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.


Here is another version:

Eins, zwei, Polizei
Drei, vier, komme hier
Fünf, sechs, alte Hex
Sieben, acht, gute Nacht
Neun, zehn, lass uns gehen
Elf, zwölf, ins Gehölz.

Here is an English translation:

One, two, police
Three, four, come here
Five, six, old witch
Seven, eight, good night
Nine, ten, let's go
Eleven, twelve, in the woods.


Another Version:

Eins, zwei, Polizei,
drei, vier, Offizier,
fünf, sechs, alte Hex,
sieben, acht, gute Nacht,
neun, zehn, auf Wiedersehn,
elf, zwölf, böse Wölf,
dreizehn, vierzehn, kleine Maus,
ich bin drin, und du bist raus!


One, two, police,
Three, four, officer,
Five, six, old witch,
Seven, eight, good night,
Nine, ten, goodbye,
Eleven, twelve, bad wolves,
Thirteen, fourteen, little mouse,
I'm in and you're out!


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.

Here are the lyrics of the rhyme in the video:

Eins ,zwei, Papagei (One, two, parrot)
Drei, vier, Offizier (Three, four, officer)
Fünf, sechs, klein Hex (Five, six, small witch)
Sieben, acht, gute Nacht (Seven, eight, good night)
Neun, zehn, auf wiedersehen (Nine, ten, good bye)
Elf, zwölf, es kommen die Wölf (Eleven, twelve, the wolves are coming)
Hu, hu, hu!

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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 Rosemary Shashoua for the 2nd version in the Notes.

Many thanks to Nick Eichler for the drawing!