There has been lots of press over the last few days that focussed on how this song was staged, rather than the song itself. We were told that we "Social Justice Warriors" were seeing something that wasn't there. That Dutch people didn't care that people "who had a tan" were dancing. (I am quoting from an article here).
The song itself is not that bad, it's a light country rock song and has all the requisite parts that anyone who listens to this genre expects.
For me, the staging remains difficult. The first time round - let's not pull our punches - it pitched Waylon as the supreme white guy. It felt like cultural appropriation. Racism works precisely by denying the presence of race. The privilege is to not notice it. Someone spoke to artistic director Hans Pannecoucke.
Some things still don't sit well with me: the middle eight jazz hands, combined with smug Waylon, pointing aggressively when the (excellent) Krumping dancers do their thing. He remains in charge, they don't.
This will qualify, definitely - and if you close your eyes, it's a serviceable tune - but with all the business going on, it just *feels* wrong.
In his own words: "The reason why I chose these guys is because they perform a dance style called krumping. It is originated from clowns, from the circus. The song represents that I’m not going to be your clown anymore: The outlaw everyone has in 'em, is coming out. They are representing what I am singing, and it makes the performance a lot stronger and more beautiful."
Image Credits: Andres Putting.