The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #66116   Message #2870072
Posted By: GUEST,Peter Laban
23-Mar-10 - 12:04 PM
Thread Name: origins: The Dutchman (Michael Smith): meanings?
Subject: RE: origins: The Dutchman (Michael Smith): meanings?
It's pretty clear that the story doesn't take place any more recently than the first decade or so of the twentieth century. The Zuiderzee was enclosed and drained beginning in the 1920's, and was renamed Ijselmere. The windmills and the candle point to a time prior to electrification, and the clogs and snow (Amsterdam doesn't freeze over any more) indicate a historical setting. The tugboats put us no earlier than the mid-nineteenth century

Guest makes a number of incorrect assumptions there, The Zuiderzee was closed in 1932 and wasn't drained, separate parts were, but on a later dates. After the Afsluitdijk was closed the Zuiderzee became IJsselmeer.
Windmills are still there but like the candle the yseem only in the song to provide a couleur locale. Clogs are for tourists but Amsterdam froze over as recent as last winter. Ice and snow may not come to the Netherlands each year, severe winters do still happen periodically.