[TEVYE]
"Dear God, you made many, many poor people.
I realize, of course, that it's no shame to be poor.
But it's no great honor either!
So, what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune?"

If I were a rich man,
Ya ba deeba deeba deeba deeba deeba deeba dum.
All day long I'd biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn't have to work hard.
Ya ba deeba deeba deeba deeba deeba deeba dum.
If I were a biddy biddy rich,
Yidle-deedle-didle-didle man.

I'd build a big tall house with rooms by the dozen,
Right in the middle of the town.
A fine tin roof with real wooden floors below.
There would be one long staircase just going up,
And one even longer coming down,
And one more leading nowhere, just for show.

I'd fill my yard with chicks and turkeys and geese and ducks
For the town to see and hear,
Squawking just as noisily as they can.
And each loud BE-DA-LE-GEE, BE-DE-LE-GOO, BE-DE-LE-GEH, BE-DE-LE-GAH,
Would land like a trumpet on the ear,
As if to say "Here lives a wealthy man!". Oy!

If I were a rich man,
Ya ba deeba deeba deeba deeba deeba deeba dum.
All day long I'd biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn't have to work hard.
Ya ba deeba deeba deeba deeba deeba deeba dum.
If I were a biddy biddy rich,
Yidle-deedle-didle-didle man.

I see my wife, my Golde, looking like a rich man's wife
With a proper double-chin.
Supervising meals to her heart's delight.
I see her putting on airs and strutting like a peacock.
Oy, what a happy mood she's in.
Screaming at the servants, day and night. (*screaming*)

The most important men in town would come to fawn on me!
They would ask me to advise them,
Like a Solomon the Wise.
"If you please, Reb Tevye..."
"Pardon me, Reb Tevye..."
Posing problems that would cross a rabbi's eyes!
Ya-da-dee-dah-dah! Ya-dee-dah-dah! Daaaaaah!
And it won't make one bit of difference if I answer right or wrong.
When you're rich, they think you really know!

If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack
To sit in the synagogue and pray.
And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall.
And I'd discuss the holy books with the learned men, several hours every day.
That would be the sweetest thing of all.

If I were a rich man,
Ya ba deeba deeba deeba deeba deeba deeba dum.
All day long I'd biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn't have to work hard.
Ya ba deeba deeba deeba deeba deeba deeba dum.
Lord who made the lion and the lamb,
You decreed I should be what I am,
Would it spoil some vast eternal plan,
If I were a wealthy man!


Lyrics submitted by fallacies, edited by geb666

If I Were A Rich Man song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentCool song ;), clear what it's about. Best part: "There would be one long staircase just going up, and one even longer coming down, and one more leading nowhere, just for show" ingenious! :D
    Der_Bulleon December 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentUm, this song does'nt really make sence, and, rich girl from Gwen Steffani sounds way better, this song is weird!
    madd_elibberon June 01, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo the comment above: This song is crazy awesome, and makes a whole lot more sense than Gwen's 'version' does.

    He's fantasizing about what it would be like to have money, because his family lives in poverty is Russia.

    First, he talks about really eccentric things to do with lots of money, as most of us probably would. Then he gets down and serious (or maybe sucking up) about he would read the Holy Books and revere G-d. He also talks about how he would have the status almost the same as a Rabbi (highly esteemed) if he had more money.

    Then the very ending lyrics (which these don't show as this posting) is Tevye getting angry (even if for a moment) at how G-d had better have a good reason for making him poor.

    "Lord who made the Lion and the Lamb
    You decreed, I should be what I am
    Would it spoil some vast eternal plan?
    If I were a wealthy man!"

    Love this musical especially love Tevye!
    tree-lightson March 11, 2008   Link

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