat’s not taken in a bar, it doesn’t mean it’s theirs to take

We are surprised about the amount of alcohol these idiots drink

They raise their bottles above their heads and wish us all the best

We nod and smile, talk for a while, don’t understand a thing

The idiots have come. And they are drinking


The idiots, they want to dance and, o boy, so they do.

Hysterical it looks the way they flutter with their arms

They let their hair hang loose, shake their heads, close their eyes

They hear beats beyond the music, movements won’t synchronise

They clap their hands and stamp their feet, like cavemen used to do

And the songs they sing are simple with just a chord or two

Yet we refuse to sing along, put parsley in our ears

Sit firmly in our chairs, some cheese and a couple of beers

The idiots have come. And they are dancing.


The idiots, they want to thrive so they squat half of our town

They painted all the sidewalks, rooftops, bricks and all our walls

In the most ridiculous colours, a paint bomb that went off

They keep their livestock in the yards, it’s totally absurd

At night they come together, and laugh and sing and dance

We want to sleep but with all the noise they don’t give us a chance

When they cook we smell scents we’ve never smelled before

It stinks, we heard that while they eat they squat down on the floor

The idiots have come. And they are happy.


The idiots, well they refuse, to fold their hands in prayer

They won’t look us in the eye ‘cause all the see is sluts and pimps

But what about their import, the idiot brides they’re shipping in?

We put up rules for curfews but they still go out at night

So they leave us no choice but to put up fences and barbed wire

With metal detectors and gated communities we keep feeling safe

We know it’s no fun to live that way, not what they had in mind

But it’s hard to raise an idiot and even harder to make them go

The idiots have come. And they are moping


The idiots start to protest, they seem to disagree

We move the fences bit by bit, and enjoy our reclaimed space

They are used to flock together so no need for their own place

Nobody has forced anybody, please let that be clear

They ignore our solid systems, our regulations and rules

They wind to get their way and make demands, the stupid fools

We wrote the rules in concrete, and broadcast them in ether

You warn someone, not once but twice, and the next step is a gun

The idiots have come. And now they flee


The idiots are gone


The idiots are gone

First one left, then another one and another one.

Then they went in small groups.

Now, after we transported the few who were hiding themselves to the other side of the border, finally everything is back to normal.

We make ourselves a glass of warm milk

Take some slices of bread out of the freezer, for breakfast

Put our pyjamas on

Set the alarm clock

And we fold ourselves between our sheets

And sleep, and have sweet dreams

The idiots have come. And now they left


Aura volgens Allerd van den Bremen en Renee van Marissing

renee-van-marissing-en-allerd-van-den-bremenRuim vijf jaar geleden hebben Allerd en ik voor het eerst samen een voorstelling gemaakt. Het was een korte muziektheater voorstelling, een monoloog over dementie. Hierna hebben we onder de naam Rode Rozen nog een aantal (kleine) muziektheater voorstellingen en hoorspelen gemaakt. Het samengaan van tekst, geluid en muziek blijft ons meer dan genoeg stof tot gesprekken en plezier geven om voorstellingen te maken, en het samenwerken blijft inspirerend.

We waren al vanaf onze eerste kennismaking met Castrum Peregrini geraakt door de sfeer die, zowel in het ‘oude gebouw’ als in het pand op de Herengracht huist. De warmte en het gevoel welkom te zijn, maakt dat wij heel graag betrokken zijn (en blijven) bij Castrum Peregrini.

Allerd en ik zijn langsgegaan op de Oudezijds Voorburgwal. We wilden foto’s maken van een aantal schilderijen en gravures, omdat we naar aanleiding daarvan een hoorspel wilden maken. Toen we na alle verdiepingen te hebben bekeken weer beneden kwamen, en in de boekenkast naar de ruggen van kunstboeken keken, zagen we de verzameling spulletjes, dingetjes, die op een plank in de boekenkast lagen. Ze lagen daar alsof er goed was nagedacht over deze verzameling, alsof niet voor niets deze voorwerpen bij elkaar lagen. Uiteindelijk hebben we deze mini verzameling gebruikt voor ons hoorspel.

 Renne van Marissing