Oude Maasweg is a song by a Dutch group with the stunning name The Amazing Stroopwafels. If you ask Dutch people what their favourite Dutch song is, many of them would pick this song, which is rationally amazing since half of the song is in English.
The song was based on Manhattan Island Serenade, which is a song of Leon Russell’s early seventies LP Carney. The Amazing Stroopwafels band members (who would carry the band name only years later) really like the song and jokingly translated it to their native language in August 1975. After a folk festival in the Netherlands they decided to rewrite the lyrics and thus Oude Maasweg (Old Maas Road) was born. The atmosphere of the song can be described best by saying the Old Maas Road is the place to drive to when your girlfriend or boyfriend just broke up with you.
The single can hardly be called successful regarding selling figures. It entered the Dutch Top 50 at spot 50 in February 1982, and left the charts the next week already. It was also translated to Danish by Andrew John and Lissa Ladefoged, who previously had covered Manhattan Island Serenade.
Despite its lack of popularity in the music stores, the radio stations kept on playing the song. The Amazing Stroopwafels reissued their second LP in 1986 under the title Oude Maasweg, with a cover photograph full of atmosphere showing the final destination of a dead end road.
A band member’s friend also translated the song in Czech, describing a Trabant riding through the sad landscape near Ostrava, where mining causes fires and pollution of the Oder river. The artistic quality of The Amazing Stroopwafels resulted in the first Czech-Danish song ever in 1998, played by a Dutch band.
In 1999 The Amazing Stroopwafels played Oude Maasweg at the bellybutton of the song itself: Broadway, Manhattan. The single cover can be found online at http://www.parool.nl/redactie/uitgaan/muziek/top100-2001/beeld/69-groot.jpg.
The lyrics are copyrighted and cannot be found here anymore except for the first four lines in English. You might find the entire text at http://lyricsheaven.topcities.com/survey_a_c_bestanden/Amazing_Stroopwafels.htm
Sittin' on a highway in a broken van
Thinkin' of you again
I guess I have to hitchhike to the station
With every step I see your face
Like a mirror looking back at me
Lyrics and music by Leon Russell, Wim Kerkhof and Cees Pons