“As mortality creeps and years pass, sometimes my jukebox DJ mind plays the last four lines of this theme…”
[With Credit to Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and genius.com]
There was once [circa 1971] a popular Broadway show called, “Fiddler on the Roof” whose most famous song, “Sunrise, Sunset”. It took place during the wedding of characters Tzeitel (Tevye and Golde’s daughter) and her childhood friend and tailor, Motel. The whole Jewish community of Anatevka celebrates with them, and everyone watches as the couple have the ceremony.
The first half of the song has Tevye and Golde as they wonder how time flies, whilst the second half has Hodel – Tevye and Golde’s second daughter – and Perchik wonder about their own future, hopefully together.
A beautiful and melodic musical number, “Sunrise, Sunset” encompasses many of the important themes of Fiddler on the Roof: community, religion, time, tradition, family, and, of course, love. As mortality creeps upon moments and years passing, sometimes my jukebox DJ mind plays the last four lines of this theme.
[TEVYE] “Is this the little girl I carried? Is this the little boy at play?[GOLDE] I don’t remember growing older When did they?[TEVYE] When did she get to be a beauty? When did he grow to be so tall?[GOLDE] Wasn’t it yesterday when they Were small?[MEN] Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset Swiftly flow the days Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers Blossoming even as we gaze[WOMEN] Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset Swiftly fly the years One season following another Laden with happiness and tears[TEVYE] What words of wisdom can I give them? How can I help to ease their way?[GOLDE] Now they must learn from one another Day by day