Translation © by Laura Prichard

Ach Elselein, liebes Elselein mein
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE
Ach Elselein, liebes Elselein mein,
Wie gern wär ich bei dir;
So sind zwei tiefe Wasser,
Wohl zwischen dir und mir.

Willt du dich lassen abwenden drum,
Weil sind der Wasser zwei,
Da doch sonst mancher stolzer Knab
Leidt noch so mancherlei.

Ach Lieb, das schrecket mich allein,
Daß ich nicht fahren kann,
Und wenn dann bräch das Schiffelein,
Müßt ich bald [untergahn]1.

Ach nein, das soll geschehen nit,
Ich selbst helf rudern dir,
Damit du nur in kurzer Zeit,
Herzliebster kommst zu mir.

Weil du's, schöns Lieb, denn meinst so gut,
Will ich's gleich wagen frei,
Allein das bitt' ich fleißig dich,
Steh mir ohn' Falschheit bei.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Deutsche Volkslieder mit ihren Original-Weisen, ed. by Andreas Kretzschmer, Berlin, Vereins-Buchhandlung, 1838, page 32. The first of three in an unnamed set. The second is here and the third is here.

1 Brahms: "untergehn"


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):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Ah Elsa, ma chère Elsa", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 108

Oh, little Elsa, my dear little Elsa
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Oh, little Elsa, my dear little Elsa,
I wish I were with you;
But two deep bodies of water
Lie between you and me,

Will you let yourself be detained,
By these two bodies of water;
Beacause many a proud boy
would take the trouble to accomplish this.

Ah my love, I’m afraid of one thing,
That I can’t get across it,
And if my little boat were to capsize,
I’d soon sink.

Oh no, that won’t happen,
I'd help you row the boat myself,
If only, very quickly,
Darling, you’ll come to me.

Since you, pretty girl, care so much,
I’ll venture to do it,
But I beg you diligently,
Stand by me without wavering.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "Die beiden Königskinder" = "The two royal children"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 by Laura Prichard, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2016-10-22
Line count: 20
Word count: 116