Explanation of the title

6 February 2018

The piece I wrote first in Dutch, with an English translation already planned, but before I started working on the Dutch, I already knew the English title had to become “The king and the soldier”. The inspiration for that had come from the song “The Queen and the Soldier” by Suzanne Vega, from the 1985 long play record of the same name. That song, which 33 years after I still like a lot, however is about something totally different than my financial article. (But I now notice that in 1985, I never completely heard and understood the song.)

My Dutch title “De prins en de huurling” doesn’t correspond to my English title, because a prince is not a king, soldiers are not always mercenaries (which is what Dutch “huurling” means; and its connotations are not as strongly negative as those of English hireling).

The reason is simple: metre: .– .. –. or .–. .–. ‘De koning en de soldaat’ doesn’t sound right, and neither does ‘The prince and the mercenary’. And the exact meaning of the words is irrelevant here. I chose an historic prince as an example, but as I wrote there already: “a monarch, a prince, a king, a duke or a count”, that’s not the point.

Copyright © 2018, R. Harmsen, all rights reserved.

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