This was an additional song written by the team of Bock and Harnick for the 2004 Broadway revival of their most famous show, Fiddler on the Roof. And while that production certainly had no shortage of other problems, this one was probably the most baffling. The most obvious problem with this song is that it doesn’t remotely live up to the rest of the score. Even with one of Broadway funniest comediennes, Nancy Opel, on hand to perform it, it’s still a thoroughly mediocre song, and when you surround a mediocre song with one of the great theater scores of all time, you make it sound even worse than it actually is. The song it replaced, “The Rumor”, wasn’t one of the Fiddler score’s highlights to begin with, but it was a genuinely amusing comedy number that made an insightful (if well-worn) point about the way gossip travels, and it was certainly a Hell of a lot more interesting than this. But even more annoying than this song’s mere presence in the show is the rationale for why it was added; Bock and Harnick’s statement on the matter is that this song was added ‘to clarify the show’s themes’. Please note that this is Fiddler on the Roof, the show that had been an international smash hit for forty years when this song was added, the show that, although its creators expected it to appeal primarily to the Jewish culture that was its subject matter, has wound up resonating just as deeply with virtually every culture on the planet. This is the show of which the producer of the first Japanese production famously asked, “Do they understand this show in America? It’s so Japanese!”. I think it’s pretty obvious that everyone already understands the show’s themes pretty well, and this is thus one of the most unnecessary additions to a classic show since the Annie Get Your Gun revival reinserted “Who Do You Love, I Hope?”. Granted, a lot of aging theatrical legends have unnecessarily tinkered with their past masterpieces in revivals, but even when, say, Sondheim got Lin-Manuel Miranda to translate half of West Side Story into Spanish, we could at least understand the theoretical logic behind his bad decision. This, on the other hand, is an attempt to fix a problem literally no-one had, and I’m just grateful that, like most of these dithering revisions of classic shows, it has vanished without a trace from any future productions.
Verdict: This is one of the most profoundly pointless additions to a score I have ever heard, and it doesn’t even have the redeeming feature of being an interesting song in its own right.