Eins, zwei, Polizei, drei, vier, Offizier - German Children's Songs - Germany - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


Here's another version of this rhyme:

1, 2, Polizei.
3, 4, Offizier.
5, 6, Alte Hex.
7, 8, Gute Nacht!
9, 10, Kapitän,
11, 12, Heulen die Wölf,
13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20,
Die Franzosen zogen nach Danzig.
Danzig fing an zu brennen,
Die Franzosen fingen an zu rennen;
Ohne Strumpf und ohne Schuh'
Rannten sie nach Frankreich zu.

Here's an English translation:

1, 2, police
3, 4, officer
5, 6, old Witch
7, 8, good night!
9, 10, Captain,
11, 12, the wolves howl,
13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20,
The French moved to Gdansk.
Gdansk began to burn,
The French began to run;
Without a sock and without shoes
They ran to France.


In German, "Capitän" is the old spelling for "Kapitän" (Captain in English). In the original version of this rhyme in Bolton's book, you'll find this word spelled the old way.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

The first rhyme can be found in The Counting-out Rhymes of Children (1888), by Henry Carrington Bolton. Translated by Lisa Yannucci.

Many thanks to Nick Eichler for the drawing!

Let us know what you think!

If you feel any comment below is inappropriate, please email us. Thanks!