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One of the founders of the genre of "kleinkunst" in Flanders, but mostly remembered for only one song : Helena.


49,7 sec. - 98 Kb.

"Dag Lief"
56 sec. - 111 Kb.
song : Van Hellemont, van Ree

"Evviva Il Papa"
49,7 sec. - 98 Kb.

"Hoe Durven Ze"
64 sec. - 126 Kb.

songs : Hugo Raspoet
Year : 197-
Record co. : Ariola


The genre of "Kleinkunst" - folk-chansons in Dutch - was introduced in Flanders by Kor Van der Goten, Miel Cools and Hugo Raspoet, or so it often says when describing the history of the genre. For Hugo Raspoet, translator roman languages for the VRT, this description is a bit too much honour for him, or as he said himself : "I was only the smaller brother that was allowed to sing a few songs as the supporting act". Thus, Humo wrote about a show of Hugo Raspoet on the Kleinkunsteiland in Leuven "This was a letdown. Maybe it was because he had received a phonecall from his army barracks that his night permit had been withdrawn, but even if this message had disturbed him, that would not have changed his repertoire. And that repertoire needs some serious ameliorations, because apart from the song "Heer Rolof" it was rather poor and worn down"


His initial bid to fame came about in the television contest "Ontdek de Ster" (discover the star) in 1962 with the song "Mijn Koningskind". This gave him the opportunity to release a bunch of EP's on the record label of television-producer Jo van Eetvelde's "De Nederlandse Pocketplaat".

A breakthrough to a wider audience came about at the end of the sixties because a controversy that involved an anti-Pope-song of his. In 1969, the president of the public television chain prohibited the broadcast of the programme "Stellig Stelling Nemen", and replaced it with "Freddy Quinn in Mexico". The reason for the controversial act were the biting lyrics of the song "Evviva Il Papa". Here are some of the (more controversial) verses of the song - translation on the right.

Zijn god heeft zich tot mens vernederd
Hij heeft zichzelf tot God gemaakt
omringd door feodale luister
waaruit hij nog niet is ontwaakt
Hij leeft nog in de middeleeuwen
hij hoort tot die folkloregroep
die stof levert voor damesbladen
een zinloze paradetroep
His God has come down to be a human
But the pope has made himself a god
surrounded by feudalistic grandeur
from which he hasn't awaken yet
He still lives in the Middle Ages
He belongs to a folklore group
content for women's magazines
a pointless parading troop
Maar encyclieken schrijft hij enkel
als het om seks en zeden gaat
en dan is het in een ouderwets Latijn
en is het een eeuw of meer te laat
ik wil over de pil nog zwijgen
omdat zijn veto mij niet raakt
maar is het niet ontzettend zielig
dat hij zich zo belachelijk maakt
But encyclical letters he writes only
if it's about sex or moral
and in old-fashioned Latin
and one or more centuries too late
I won't even touch the subject of the pill
because his veto doesn't affect me
but isn't it a pathetic sight
to see him make such a fool of himself
En dat hij Hitler liet betijen
toen die de joden heeft vermoord
Dat kan ik nog misschien begrijpen
de Joden hadden zijn god vermoord
Maar waarom zwijgt hij zo hardnekkig
wanneer de neger wordt vertrapt
en wanneer overal ter wereld
de clerus met het geld aanpapt
And that he did let Hitler have his way
when he murdered all the Jews
is something I can perhaps understand
as the Jews have killed his God
But why does he remain so silent
when they crush down on the black man
and when everywhere in the world
his ministries take side with the rich

The boycot of the song didn't end with the television-ban, but was follewed by a ban on touring the "Davidsfonds"-circuit. The singer was even taken off the stage by the police once, during the singing of this song at a gig in Borgerhout.


The publicity (and the sharply raised public acclaim for the kleinkunst-genre) brought about that Hugo Raspoet could record his first (and only) LP in 1970. In the liner notes of a later re-issue, it was noted that "1970 was a year of unknown luxury for the lovers of chanson in Dutch : Zjef Vanuytsel, Miek & Roel, Walter de Buck, Jan De Wilde Ún Hugo Raspoet all have made a very good flemish record". Of course the song that was best worth remembering was the earlier cited song "Helena".

After this LP, only a single "Dag Lief / De Zon" followed, and then nothing but silence, as Hugo Raspot was the first of the genre to "hang his harp on the willows". In "de komplete kleinkunstgeschiedenis" (publ. Globe, 1998) it was chronicled that in his own words that "it became a frustrating feeling that everybody came to my shows waiting for that one song ... In the end I was a thirty-year-old singing for thirteen-year-old teenagers. At that point I quit. But even before I was not really the most happy person to be on stage. I never liked that. I always felt I was finished when a song was finished..."

Buy CD's of this artist at proxis

Albums :
- Mijn Koningskind (EP, 1962)
- Korenbloem (EP, 1963)
- Zoals ik eenmaal beminde (EP, 196?)
- Raspoet (LP, 1970, Vogue)
- Dag Lief / De Zon (single, 1971, Vogue)
- Alles van Hugo Raspoet (2LP, 197?, EMI)
- Verzameld 1 (CD, De Kleinkunstreeks vol.11, Ariola Express, 1994)
- Verzameld 2 (CD, De Kleinkunstreeks vol.12, Ariola Express, 1994)

Websites :
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Hugo Raspoet

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