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Elfenlied

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Elfenlied Poem/Song

DSC01230

Original Poem written by
Song/Musical arrangement by
Created in
First Half Of The Nineteenth Century, pre-Unification German Staten

"Elfenlied" ("elf song") is a poem written in German by Eduard Mörike that was adapted into a lied by Hugo Wolf. Lucy learned this song from Nozomi. She sang the same song during her attempted destruction of all human life in revenge for Kurama's shooting of Kouta.

In the anime, this song is replaced with Lilium, which is sung by Japanese opera star Kumiko Noma.

The poem is simple enough, telling the story of an elf who wanders into a village late at night. Curious about the people living in the village, he goes to get a closer look at their houses and ultimately hits his head, leaving him dazed on the ground.

The poem utilizes a German pun right at the beginning. The word "Elf" is used to represent the number 11, but "Elfe" is used to refer to an elf. The pronunciation of the two are very similar, hence causing the elf to believe those in the village are calling for him.

The sheet music for Hugo Wolf's song made from this poem may be found here : Sheet Music

PoemEdit

German Lyrics (Original)

English Translation

Bei Nacht im Dorf der Wächter rief: Elfe!
Ein ganz kleines Elfchen im Walde schlief
wohl um die Elfe!
Und meint, es rief ihm aus dem Tal
bei seinem Namen die Nachtigall,
oder Silpelit hätt' ihm gerufen.
Reibt sich der Elf' die Augen aus,
begibt sich vor sein Schneckenhaus
und ist als wie ein trunken Mann,
sein Schläflein war nicht voll getan,
und humpelt also tippe tapp
durch's Haselholz in's Tal hinab,
schlupft an der Mauer hin so dicht,
da sitzt der Glühwurm Licht an Licht.
Was sind das helle Fensterlein?
Da drin wird eine Hochzeit sein:
die Kleinen sitzen bei'm Mahle,
und treiben's in dem Saale.
Da guck' ich wohl ein wenig 'nein!«
Pfui, stößt den Kopf an harten Stein!
Elfe, gelt, du hast genug?
Gukuk! Gukuk!
At night in the village the watchman cried "Elf!"
A very small elf was asleep in the wood -
just at eleven!-
And he thinks that the nightingale
must have called him by name from the valley,
or Silpelit might have sent for him.
So the elf rubs his eyes,
comes out of his snail-shell house,
and is like a drunken man,
his nap was not finished;
and he hobbles down, tip tap,
through the hazel wood into the valley,
slips right up to the wall;
there sits the glow-worm, light on light.
"What are those bright windows?
There must be a wedding inside;
the little people are sitting at the feast,
and fooling around in the ballroom.
So I'll just take a peep in!"
Shame! he hits his head on hard stone!
Well, elf, had enough, have you?
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
Hugo Wolf02:05

Hugo Wolf

The song as sung by Elizabeth Schwarzkopf.

Connection to Elfen Lied Edit

(Please bear in mind, this section is subjective.)

Though the poem is short and at first does not seem to share much with the story of Elfen Lied, they do have a few things in common.

  • "So the elf rubs his eyes, comes out of his snail-shell house, and is like a drunken man, his nap was not finished; and he hobbles down, tip tap, through the hazel wood into the valley, slips right up to the wall"

This section can be taken to represent Lucy making her way back to Kamakura after escaping the facility. She's groggy and lost thanks to her head wound, and her Nyuu personality taking over is like "a drunken man" with very little sense of where she is.

  • "What are those bright windows? There must be a wedding inside; the little people are sitting at the feast, and fooling around in the ballroom. So I'll just take a peep in!"

Much like the elf, Lucy states near the end of the manga that she always wanted to be part of humanity, to be accepted by them instead of always being the outsider looking in.

  • "Shame! he hits his head on hard stone! Well, elf, had enough, have you? Cuckoo! Cuckoo!"

Just as the elf is punished for peeping in on human life, hitting his head, Lucy constantly faces punishment for attempting to rejoin humanity. She is often struck by them (notably in the head, causing the creation of Nyuu in the first place), cast out by them, and treated as subhuman whether she harms other humans first or not.

Gallery Edit

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