There is a book by the title The Tao of Pooh, which interweaves Taoist wisdom and philosophy with the books of Winnie the Pooh. You might think that kids books and movies are just crap, with their talking animals and lame plots. Yes they are, but take a deeper look and you’ll find a lot of wisdom disguised as talking animals and lame plots.
As an example of the brilliance of kids entertainment, I took one of my favorite shows that I grew up with as a kid: Samson and Gert. Their tv-show started off in 1989 and it is about two best friends, one is a talking dog Samson and the other a man, Gert.
It was produced by Studio 100 and the duo became so popular they started making songs, did Christmas shows and even had a sausage made in the image of Samson.
Yes, it’s pretty disgusting. Still though, there exists a Samson sausage in Belgium. How crazy is that?
The show stills airs on Belgian tv today and Samson & Gert only recently celebrated their 25th anniversary. This means that pretty much all of the Flemish kids in Belgium plus kids in the Netherlands born after 1989 know who they are.
Samson and Gert are an integral part of Belgian culture, especially for my generation and the ones that came after me.
Why haven’t we written a book about them yet? Because Belgians generally don’t believe in our own genius. We always claim it’s a good thing but dear Belgians, false modesty is worse than arrogance.
Now, a lot of Samson & Gert critics claim that the show justifies white supremacy by making fun of foreign culture by using the worst possible clichés and is in fact racist.
My answer to that is, yes it is and all of this is presented by a talking dog and his human friend.
Their songs are so good that I still enjoy them as an adult. My niece, Ghanima, who is fourteen years younger than me knows the lyrics to the songs I sang as a kid. And we sang them together when she was seven years old. It was such a blast. She might claim now she doesn’t remember, but I know the truth.
Their songs are very simple and very ridiculous, which is why they are so brilliant. They’re about everyday emotions and situations often with hidden messages if you take the time to look from a different perspective.
That’s what I did and as always, I am happy to share my interpretation of their wisdom with you.
I suggest you do the same for your own childhood heroes.
I have included all of the videos, the lyrics are in Dutch. Do take a look at the videos anyways even if you don’t understand because they are very entertaining.
Wat ben ik blij dat jij er bent/ I am so happy you are here
I will start off with my favorite song. The song tells two stories, one is about a captain who got rescued after ten years being stuck on a deserted island. The second is about a man getting rescued after being buried in an avalanche. In both cases the person being rescued yells out ” I am so happy you are here!”, hence the name of the song.
This song describes the emotions I feel when I haven’t seen someone for a long period of time. It describes the feelings of your dog, when you just came home.
I also like my very own interpretation of the song which translates to ” I am so happy you exist!”. A sentence I use to show my appreciation for everything in this universe. We should all do that, show appreciation for our friends, our food, even people you don’t like.
This was my favorite song as a kid. It lost that status as I got older since the lyrics are absolute rubbish. They basically consist of rhymes of the most random words without it having any meaning whatsoever.
But then the lesson I learned from that is you can sell any crap song to an audience as long as you make it look cool and sound catchy.
Repeteren is about Gert buying his best friend Samson a piano for his birthday. Samson then practices hard and becomes a piano superstar.
They sing that if you want to get good at something you need to practice and study. I studied piano when I was ten, unfortunately I never became as good as Samson because I lacked the motivation. But I have used this wisdom for other aspects of my life.
I am now very efficient in tying my shoelaces. Why is that? Because I practiced.
The song also brought classical music into kids life.
Mac Samson & Mac Gert
This song is about Samson & Gert traveling to Scotland because they inherited a Scottish Castle.
It taught me that if you’re Belgian and you dress up as a Scot, you should never stop dancing. Also singing a song is sometimes better than owning a castle. Which makes sense, the castle they inherited in this video does look like it’s a bit drafty.
My goodness, such a catchy song. Lesson here is: you need to exercise. Preferably in nineties tracksuits. Also, talking dogs make the best DJ’s.
As you might have guessed, It’s a pirate song. The song taught me you should follow your dreams, even if that dream is to become a pirate. Even if your parents would prefer you to become a baker or farmer.
It also taught me that if you have a hook, it’s really hard to eat spaghetti.
This is one of Samson & Gert’s later songs and I only discovered it way after I stopped watching their show. I think I was twenty when this song came out. Loved it from the start because it was so catchy.
The song is about Samson & Gert going on vacation to Mexico. There are plenty of sombreros and margaritas. Yes, lots of annoying clichés in this song but if you continue watching, you’ll suddenly notice two guys dressed up as women prancing around the stage. One of them even has a moustache. This is the most normal thing to happen in a kids song in Belgium.
Men dressing up as women is a recurring event in their music videos. There are even countless moments it happens during their tv shows. It actually happened so much that kids and parents never seemed surprised by this.
What that did for me ( I don’t know if this happened to all of the kids who grew up with the show, I can only talk for myself).
When I became an adult and someone would come out to me as being a crossdresser, I could have had so many emotional reactions ranging from disbelieve to anger to aggression.
What happened was, the first time someone did came out to me, my reaction was: “Oh really? That’s interesting.”
Yes, it was all a conspiracy of Samson & Gert to make kids in Belgium accepting of crossdressers.
Samen op de Moto/together on the Motorcycle
This song didn’t really teach me anything, other then motorcycles are awesome and I want to get one with a sidecar and put a dog in it.
I hope to write another post about this brilliant duo that shaped my world as a kid since I could talk about them for hours.
In the mean time, let me know in the comments if you have a favorite kids song and the life lesson it taught you.