How Rob de Nijs exposed his private life through song lyrics from his ex | NOW

Rob de Nijs will definitively say goodbye to performing on Wednesday evening with a final concert in the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam. The singer stops singing because he suffers from Parkinson’s disease. For years he gave his listeners a glimpse into his private life through his songs, often written by his ex-wife Belinda Meuldijk. lists a number of these very personal songs.

De Nijs, who already broke through in 1963 with hits like Rhythm Of The Rain and For Sonja I Do Everything, rarely contributes to his own songs during his career. In the 1970s, the singer mainly scored hits with songs written by Lennart Nijgh and Boudewijn de Groot, such as Malle BabbaJan Klaassen the Trumpeter and Goodbye Sister Ursula† Later on, writers such as Jan Rot and Daniel Lohues also provided many songs for him.

In 1980, while still married to his first wife Elly Hesseling, De Nijs met actress and lyricist Belinda Meuldijk. She became his second wife in 1984 and the two worked together on a very regular basis from the first meeting. Over the years, Meuldijk has provided countless texts for De Nijs’ albums, including one of his biggest hits, Banger Hart from 1996.

Belinda Meuldijk continued to write songs for her ex-husband Rob de Nijs even after their divorce.

Belinda Meuldijk continued to write songs for her ex-husband Rob de Nijs even after their divorce.

Belinda Meuldijk continued to write songs for her ex-husband Rob de Nijs even after their divorce.

Photo: BrunoPress

Yoshi Small starWorth the effort

De Nijs and Meuldijk became parents of two sons in 1983 and 1986. Their youngest son, Yoshi, provides inspiration for several songs. The lyrics are mainly about what it is like to raise a child with autism and how they want to remove his problems. The first song about their son is titled Yoshi and appears in 1991.

De Nijs sings, among other things, the sentences written by Meuldijk: “For me the role I didn’t want, hey Yos, how can that be? I can’t buy happiness.” De Nijs gives text and explanation about this in the magazine Lotje & Co† “The role of the father of a disabled child. You don’t want that.”

appears in 1994 Small star, on which Meuldijk provides a Dutch text about Yoshi with a composition by Billy Joel. †Who knows the fear that holds him captive? Who gives his world something he trusts? I take his hand even when he yells at me. And so, fighting, he comes closer“, De Nijs sings about the sometimes difficult times with his son.

Also on Worth the effort, which was published in 2001 when Yoshi was fifteen years old, focuses on the bond between parents and son. †Even my stupid sadness that is sometimes there for a moment, when I see normal children and see what you are missing makes my life worth living“, writes Meuldijk as the denouement of the song.


Robbert, the eldest son of Rob de Nijs, is also central in a song, on which he also sings along. The number Papa-Oto is a duet between father and son. Meuldijk wrote this song from the perspective of De Nijs as an absent father. †JI wasn’t there for your first step and I only know a photo of your kindergarten class. you learned to ride a bike without me because I was gone. I was never free, so you called me ‘papa-oto’“, De Nijs sings about his son who called him that as a child, because he was always away by car.

“Belinda puts her finger on the sore spot with her text, but without reproach. Just with a lot of warmth. Like: okay boy, you didn’t know any better. I wrote it down for you and now you know,” says De Nijs in 2017 in an interview with Fidelity† “What she writes is very often about her and me. I notice that every time. She makes me sing her words. It sometimes feels a bit like masochism, because she just puts me on the dissection table.”

Tell Me One More Time

De Nijs and Meuldijk split up in 2006 because he was having an affair with Henriëtte Koetschruiter. He marries her two years later and they have a son in 2012. In the years after the relationship, Meuldijk still continues to provide lyrics for De Nijs’ songs, which often seem to be about the end of a relationship, such as swan lake (2017) and Don’t write to me (2008).

De Nijs says that the song written by Meuldijk Tell Me One More Time (2017) about the end of their marriage. †Tell me one more time how much you loved me. After that I ask no more, but today passes“, is the chorus. “It touches me enormously, really deep in my heart”, says De Nijs about this song in The Language State on Radio 1. “When I heard the words I thought: damn it, I couldn’t have done it any other way.”

“When the passionate love is over, a relationship doesn’t have to be over. I made that mistake at one point. She pointed it out to me in a poetic way.”