A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? But here, in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. It isn't easy. You may ask, why do we stay up there if it's so dangerous? Well, we stay because Anatevka is our home. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word: Tradition!
You made many many poor people, I realize of course it's no shame to be poor, but it's no great honor either. Now what would be so terrible if I had a small fortune?
You may ask, how did this tradition get started? I'll tell you. I don't know.
Because of our traditions, every one of us knows who he is and what God expects him to do.
Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as... as... as the fiddler on the roof!
As the good book says, if you spit in the air, it lands in your face.
I know, I know. We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can't You choose someone else?
Sometimes I wonder, when it gets too quiet up there, if You are thinking, "What kind of mischief can I play on My friend Tevye?"
As the good book says "Each shall seek his own kind". In other words a bird may love a fish but where would they build a home together?
When I get angry even flies don't dare to fly.
It may sound like I'm complaining, but I'm not. After all, with Your help, I'm starving to death.
All right, children. Let's go.
Now listen, Tzeitel! If God lived on earth, people would break his windows.
Ah, children, they are your blessing in your old age. But of course my Aaron couldn't give me children. Between you and me, Golde, he hardly tried.
The world is changing, Papa.
I'm a pleasant fellow, charming, honest, ambitious, quite bright, and very modest.
We only have one Rabbi, and he only has one son. Why shouldn't I want the best?
If the rich could hire others to die for them we, the poor, would all make a nice living.
Even a poor tailor is entitled to some happiness!
You'll all chatter yourselves away into the grave.