By on April 11, 2018

We’ve all been annoyed by an “earworm” in our lives — a catchy song that, even if you don’t like it, refuses to vacate your mind. Starship’s egregious, overplayed sell-out hit “We Built This City” falls firmly in this category. Grace Slick should be ashamed.

For residents living off the N357 highway near the Dutch town of Jelsum, however, this constantly repeating tune was the anthem of the Friesland region — but it wasn’t just in their heads. Blame motorists, a well-meaning but short-sighted local government, and patriotism.

As reported by Reuters, officials though installing carefully spaced rumble strips near the edge of roadway would be a nice way to celebrate the region’s distinct heritage, as well as give drivers a reason to maintain the road’s 60 km/h speed limit. Hit the bumps at that speed, and the impact of the car’s tires with the raised strips played the Frisian anthem.

Cute, but as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

After it was installed late last week, nearby residents began complaining of loud, non-stop music emanating from the patriotic pavement at all hours of the day.

“Last Saturday night the taxis were driving from Leeuwarden to Stiens and on the way back, they tried to go across the lines as quickly as possible and we had the anthem played all night at high speed,” local resident Ria Jansma complained to the media.

“The Frisian national anthem is fine, but not 24-hours a day,” Sijtze Jansma, who lives 200 metres from the road, told RTL Nieuws. “I’m going nuts. You can’t sit outside and you can’t sleep at night.” Another resident said the music was worse than the fighter jets that regularly take off from a nearby air base, as those takeoffs stop at 5 p.m.

For Margriet de Ruiter, the noise amounted to “psychological torture.”

After turning the residents of the town into Dutch Manuel Noriegas, provincial officials took pity, agreeing on Tuesday to dismantle the rumble strips. Including the cost of removal, this experiment in musical torture cost local taxpayers $99,000.

Watch the video below to see the road in action:

[Image: YouTube]

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12 Comments on “Marching to the Beat of a Different Hum: ‘Singing’ Highway Turns Into ‘Psychological Torture’ for Residents...”

  • avatar

    Any time I get a loop of an undesired song spinning between my ears (don’t get me started on “It’s A Small World”…!), I just forcibly replace it with a favorite song that will destroy and sublimate it within seconds. That song is “Stranger in Town” by Toto. Any unwelcome bit of nefarious pop or other unwanted chorus is syncopated by this song with Steve Lukather’s guitar, Jeff Porcaro’s drums and vocals by David Paich.
    Plus, they are on tour this Summer!

    • 0 avatar

      (don’t get me started on “It’s A Small World”…!)

      Arrghghghghghg! It’s taken me 20 years to recover and now just reading the title has put me back in the asylum!!

      • 0 avatar

        Just concentrate on the KISS “ASYLUM” album from 1985 and you will recover soon enough . . .

      • 0 avatar

        I married into a family where if they don’t go to Disneyland (NOT WORLD – LAND) every 3-5 years they start to get the shakes. This summer will be one of our annual pilgrimage.

        Thank god I’ve got an almost 4 year old to tag along.

        • 0 avatar

          The only way I would set foot in either one would be if they had an open day just for me, it was free, and in the case of “world” they built a dome over it and air-conditioned the place. Just nope. Not feeding the Mouse, ever.

      • 0 avatar

        You need to force it out with something worse. May I suggest…
        “Jeremiah was a bullfrog,
        He was a good friend of mine..”

  • avatar

    Jonny Lang’s “Lie to Me” accomplishes the same thing.

  • avatar

    My brothers tortured me with Def Leopard, Poison, etc every Saturday morning back when they were all popular. Just 0.2 seconds of Paradise City will have me looking for a roof to jump off of.

    I have music on my phone which I play to get annoying songs out if my head.

  • avatar

    We’ve got one of these here in Okinawa:

    I never thought much about the implications of living near one. Normal traffic noise is annoying enough…

  • avatar

    Someone probably thought of this when the original idea was proposed, but they were dismissed as being “unpatriotic” or “not a team player” or “what’s the matter with you, it’s all in fun”.

  • avatar

    “Starship’s egregious, overplayed sell-out hit “We Built This City” falls firmly in this category. Grace Slick should be ashamed.”

    AMEN! Good Lord, I hate this song.

    Today, my earworms are more of the kid song variety since we entertain our grandson a lot.
    “Baby-Shark! Do-do Do-do-do-do.”

    I dare you to look this up on You Tube and try to get it back out your head

  • avatar

    Make it play “Radar Love” by Golden Earring. Patriotism and Awesomeness all in one tune.


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