Translation © by Sharon Krebs

O wär' mein Lieb
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the Scottish (Scots) 
Available translation(s): ENG
   O wär' mein Lieb
   Der Fliederbusch,
Der drüben blüht so blau;
   Und ich ein Vogel,
   Flög ich [husch]1,
In [seinen]2 kühlen Thau.

   Ich säng' ihm Trost,
   Stünd er im Frost,
Des grünen Laubes bar;
   [Säng' wieder dann
   Hell himmelan]3
Im frohen frühen Jahr.

   Und wär' mein Lieb
   Die rothe Ros'
[An]4 jenem Wiesenrain;
   Und fiel ich doch
   [In ihren Schoß 
Als Abendthau]5 hinein.

   Wie hätt' ich da
   Die ganze Nacht
In ihrem Duft geruht;
   Wie hätt' ich [da
   Mich]6 sanft verhaucht
In früher Sonnengluth.

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Confirmed with Robert Burns' Lieder und Balladen für deutsche Leser ausgewählt und frei bearbeitet von L.G. Silbergleit, Leipzig: Druck und Verlag von Philipp Reclam jun., [no year], page 96.

1 omitted by Gall
2 Gall: "ihren"
3 Gall: "Dann säng ich / Wieder himmelan"
4 Krzyzanowski: "Auf"
5 Krzyzanowski: "Als Abendthau / Ihr in den Schoß"
6 Gall: "mich / So"


Based on

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):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2010-04-03
Line count: 24
Word count: 85

Oh were my love
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
   Oh were my love
   The lilac bush,
That yonder blooms so blue;
   And I a bird,
   I would [quickly]1 fly
Into her cool dew.

   I would sing her comfort,
   If she stood in the frost,
Denuded of her green leaves;
   Then brightly toward heaven
   I would sing again
In the joyful springtime of the year.

   And were my love
   The red rose
[Along]2 that meadow’s marge;
   And if I could only fall
   Into her calyx
As the evening dew.

   How I would then have
   Rested the entire night
In her scent;
   How I would there
   Have gently breathed my last
In the early glow of the sun.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Translations of title(s):
"O wär' mein Lieb der Fliederbusch" = "Oh were my love the lilac bush"
"O wär' mein Lieb" = "Oh were my love"

1 omitted by Gall
2 Krzyzanowski: "Upon"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 by Sharon Krebs, (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.

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This text was added to the website: 2017-04-10
Line count: 24
Word count: 108