Translation © by Emily Ezust

Es waren zwei Königskinder
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG
Es waren zwei Königskinder,
Die hatten einander so lieb,
Sie konnten zusammen nicht kommen,
Das Wasser war viel zu tief.

"O liebster, kannst du nicht schwimmen?
So schwimme doch her zu mir!
Drei Kerzen will ich dir anzünden,
Und die sollen leuchten dir."

Das hört eine falsche Nonne,
Die tat, als wenn sie schlief.
Sie täte die Kerzen ausblasen,
Der Jüngling ertrank so tief.

Ein Fischer wohl fischte lange,
Bis er den Toten fand:
"Nun sieh' da, du liebliche Jungfrau,
Hast hier deinen Königssohn".

Sie nahm ihn in ihre Arme
Und küßte seinen Mund:
"Ade nun, o Vater und Mutter,
Wir seh'n uns nimmermehr."

The text shown is a variant of another text.
It is 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)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), [adaptation] ; composed by Johannes Brahms, Gustav Heinrich Graben-Hoffmann, Otto Lohse, Julius Joseph Maier, Karl Heinrich Carsten Reinecke.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Er waren twee koningskinderen", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Once there was a prince and a princess", copyright © 2019

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2015-12-17
Line count: 20
Word count: 104

Once there was a prince and a princess
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Once there was a prince and a princess
who loved each other so much
but who could not come together
because the water between them was too deep.

"Oh beloved, can you not swim,
just swim here to me!
I will light three candles
and they should light your way."

There sat nearby a false nun
pretending to be asleep;
she blew out the candles
and the young man drowned in the depths.

A fisherman fished so long
that he found the dead youth:
"Now look here, you lovely young woman,
You have here your king's son."

She took him in her arms
and kissed his mouth:
"Farewell now, oh father and mother,
we will never see each other again."


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2019 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 --

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

Based onBased on


This text was added to the website: 2019-12-10
Line count: 20
Word count: 120