FIDDLER'S 'Sunrise Sunset' Lyrics Receives Gay-Friendly Makeover by Original Composer

FIDDLERS-Sunrise-Sunset-Lyrics-Receives-Gay-Friendly-Makeover-20111003

The New York Times has reported that Sheldon Harnick, lyricist for "Fiddler on the Roof" has re-written gay-friendly lyrics to the old standard "Sunrise Sunset".  The new lyrics were sung for the first time on Saturday, October 1st at the wedding of Richard Skipper and Daniel Sherman, in Tappan, NY.  The actress Jana Robbins performed the song during the couple's wedding ceremony.

In the 1964 musical "Fiddler on the Roof", the characters of Tevye and Golde sing the song to each other during their daughter Tzeitel's wedding, as they reminisce about the days when she was a little girl. The original lyrics to the song are as follows:

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?

Mr. Harnick wrote two gay-friendly versions of the song, one for gay men and one for lesbians:

For male couples:

Is this the little boy I carried?
Is that the little boy at play?
I don't remember growing older.
When did they?

We did they get to be so handsome?
When did they grow to be so tall?
Wasn't it yesterday when they were small?

For female couples:

Is this the little girl I carried?
Is that the little girl at play?
I don't remember growing older.
When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty?
[Alternative: When did she get to be so handsome?]
When did they grow to be this tall?
Wasn't it yesterday when they were small?

According to the Times, the lyric change was made at the request of Joshua Ellis, the interfaith minister who married Mr. Skipper and Mr. Sherman.  MR. Ellis has been officiating many same-sex weddings in New York since July when the the new gay marriage law went into effect.

(In the photo: Daniel Sherman, Rev. Joshua Ellis, Richard Skipper. Photo by Ivan Farkas)

 


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