Funny Money Lessons from Fiddler on the Roof: If I Were a Rich Man

I have a lot of favorite movies (maybe because I’m indecisive and can’t just pick one favorite) and Fiddler On the Roof is definitely there in my top … 50. Yes, it is old, and some of it a little silly, but it is a classic and teaches some good lessons, all the while maintaining a good balance of comedy with serious issues. We recently watched it for the first time after several years, and now that we are personal finance bloggers, we couldn’t help but appreciate the money lessons (or maybe they’re more like jokes) to be had in this movie.

If you have never seen Fiddler on the Roof or want to see it again, you can watch the full movie free on Hulu at: http://www.hulu.com/watch/26704/fiddler-on-the-roof

Funny Money Quote from Fiddler On the Roof

Tevye: Again with the rich! What’s wrong with being rich?
Perchik: It’s no reason to marry. Money is the world’s curse.
Tevye: May the Lord smite me with it. And may I never recover!

If I Were a Rich Man

One of my favorite songs in this movie is If I Were a Rich Man, wherin Tevye fantasizes of the (sometimes imprudent) ways in which he would live his life and spend his money were he a wealthy man. Play the video below to watch it performed as can be done by none other than the great Topol. (You can watch the whole movie here, too, if you’d like.)

Fiddler on the Roof: 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,
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard.
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
If I were a biddy biddy rich,
Yidle-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.
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 ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard.
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
If I were a biddy biddy rich,
Yidle-diddle-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.

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

If I were a rich man,
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard.
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
If I were a biddy biddy rich,
Yidle-diddle-didle-didle man.

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One thought on “Funny Money Lessons from Fiddler on the Roof: If I Were a Rich Man”

  1. If I were a rich man… I wouldn’t have any time to spend with my wife and kids because I would always be too busy trying to make more money… and keeping other folks from taking away what I’ve already earned. Still, it is a nice thought.
    .-= Fireman Roofing´s last blog ..Old Wood Roof Shingles =-.

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