A Fiddler’s Rhapsody

 In Notes, Thoughts & Personal Expressions

I have had several requests for a blog post concerning the background for the video of A Fiddler’s Rhapsody. So here it is: In the fall of 2005, myself and two of my friends were in a production of Fiddler on the Roof. Pittsford Musicals has a wonderful tradition called the talent show. It’s the night after the first Saturday performance and features performances by the cast members for the enjoyment of the cast members. Everyone sings, dances, plays piano, whatever. It offers insight into the lives of the others that would normally go unnoticed. Our entry was a parody song of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. On the left of the video is Mark Crawshaw, I am in the center, and David Occhino is on the right. I wrote the lyrics, David arranged absolutely wonderful harmonies, and the three of us sang it out a capella style. A few weeks later, after the production was over, the three of us went to a recording studio and sang it again. The audio from that night is also in this blog post.

Tragically, Mark died suddenly the following Spring, and we all miss him dearly. Mark was an instant friend. An old soul that I connected with from the first Fiddler rehearsal (he cracked a joke about how he was type cast again as the blue eyed, fair skinned Russian, and i was hooked). I make a point to try to hold on to these instant friends the best I can. For me life is too short not to be with the ones who make us happy, in the time we are on the planet. Mark was one of those individuals. He brought a smile to my face when we talked, and he made me laugh with his sarcastic humor. He challenged my point of view, not in a judgmental way, but in a way that allowed me to see another side logically, which in turn made me a better person. And while I try to hold on to my instant friends the best i can, sometimes the realities of life, and how frail it can be, force us apart. I do cherish the time we had together, even if for a brief year, and am glad we took the extra step to record this song in a studio. I can’t imagine a life of “what might have been” knowing what i know now. I find that I watch this performance whenever I have a bad day. The video instantly makes me smile, chuckle, and tear up with happiness. And after the last week I just had, let’s just say I watched it a lot, and this was the perfect time to finally write this blog post.

This recording is one of my favorite memories, encapsulated in a time when life was very different. I hope you enjoy it too. If you know the story of Fiddler on the Roof this will make sense. If not, well… not so much, and then hopefully at least it makes you smile.

The lyrics and talent show performance are below, and to hear the studio recording follow this link: 01 Fiddler’s Rhapsody

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/24833874 w=400&h=300]

A Fiddler’s Rhapsody from The Mayernik Family on Vimeo.


A Fiddler’s Rhapsody

Is this tradition?
what does the good book say?
Caught in a bad match
No escape from it I can see
Oi, Raise you palms
Look up to the skies and pray
I’m just a poor man, (A-men) smite me with money
Because I really could use it Lord
Daidle Deedle, Daidle dum
Anyway it happens, doesn’t really matter to me, to me

Papa, I don’t love the man
I know he’s a rich butcher
But I’m in love with a poor tailor
Papa, he’s a learned man
But now he’s gone and thrown it all away
Papa, he’s no Jew
Didn’t mean to make you cry
I hope you can find it in your heart to accept us
And carry on, carry on, your blessing really matters

Too late, I’ve had enough
You sent shivers down my spine
Chava, you’re no longer mine.
And Hodel do you really – Have to go?
Sibera is so very far away
And Tzeitel, what’s wrong with you? – (miracle of miracles)
Lazar’s a good man
Sometimes wish I’d never have all these daughters

I see a scary silhouetto of a ghost
Grandma Tzeitel, Grandma Tzeitel who do you bring with you?
Thunderbolt and lightning – very very frightening me
Fruma Sarah, Fruma Sarah,
Fruma Sarah, Fruma Sarah,
Fruma Sarah, Let me go! – Let me go!

Model’s just a poor boy and Tzeile really loves him
He’s was my husband and I’m not very happy
Spare her this life, this is not meant to be
On one hand, other hand, what shall I do?
Biddy biddy bum! No – not living in my house – not my house
Biddy biddy bum! she cannot wear my clothes – not my clothes
Biddy biddy bum! she cannot wear my pearls – not my pearls
Cannot wear my pearls – not the pearls (never)
I will choke her – let her go
Never let her go – ooo
Horse, mule, horse, mule, horse, mule, horse
Oh l’chaim, Oh l’chaim, our good fourtune never comes
I pity, them both for she will be dead in
Three weeks, three weeks, three weeks

So you think you five Russians can uproot our lives?
Anatevka’s our home and we expect here to die
Oh Constible – can’t do this to us Constible
You just gotta get out – just gotta get out in three days

Oi’ veigh, Oi’ veigh,

Nothing really matters
a pot, a pan, a tree,
Nothing really matters – Golde, nothing matters, like family
Come now children let’s go…

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