Photo: Femke Ham

Sep and Jasmijn are heading to Nice with their song “Holding On To You” to represent the Netherlands at Junior Eurovision 2023. With this, they keep up the Dutch record of being the only country to compete in every edition of the contest.

This year’s participation follows last year’s fan favourite “La Festa” by Luna, who finished seventh in Yerevan.

Scroll down for “Holding On To You” lyrics

Netherlands in Junior Eurovision 2023: Sep & Jasmijn with “Holding On To You”

Sep and Jasmijn earned their place at Junior Eurovision 2023 via the Dutch national selection Junior Songfestival. They beat the competition handily, gaining 36 points — seven points more than their closest rival in the contest.

Their vibrant performance had plenty of choreography paired with great live vocals, so the young pair are prepared for the big stage in Nice. The selected track has high energy with a chilled but upbeat verse, blaring into a light-EDM style chorus.

“Holding On To You” bursts with joy and positivity, and is crafted to put a smile on the viewer’s face. There’s great chemistry between Sep and Jasmijn. They show the storyline of their song really well in their performance. Jasmijn’s live vocals are exceptional, and she is able to belt big notes with confidence and precision. Not surprising, given she has partaken in Dutch singing show Ministars this year.

With all these factors in place, the question is how many votes will that turn into once the public have their say at Junior Eurovision?

What do the “Holding On To You” lyrics mean?

Despite being sung mostly in their native Dutch, with pops of English in the chorus, Sep & Jasmijn do a phenomenal job of conveying their message to non-speakers of their language.

This is a sweet song, which speaks of a pair who mean everything to each other. It can be seen as an ode to friendship or potentially a young first love.

The chorus says “I’ll try to dance here on my own,” meaning they are trying to be independent from each other. But, they really miss the other whilst doing so. The song brings us these themes with a youthful sound, giving it the genuine innocence of early relationships of any kind, whether it be a close friendship or otherwise.

Either way, the performers sing of the other being on the brain, “You are in my head, it doesn’t want to go away again”. We’ve all been there, missing our best friends and wishing for nothing more than to hang out with them —  Sep & Jasmijn gives us all the feels!

“Holding On To You” lyrics – Sep & Jasmijn (Netherlands JESC 2023)

Music and lyrics by: Robert Dorn

Dutch text

Ben je er wel
Of ben je er niet
Is het misschien maar
Alleen wat ik zie

Is er een weg die we gaan
En hoe zullen de sterren dan staan

Ik kan niet zonder
Maar wat is dan met
Ik weet als geen ander
Wat ik aan je heb

Niet alles heeft altijd een naam
Maar wat zijn we dan nu van elkaar

Ik weet dat ik je
Niet wil laten gaan

I try to dance
Here on my own
But I am
Holding on to you

Will you be there
Wil jij dit ook
Oh I am
Holding on to you

I’m holding on to you
I’m holding on to you

Wat ik ook doe
Of wat ik ook denk
Je zit in m’n hoofd en
’T wil niet meer weg

Laat ik mezelf in de waan n
Oooh, of is dit dan waar we nu staan

Ik weet dat ik je
Niet wil laten gaan

I try to dance
Here on my own
But I am
Holding on to you

Will you be there
Wil jij dit ook
Oh I am
Holding on to you

I’m holding on to you

Ben jij er wel of niet
Is het wat ik wil zien
Ik weet niet meer wat ik moet

Bij alles wat ik denk
En alles wat ik doe
I’m holding on to you

Hoe alle sterren ook staan
Ik weet dat ik jou niet laat gaan

I try to dance
Here on my own
But I am
Holding on to you

Will you be there
Wil jij dit ook
Oh I am
Holding on to you

I try to dance
Here on my own
But I am
Holding on to you

Will you be there
Wil jij dit ook
Oh I am
Holding on to you

English translation

Are you there
Or are you not
Maybe it’s just
What I see

Is there a path that we take
And will the stars align

I can’t live without
But how is life with
Like no other I know
What you mean to me

Not everything always has a name
But what are we to each other now

I know that I
Don’t want to let you go

I try to dance
Here on my own
But I am
Holding on to you

Will you be there
Do you want this too
Oh I am
Holding on to you

I’m holding on to you
I’m holding on to you

Whatever I do
Or whatever I think
You’re on my mind and
It won’t go away

Am I fooling myself
Oooh, or is this where we stand

I know that I
Don’t want to let you go

I try to dance
Here on my own
But I am
Holding on to you

Will you be there
Do you want this too
Oh, I am
Holding on to you

I’m holding on to you

Are you there or not
Is it what I want to see
I don’t know what to do anymore

With every thought
And everything I do
I’m holding on to you

No matter how the stars are aligned
I know I won’t let you go

I try to dance
Here on my own
But I am
Holding on to you

Will you be there
Do you want this too
Oh, I am
Holding on to you

I try to dance
Here on my own
But I am
Holding on to you

Will you be there
Do you want this too
Oh, I am
Holding on to you

Will you be voting for “Holding On To You”? Are you dancing along to the chorus already? Let us know in the comments below.

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Max
Max
3 months ago

Very good! I like it! I think this is going to win.

