Sinterklaas song lyrics re-written

All the songs sung during Sinterklaas are going to be re-written to replace certain words that, after the Zwarte Piet discussion in The Netherlands, have been deemed discriminatory or sensitive. The new standard songs will appear in schools this year, the Algemeen Dagblad reports. 

Words such as 'knave' (servant) and 'black' will be replaced with other words such as Piet. This is the plan organized by Paul Passchier and Thedo Keizer, who are going to discuss it with the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Passchier (51), has been writing Dutch children's songs for 20 years, for Disney and Sesame Street, among others. The songwriter tells the Algemeen Dagblad that something definitely had to happen with the lyrics. "The celebrations have gone with the times, but some songs haven't changed since 1850", Passchier says.

In Gouda, where Sinterklaas is nationally welcomed off the boat from Spain, there is already an enthusiastic fan of the plan in the form of the Mayor.

Passchier and his colleague Keizer are not planning to re-write all Sinterklaas songs in existence, but say that they merely want to offer a blueprint revival of the 25 most popular songs, so that they can "stand the test of time."

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