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Ramses Shaffy

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The Netherlands (1955 – 2009)

Ramses Shaffy (born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris, France - 29 August 1933 - 1 December 2009 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands) was a Dutch singer, chansonnier, and actor.

He became popular during the 1960s. His most famous songs include Sammy, Zing-Vecht-Huil-Bid-Lach-Werk En Bewonder (Sing, fight, cry, pray, laugh, work and admire), We Zullen Doorgaan (We shall go on), Pastorale and Laat Me (Leave me be). He frequently collaborated with Dutch singer Liesbeth List.

Shaffy was born in Paris, in the suburb Neuilly-sur-Seine. His father was an Egyptian diplomat, his mother was a Polish duchess from Russian descent. He grew up with her in Cannes. When she was infected with tuberculosis, Shaffy was sent to an aunt in Utrecht. Eventually, he ended up in a foster family in Leiden.

He did not finish high school, but he was accepted at the Amsterdam school of theatre arts in 1952. In 1955, he made his debut with the Nederlandse Comedie (Dutch Comedy). Together with his life partner Joop Admiraal he went to Rome in 1960, hoping to find a job as a film actor. They eventually returned without success. In 1964, Shaffy founded the theatre group Shaffy Chantant, which led to his first collaborations with Liesbeth List. He also worked with together with Dutch pianist Louis Van Dijk. Others, including Thijs van Leer, were members of the group for short periods of time. Together with Liesbeth List, he recorded the classic song Pastorale.

His hit Wij Zullen Doorgaan was parodied by comedian André van Duin in 1975.

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