by Karl (or Carl) Busse (1872 - 1918)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Und wärst du mein Weib und wärst du mein Lieb,
Wie wollt' ich dich jauchzend umschlingen,
Ich wüßte ja nicht, wo das Herz mir blieb'
Vor lauter seligem Klingen.

Ich flög' in den nächtigen Himmel hinein,
Den funkelndsten Stern zu trennen,
Das wär' der leuchtende Demantstein,
Der sollt' im Haar dir brennen.

Nach Persien flög' ich, hinein ins Land;
Wo Schiras Rosen sich wiegen,
Die Rosen gäben das Kronenband,
Das sollt' [dir die Locken]1 umschmiegen.

Ich stieg' hernieder ins tiefste Meer
Und brächte dir rote Korallen,
Und meine Lieder, die wären ein Heer
[Lenztrunkener]2 Nachtigallen.

Die sollten um dich ihren Reigen ziehn,
Bis die Sehnsucht dich [zu mir triebe]3,
Gewiegt und umklungen von Melodien,
Von junger, jauchzender Liebe.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Strauss: "die Locken dir"
2 Strauss: "Lenztrunkner"
3 Strauss: "triebe zu mir"


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) , "Si...", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Als...", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "If . . .", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Si...", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Alberto Pedrotti , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 118

If . . .
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
And if you were my wife and if you were my love,
How I would embrace you with rejoicing,
I would not know where my heart had gotten to
For such pure rapturous resounding.

I would fly into the night-time sky
To pluck the most sparkling of the stars,
It would become the shining diamond
That would burn brightly in your hair.

I would fly to Persia, inland,
Where Shiraz's roses sway,
The roses would form a coronet
That should caressingly encircle your curls.

I would descend into the deepest ocean
And would bring you red corals,
And my songs, they would become an army
Of nightingales intoxicated by spring.

They should wind their dance about you,
Until longing drove you to me,
Rocked and surrounded by the melodies
Of young, rejoicing love.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2013 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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2013-02-25
Line count: 20
Word count: 133