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Ich wollt' ich wär' ein Fisch

Language: German (Deutsch)

Ich wollt' ich wär' ein Fisch,
So [hurtig und]1 frisch;
Und kämst du zu [anglen]2,
Ich würde nicht [manglen]3.
Ich wollt' ich wär' ein Fisch,
So hurtig und frisch.

Ich wollt' ich wär' ein Pferd,
Da wär' ich dir werth.
O wär' ich ein Wagen,
Bequem dich zu tragen.
Ich wollt' ich wär' ein Pferd,
Da wär' ich dir werth. 

Ich wollt' ich wäre Gold,
Dir immer im Sold;
Und thätst du was kaufen,
Käm ich [wieder]4 gelaufen.
Ich wollt' ich wäre Gold,
Dir immer im Sold.

Ich wollt' ich wär' treu,
Mein Liebchen stets neu;
Ich wollt' mich verheißen,
Wollt' nimmer verreisen.
Ich wollt' ich wär' treu,
Mein Liebchen stets neu.

Ich wollt' ich wär' alt
Und runzlig und kalt;
Thätst du mir's versagen,
Da könnt mich's nicht plagen.
Ich wollt' ich wär' alt
Und runzlig und kalt.

Wär' ich Affe sogleich
Voll neckender Streich';
Hätt' was dich verdrossen,
So macht' ich dir Possen.
Wär' ich Affe sogleich
Voll neckender Streich'.

Wär' ich gut wie ein Schaf;
Wie der Löwe so brav;
Hätt' Augen wie's Lüchschen,
Und Listen wie's Füchschen.
Wär' ich gut wie ein Schaf
Wie der Löwe so brav.

Was alles ich wär',
Das gönnt' ich dir sehr;
Mit fürstlichen Gaben,
Du solltest mich haben.
Was alles ich wär',
Das gönnt' ich dir sehr.

Doch bin ich wie ich bin,
[Und]5 nimm mich nur hin!
Willst [du]6 bess're besitzen,
So laß dir sie schnitzen.
Ich bin nun wie ich bin;
So nimm mich nur hin!


Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE ITA

List of language codes

F. Schubert sets stanzas 1-3, 9

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Goethe's Werke. Vollständige Ausgabe letzter Hand. Erster Band. Stuttgart und Tübingen, in der J.G.Cotta'schen Buchhandlung. 1827, pages 34-36; with Goethe's Werke. Erster Band. Stuttgart und Tübingen, in der J. G. Cotta'schen Buchhandlung. 1815, pages 32-34; and with Goethe's Werke. Erster Band. Original-Ausgabe. Wien, 1816. Bey Chr. Kaulfuß und C. Armbruster. Stuttgart. In der J. G. Cotta'schen Buchhandlung. Gedruckt bey Anton Strauß, pages 34-36.

1 Schubert (autograph): "munter so"
2 Goethe (Wien 1816 edition), and Schubert: "angeln"
3 Goethe (Wien 1816 edition), and Schubert: "mangeln"
4 Schubert: "wie"
5 Schubert: "Doch"
6 omitted by Schubert

Submitted by Martin-Beatus Meier and Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Minnaars in soorten", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "I wish I were a fish", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Amoureux sous toutes ses formes", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , "Innamorato in tutte le forme", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2018-07-05 04:43:52
Line count: 54
Word count: 248

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     - Emily Ezust

I wish I were a fish

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

I wish I were a fish,
so quick and fresh;
and if you came to fish,
I would not stay away.
I wish I were a fish,
so quick and fresh;

I wish I were a horse
that you esteemed;
O were I only a cart
to bear you comfortably!
I wish I were a horse
that you esteemed.

I wish I were gold,
always in your pocket,
and if you used me to buy something,
I would come running back.
I wish I were gold,
always in your pocket.

I wish I were faithful,
and my sweetheart always new;
I would promise myself
never to go away.
I wish I were true,
and my sweetheart always new.

I wish I were old
and wrinkled and cold;
If you betrayed me,
I would not be able to torment myself.
I wish I were old,
and wrinkled and cold.

Were I were a monkey
full of teasing pranks,
if something annoyed you,
I would make a joke of it.
Were I a monkey
full of teasing pranks.

Were I as good as a sheep,
as brave as a lion;
had I eyes like a lynx,
and cunning like a fox.
Were I good as a sheep,
and brave as a lion....

If I were all that, 
I would not begrudge you;
with princely gifts,
you should have me.
If I were all that,
I would not begrudge you.

But I am just as I am;
and take me for that!
If you want something better,
then let them carve it out of you.
For I am just as I am;
and take me for that.


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Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- http://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

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Based on
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832), "Liebhaber in allen Gestalten", written 1810, first published 1815 CAT DUT FRE ITA
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Thomas Christian David, Joseph Klein, Franz Peter Schubert, Karl Friedrich Zelter. Go to the text.

 

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:30
Line count: 54
Word count: 274