The Dutchman's not the kind of man
Who keeps his thumb jammed in the dam that holds his dreams in.
But that's a secret that only Margaret knows.
When Amsterdam is golden in the summer,
Margaret brings him breakfast, she believes him.
He thinks the tulips bloom beneath the snow.
He's mad as he can be, but Margaret only sees that sometimes.
Sometimes she sees her unborn children in his eyes.
Let us go to the banks of the ocean
Where the walls rise above the Zuider Zee.
Long ago, I used to be a young man
And dear Margaret remembers that for me.
The Dutchman still wears wooden shoes,
His cap and coat are patched with the love that Margaret sewed there.
Sometimes he thinks he's still in Rotterdam.
He watches the tug-boats down canals
And calls out to them when he thinks he knows the Captain.
Till Margaret comes to take him home again
Through unforgiving streets that trip him, though she holds his arm,
Sometimes he thinks he's alone and he calls her name.
The windmills whirl the winter in.
She winds his muffler tighter,
And they sit in the kitchen.
Some tea with whiskey keeps away the dew.
He sees her for a moment, calls her name,
She makes the bed up singing some old love song,
A song Margaret learned when it was very new.
He hums a line or two, they sing together in the dark.
The Dutchman falls asleep and Margaret blows the candle out.