Potverdekke! (It's great to be a Belgian)

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Potverdekke! (It's great to be a Belgian) is a 1998 novelty song, recorded by British singer John Makin, better known under his artist name, Mister John. It was his only hit song in his long career, making him a classic example of an one-hit wonder. The word "Potverdekke" is a curse word, typically associated with the region around Brussels. The word means "goddamned",[1] but in older times people replaced the word "god" with "pot" (which means a pot) to avoid blasphemous curses.


The song is a joyful celebration of Belgium. It was created by Makin and some of his Belgian friends as a throwaway joke, but to their surprise became a huge hit in Belgium, spending more than 26 weeks in the national hitparade.[2] This was especially amazing, seeing that the hit charted while the Dutroux scandal was in full effect and many Belgians at the time weren't in the mood for national pride.[3] Mr. John was even invited to perform it during the National Holiday on July 21, 1998 before king Albert II of Belgium.[4]

The song also references the (then current) British mad cow disease in the line: "Now, the English egg and bacon is not so bad/ especially since all their cows went mad./ But if they never tasted mussels on the Grand Place down in Brussels/ it's no wonder they're feeling very sad." [5]

Belgian icons listed in the song

All throughout the song Mister John names several iconic Belgian people, fictional characters, inventions, locations and brands. Among these are:

See also


  1. ^ http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/BELGIUM-ROOTS/2012-01/1327793991
  2. ^ http://togethermag.eu/john-makin/
  3. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/culture-obituaries/music-obituaries/8870875/John-Makin.html
  4. ^ http://togethermag.eu/john-makin/
  5. ^ http://muzikum.eu/nl/123-11045-131598/mr-john/potverdekke-its-great-to-be-a-belgian-songtekst.html

External links

  • http://www.muziekarchief.be/trackdetails.php?ID=182093
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