If I Were a Rich Man

If I Were a Rich Man    Roger Whittaker (from the film ‘Fiddler on the Roof’)

“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 honour either!
So, what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune?”

If I were a rich man,
Ya ba dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard.
Ya ba dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
If I were a biddy biddy rich,
Idle-diddle-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 “cheep” and “swaqwk” and “honk” and “quack”
Would land like a trumpet on the ear,
As if to say “Here lives a wealthy man.”

If I were a rich man,
Ya ba dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard.
Ya ba dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
If I were a biddy biddy rich,
Idle-diddle-didle-didle man.

I’d see my wife, my Golda looking like a rich man’s wife
With a proper double-chin.
Supervising meals to her heart’s delight.
I’d 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.

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!
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, seven hours every day.
That would be the sweetest thing of all.

If I were a rich man,
Ya ba dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard.
Ya ba dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby 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?

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