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If I were a rich man UNIT 9 - part of lesson H
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A famous old song from the film "Fiddler on the Roof".

Do the activity at the ACTIVITY box.

"Dear God, you made many, many poor people.
I realize, of course, it's no shame to be poor.
But it's no great honour either!
So, what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune?"

If I were a rich man,
Yabby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
All day long I'd biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn't have to work hard.
Yabby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
If I were a biddy biddy rich,
Idle-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.
Squawking just as noisily as they can.
And each loud "agay" "ago" "aga" "aca"
Would land like a trumpet on the ear,
As if to say "Here lives a wealthy man."

If I were a rich man,
Yabby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
All day long I'd biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn't have to work hard.
Yabby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
If I were a biddy biddy rich,
Ydle-diddle-didle-didle man.

I'd 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'd see her putting on airs and strutting like a peacock.
Oh, what a happy mood she's in!
Screaming at the servants, day and night.

The most important men in town will come to fawn on me!
They will 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, seven hours every day.
And that would be the sweetest thing of all.

If I were a rich man,
Yabby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
All day long I'd biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn't have to work hard.
Yabby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.

Lord who made the lion and the lamb,
You decreed I should be what I am.
Would it spoil some vast eternal plan
If I were a wealthy man.?

Look the lyrics for conditional sentences. Write down all the conditional sentences you find there and then check your answers with the key.

Notice: The phrase "If I were a rich man" is present all over the song, because that is what he is talking about. So, sometimes, that bit of sentence is not said but it is understood.

In Type 2 conditionals (past + would), the verb "to be" is irregular:

simple past --> I was, you were, he was, we were...
Type 2 past --> I were, you were, he were, we were...

So we say "If I WERE a rich man". But in colloquial British English and in American English, we can also say "If I was..."

- What would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune?
- If I were a rich man, all day long I'd biddy biddy bum.
- If I were a wealthy man, I wouldn't have to work hard. If I were a biddy biddy... man.

- [If I were a rich man], I'd build a big tall house with rooms [...]. There would be one long...

- [If I were a rich man], I'd fill my yard with chicks and turkeys...

- If I were a rich man, all day long I'd biddy biddy bum. If I were a wealthy man.
- I wouldn't have to work hard, if I were a biddy biddy rich... man.

- [If I were a rich man], I'd see my wife, my Golde, looking like a rich man's wife...
- [If I were a rich man], I'd see her putting on airs and...

- [If I were a rich man], the most important men in town would come to fawn on me.
- [If I were a rich man], they would ask me to advise them..

- If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack to sit... And I'd discuss the holy books...

- If I were a rich man, all day long I'd biddy biddy bum.
- If I were a rich man, I wouldn't have to work hard.

- Would it spoil some vast eternal plan If I were a wealthy man?

5:40            
 
 

 

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