Fashion in Song – Wenn die Elisabeth (1930)

This German song Wenn die Elisabeth is about Elizabeth, who loses her advantage of having great legs in the longer skirt styles of 1930. A second paragraph refers to how her friend Mitzi, who has a great rack, now has the advantage!

Die Elisabeth, die süße, hat ein neues langes Kleid,
und es schlenkert um die Füße, die seidne Herrlichkeit.
Jedes Herz beginnt zu sieden, alle Männer drehn sich um,
doch sie selbst ist nicht zufrieden! Und wissen sie warum?

Refr.:
Wenn die Elisabeth nicht so schöne Beine hätt’,
hätt’ sie viel mehr Freud’ an dem neuen, langen Kleid!
Doch, da sie Beine hat, tadellos und kerzengrad,
tut es ihr so leid um das alte kurze Kleid!
Das kann man doch verstehen, beim Gehen, beim Drehen
kann man jetzt nichts mehr sehen und niemand weiß Bescheid!
Ja, wenn die Elisabeth nicht so schöne Beine hätt,
hätt’ sie viel mehr Freud’ an dem neuen, langen Kleid!

Elisabeth, the sweet, has a new long dress,
and it swings around the feet, the silk glory.
Every heart starts to boil, all men turn around,
but she is not satisfied herself! And do you know why?

Refrain:
If Elisabeth didn’t have such beautiful legs
if she had much more joy in the new, long dress!
But since she has legs, immaculate and candle-grade,
she is so sorry for the old short dress!
You can understand that, when walking, when turning
you can no longer see anything and nobody knows!
Yes, if Elisabeth didn’t have such nice legs,
if she had much more joy in the new, long dress!

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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