Slightly different from Wervershoof: Jeff Oud sings ode to Irene Schouten for full Thialf

“Do you have anything to do on Saturday?” This simple question begins a special adventure for singer Jeff Oud from Wervershoof. A few days later he sings his ode to skater Irene Schouten one more time, for 7,500 thousand enthusiastic skating enthusiasts in the Thialf skating temple. Plus many more, who followed the live broadcast of the ceremony.

Singer Jeff Oud, with background singers Els and Marit and Irene Schouten – Photo: Supplied

Exactly two years ago – when Schouten won three gold medals at the Olympic Games – De Wervershover made an arrangement of the well-known song ‘She knows’ by Tino Martin. The text was so conceived. “I immediately had it in my head. Even before I had written it down. That’s how it often works. If the text takes too long, it is not good enough,” he said at the time.

Oud performed the song two years ago during the ceremony in Wervershoof. Last week Schouten announced her retirement and a farewell was hastily organized. Oud was not forgotten. “The song was often played in Thialf, when Irene had won something again. So they thought: ‘Now that guy should come and sing it live.’ I received a call from her manager, Dennis van der Laan. He asked if I was free this weekend.”

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A follow-up question was whether Oud could come to Heerenveen with two backing singers. “That was arranged in no time. We have a band of ten people, KoninG, with good singers: Els van der Lubbe and Marit Verdonschot. We quickly rehearsed in our own rehearsal room on Thursday and then we were ready.”

And so West Friesland dominated the salute on the other side of the Afsluitdijk. And blared ‘After everything you deserve this, Irene, Irene’ by a packed Thialf, where about 7,500 people waved goodbye to Irene Schouten. ‘We all enjoyed you from here in Soof, to Hoogkarspel and Andijk, because you were right…’

Afterwards, the musicians looked back with satisfaction on the special performance. “We had to arrive, that was actually the most exciting moment,” said Oud. “Once you get the first two sentences out, you’ll be fine.”

“‘You couldn’t have imagined that a few years ago,’ Irene said to us”

Jeff Oud – singer from Wervershoof

They thought it was a wonderful experience. “And something completely different from other performances. With KoninG we have everything under control, now you are dependent on the production, which was very professional. That is a bit more exciting. And apart from all the spectators sitting here in the stands, you know that many people at home are also watching on television or via the live stream. You don’t have that when you are playing in Van Rooijen in Wervershoof. This is a wonderful experience.”

To the sounds of her ode, Schouten made her final round past the audience and thousands of tulips were thrown to her. There was brief contact afterwards. “I think she thought it was a nice farewell. ‘You couldn’t have imagined that a few years ago,’ she said to us. She also saw the humor in it.”

Watch the performance of Jeff, Els and Marit during the farewell of Irene Schouten in Thialf:

Jeff Oud sings about Irene Schouten – NH News

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