NoMoreEscAddicted
NoMoreEscAddicted
3 months ago

Nice song! Cool beat! They are so enjoyable! It’s one of the fan favorites! Good luck to them!

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago

Why does it need to be a boy and a girl singing this? Does everything need to be ultra heteronormative for this contest?

If it was two boys, or two girls, maybe it might actually have some value.

Shush
Shush
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

You are why people are homophonic

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Shush

How so?

Bejba
Bejba
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Because This Is Children . Stop With Forcing The Gay Agenda , They Are To Young To See This And Plus It Is Highly Inapropriete

Shush
Shush
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Forcing gayness onto everything even children. Let people be who they want to be it is not up to you who someone loves. Just as it is not up to you who a country sends. If a country sends gay representatives then great. But there doesn’t always need to be LGBT representation especially with kids who most likely haven’t matured yet and do not know what they want.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Shush

You agree with me, then. You just don’t know it. If we can’t “force gayness” on children, then we can’t force hetero-ness on them either. Which is what is happening here. If these children have not matured yet, why are adults coupling them up? If they don’t know what they want, why have we decided they are hetero? Why can’t two boys or girls perform this? Answer : heteronormative is the default. Which is WRONG.

musica
musica
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Why does Eurovision always have to be about sexuality, even in the children’s edition now apparently? If it’s a boy and a girl, a boy and a boy, a girl and a girl, I don’t f.cking care, I just want a good song. It’s a song contest. I don’t care about the sexuality of my favourite singers either.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  musica

I AGREE WITH YOU. That is my point. People should NOT care. That said, this is HETERO. If hetero is allowed, so should gay be. If gay is deemed “too adult”, well then hetero should also be deemed too adult. Except it is not. If this song and video was two boys, there would be an outcry. Where is the outcry for the hetero content? There is NONE. Why not? Why would gay content be deemed a “gay agenda” but nobody bats an eyelid at hetero content? Why is that not considered a hetero agenda? These are children. It is… Read more »

musica
musica
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

I think you don’t even know what you’re trying to say. Try to look at the world a little less in terms of pro- or anti-agendas and a little more in terms of people just trying to do their best (in this case, children! trying to do their best). Anything else is mostly just your own perception.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  musica

I know what I’m TRYING to say, I just wish I could be more articulate about it. Bottom line… projecting a world where only hetero people exist is wrong. These are impressionable vulnerable young minds. We have had many hetero romance songs, but no gay ones. Gay children are excluded, this will have an effect on young gay viewers. Hetero is presented as what is expected. This is wrong.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Also, importantly, I have ZERO grudge against these children. I could easily accept a hetero love song if the performers actually wrote it themselves. In this case, it was given to them by adults. I think this is the important part.

ECD534
ECD534
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Are you seriously complaining about a child act?

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  ECD534

Yes, I seriously am. What part of my point do you not understand?

ECD534
ECD534
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

I don’t understand why you’re complaining in first place…

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  ECD534

I’m complaining because children are vulnerable and need protection. They are important, and the future.

Yodenman
Yodenman
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

The vast majority of people in the world are not gay.
As a democracy, the Netherlands decided to go for majority rule. If you don’t like it, I actually don’t care.
This is a kids singing contest and prats like you have to bring sexuality into it. Save your comments for the adult contest. Goodbye.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Yodenman

Did I direct this video of two children in love? Did I write this song? No. Did I assume these children are hetero? No.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Nobody gets my point. Heavy sigh. Sad face.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Yodenman

Gay is sexual, but somehow hetero is not. Can someone please explain this to me? Speak up, downvoters, I can’t hear you.

Bettie
Bettie
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

When they are hetero why can’t they show it? That is just as bad as two gay youngsters who can’t show they are gay. Let children be themselves, no matter who they fall in love with.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Bettie

We do not know they are hetero. They are children who have been GIVEN this song by adults.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago

Songs like this make me hate the junior contest. Utterly awful in many ways. Completely wrong to give this song to two children. Is this really what we want to teach them? The only thing in life is couplehood. Only this gives you worth.
I don’t think so.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Sep and Jasmijn deserve better!

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago

Nice song and performance, good luck in Nice!

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

How come you didn’t like Hold Me Now for children, but Holding On To You is okay?

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Because they are different *and* the sentiment behind them is different.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

This is obviously a love song though, with “hold” in the title. A 13-year-old was directed to lovingly gaze into the eyes of another child for the “adorable” music video. Foisting heteronormative stupidity on impressionable minds. It makes me nauseous.

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
3 months ago

great song, am proud of our entry once again (i also liked Luna’s La Festa, and i personally loved Ayana’s Mata Sugu Ao Ne a lot, which was very underrated)

Ria NL
Ria NL
3 months ago

I love our entry and I hope for a great result

Vivian
Vivian
3 months ago

Soooo, my own country. Helps that I can effortlessly understand the lyrics, but… it doesn’t mean much, haha. It’s another typical Dutch JESC entry in which it’s decently well performed, it’s a bit on the bland and generic side but it’s catchy and does what it wants to do. And is it just me or does this song sound a bit dated? It reminds me of like very early Armin van Buuren, like 2013 or something. Both Sep and Jasmijn are solid live performers, but they need to do a little more in terms of chemistry with one another, as… Read more »