If I Were a Rich Man cover
If I Were a Rich Man cover

If I Were a Rich Man Lyrics Meanings
by Zero Mostel

Soundtrack
2003
547

If I Were a Rich Man Lyrics

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
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dumb

All day long I'd biddy-biddy-bum
If I were a wealthy man
I wouldn't have to work hard
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dumb

If I were a biddy-biddy rich
Daidle deedle daidle daidle 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
"Pa-pa-geeee! Pa-pa-gaack! Pa-pa-geeee! Pa-pa-gaack!"
Would land like a trumpet on the ear
As if to say, "Here lives a wealthy man"
Oy!

If I were a rich man
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dumb

All day long I'd biddy-biddy-bum
If I were a wealthy man

I wouldn't have to work hard
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dumb

If I were a biddy-biddy rich
Daidle deedle daidle daidle 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

The most important men in town will come to fawn on me
They will 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
Lariri lariri lahah

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 a lerned men
Seven hours every day
That would be the sweetest thing of all
Oy!

If I were a rich man
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dumb

All day long I'd biddy-biddy-bum
If I were a wealthy man

I wouldn't have to work hard
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dumb

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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