Music Video of the Day: Turn The World Around by Golden Earring (1989, dir. Dick Maas)

A few weeks ago when I did the music video for Twilight Zone by Golden Earring, I mentioned this video and how insane it is. With that in mind, let’s enumerate over the things in this video.

A concentration camp.


Our main victim of torture.

Visible camera crew.

A whole bunch of people who have been hung.

A gun to the head.

A child who is most likely going to be killed.

Comedic interruption of someone waiting to die.


Fire-breathing as a metaphor for death-from-above.

Soldiers playing American Gladiators.

Belinda Carlisle reference hanging above the group–Heaven Is A Place On Earth.

The Nazi dancers from Twilight Zone.

A black man being beaten by Illinois police officers.

Hitler snapping his fingers along to the music while Jesus receives his crown of thorns in the background.

The comic relief coming out of a jukebox.

Paying a visit to our guy waiting to die.

Making sure we didn’t miss the nuclear weapons reference earlier.

Hitler and Napoleon dancing to the song. It connects someone who annexed the Netherlands from his younger brother–who was the leader of the Kingdom of Holland–with someone who took the Netherlands by force. My memory of Dutch history is too weak to go into any connections between the two as it pertained to Jews in the Kingdom of Holland. I’m sure the whole thing with the invasion of the Netherlands by Hitler and the Maas river wasn’t lost on the director.

Lead-singer Barry Hay looking confused as to what he is supposed to be doing here.

May foreshadowing the appearance of the devil.

I have no idea why they are punching their fists threw glass.

Two guys I’m sure I should recognize, but I don’t want to guess.

Remember, it’s a musical! And there’s an American flag in the background.

The little girl survives, but will always carry the memory–another Golden Earring video that appears to be referencing both the film The Assault (1986) and the book De Aanslag by Harry Mulisch that the film is based on.

We see that there are many numbered rooms where people are being tortured.

Someone executed at the barrel of a toy gun by a Spanish company that made James Bond guns.

Aftermath of a crime scene.

The colors of the Flag of Overijssel, which represents the province of Holland. The center river shaped stripe stands for the river IJssel.

The river was a natural line of defense that had to be crossed by Allied troops to liberate the Netherlands at the end of WWII. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that a river that has to be controlled–like so much water in the Netherlands–in order for the country to exist is in this video.

The last temptation of Christ.

A reminder that things like the Bombing of Rotterdam, Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki have happened.

Changing the channel from the news to a sitcom.

Hay, Castro, guy I should know, and Napoleon popping his head in to say hi.


Did you know they did, or maybe still do sell Mussolini cologne? I had an Italian Studies teacher in college who brought it up, so I of course went to her office hours, and she showed me where online they sold it. The site got Neo-Nazi very fast, so we didn’t stay long.

Castro on the drums.

Hitler breakdancing.

Let them know it’s genocide out there.

I think May might be trying to remind us of the video for When The Lady Smiles.

Exit the jukebox and fade to black.

Dick Maas went on to do feature films such as the Flodder movies, Amsterdamned (1986), and the more recent, and apparently controversial film Saint (2010). It’s a killer Santa Claus movie–more specifically, a St. Nicholas killer movie. Bear in mind, this was several years before Kirk Cameron would also include a violent St. Nicholas in Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas (2014). It was still a touchy subject for people who hadn’t seen Christmas Evil (1980); Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984); and Santa’s Slay (2005). Or it was a publicity stunt as IMDb would suggest:

“Upon release the movie poster proved to be very controversial. Various organizations of concerned parents tried to boycott the poster, which features an image of a ‘zombie St. Nicolas’ as opposed to the friendly St. Nicolas the people in The Netherlands are used to. Dutch director Johan Nijenhuis became the spokesperson for the movement that tried to boycott the poster and he even went to court, claiming the poster would damage the festive season and cause trauma with young children.”

“In hindsight, the complaints by Johan Nijenhuis about the movie being inappropriate for young children seem to have been part of a publicity campaign.”


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