Tevye: I know, I know. We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can't You choose someone else?
Villager: An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.
Tevye: Very good. That way the whole world will be blind and toothless.
Tevye: [to God] Anyway, Motel and Tzeitel have been married for some time now. They work very hard, and they're as poor as squirrels in winter. But, they're so happy, they don't know how miserable they are.
Tevye: [in song] Do you love me?
Golde: [speaking] I'm your wife!
Tevye: [speaking] I know!
Tevye: But do you love me?
Golde: [singing] Do I love him? For twenty-five years I've lived with him, fought with him, starved with him. Twenty-five years, my bed is his...
Golde: [singing] If that's not love, what is?
Tevye: [singing] Then you love me!
Golde: I suppose I do!
Tevye: And I suppose I love you too.
Tevye: As the good book says, if you spit in the air, it lands in your face.
Tevye: On the other hand...
Yente: People! I tell you, Tzeitel, if God lived on earth, people would break his windows!
Tevye: Sometimes I think, when it gets too quiet up there, You say to Yourself, "What kind of mischief can I play on My friend Tevye?"
Tevye: 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!
Mordcha: If the rich could hire others to die for them we, the poor, would all make a nice living.
Tevye: [to God] It may sound like I'm complaining, but I'm not. After all, with Your help, I'm starving to death.
Hodel: [singing] For Papa, make him a scholar!
Chava: [singing] For Mama, make him rich as a king!
Golde: Oh, you're finally here. Come, let's go home now.
Tevye: I want to see Motel's new machine.
Golde: You can see it some other time. Let's go home now.
Tevye: Quiet, woman, before I get angry! Because when I get angry, even flies don't dare to fly!
Golde: [sarcastically] I'm very frightened of you. After we finish supper I'll faint.
Tevye: [angrily] Golde, I am the head of the house! I am the head of the family! And I want to see Motel's new machine NOW!
[He looks inside then closes the door]
Tevye: Now, lets go home.
Tevye: Traditions, traditions. Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as... as... as a fiddler on the roof!
Tevye: They gave each other a pledge? Unheard of. Absurd.
Perchik: There's a question... A certain question I want to discuss with you.
Perchik: It's a political question.
Hodel: What is it?
Perchik: The question of... marriage.
Hodel: Is this a political question?
Perchik: Well, yes. Yes, everything's political. Like everything else, the relationship between a man and a woman has a socioeconomic base. Marriage must be founded on mutual beliefs. A common attitude and philosophy towards society...
Perchik: Well, yes, of course. That is also necessary. Such a relationship can have positive social values. When two people face the world with unity and solidarity...
Hodel: And affection?
Perchik: Yes, that is an important element! At any rate, I... I personally am in favour of such a socioeconomic relationship.
Hodel: I think... you are asking me to marry you.
Perchik: Well... in a theoretical sense... yes. I am.
Hodel: I was hoping you were.
[Yente has returned from the post office]
Yente: The postman told me there was a letter for your sister, Hodel.
Tzeitel: Thank you, I'll go and get it.
Yente: I got it. It's, ah, from her intended, Perchik.
Tzeitel: Oh, she'll be so happy, she's been waiting to hear from... but it's open!
Yente: [shrugs] So, it happened to be open...
Tevye: And in the circle of our little village, We've always had our special types. For instance, Yente the matchmaker, Reb Nachum the beggar... And most important of all, our beloved Rabbi.
Leibesh: Rabbi! May I ask you a question?
Rabbi: Certainly, Lebisch!
Leibesh: Is there a proper blessing... for the Tsar?
Rabbi: A blessing for the Tsar? Of course! May God bless and keep the Tsar... far away from us!
Hodel: We only have one Rabbi, and he only has one son. Why shouldn't I want the best?
Tzeitel: Because you're a girl from a poor family. So whatever Yente brings, you'll take. Right? Of course, right!
[sings, mimicking Yente]
Tzeitel: Hodel! Oh Hodel, have I made a match for you! He's handsome, he's young! All right, he's sixty-two. But he's a nice man, a good catch, true? True! I promise you'll be happy, and even if you're not, there's more to life than that... Don't ask me what.
Golde: Tevye! Tevye!
Tevye: What is it?
Golde: It's Chava. She left home this morning, with Fyedka.
Golde: I've looked everywhere for her. I even went to the priest. He told me they were married.
Tevye: Well... Go home, Golde. We have other children at home. You have work to do, I have work to do, go home.
Golde: [anguished] But Chaveleh!
Tevye: Chava is dead to us! We'll forget her.
Tevye: Go home. Go home, Golde.
[Golde walks away, crying]
All: [singing] Sunrise, sunset; sunrise, sunset; swiftly fly the years... one season following another, laden with happiness and tears.
Tevye: [after seeing Chava and Fyedka talking] What were you and he talking about?
Chava: Nothing. We were just talking.
Chava: [chasing after Teyve] Papa! Fyedka and I... We've known each other for a long time...
Tevye: Chaveleh, I would be much happier if you remained friends from a distance. You must not forget who you are and who that man is.
Chava: He has a name, Papa.
Tevye: Of course. All creatures on Earth have a name.
Chava: Fyedka is not a creature, Papa. Fyedka is a man!
Tevye: Who says he isn't? It's just that he's a different kind of man. 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?
Chava: The world is changing, Papa!
Tevye: [rounding on her] No!
Tevye: No. Some things do not change for us. Some things will never change.
Chava: We don't feel that way.
Chava: Fyedka and I... We want to be married.
Tevye: What? Are you out of your mind? Don't you understand what that means, marrying outside of the faith?
Chava: But, Papa...
Tevye: I said no! Never talk about it again. Never mention his name again. Never see him again. Do you understand me?
Chava: [quietly] Yes, Papa. I understand you.
[Perchik and Hodel have announced their engagement]
Tevye: He loves her. Love, it's a new style... On the other hand, our old ways were once new, weren't they?... On the other hand, they decided without parents, without a matchmaker!... On the other hand, did Adam and Eve have a matchmaker?... Well, yes, they did. And it seems these two have the same Matchmaker!
[Tevye admires the lavishness of a butcher's home]
Tevye: And all this from killing innocent animals.
Tevye: [to Golde] Quiet, woman, before I get angry, because when I get angry even flies don't dare to fly!
Chava: [to Tevye] The world is changing, Papa.
Fruma Sarah: How could you allow it, How? How could you let your daughter take my place? Live in my house, carry my keys, and wear my clothes, pearls, how?
Ghosts: [singing] How could you allow your daughter to take her place?
Fruma Sarah: Pearls!
Fruma Sarah: Pearls!
Fruma Sarah: Pearls!
Fruma Sarah: Peeeeeearls!
Mordcha: Why should I break my head about the outside world? Let the outside world break it's own head! Well put, no?
Tevye: [to Lazar Wolf] I always wanted a son, but I wanted one a little younger than myself.
Perchik: You'll all chatter yourselves away into the grave.
Tevye: Because of our traditions, we've kept our balance for many, many years. Here in Anatevka, we have traditions for everything: how to sleep, how to eat... how to work... how to wear clothes. For instance, we always keep our heads covered, and always wear a little prayer shawl that shows our constant devotion to God. You may ask, "How did this tradition get started?" I'll tell you!
Tevye: I don't know. But it's a tradition... and because of our traditions... Every one of us knows who he is and what God expects him to do.
Men: [singing] Who day and night must scramble for a living, feed a wife and children, say his daily prayers, and who has the right as master of the house to have the final word at home? The Papa! The Papa! Tradition! The Papa! The Papa! Tradition!
Women: Who must know the way to make a proper home, a quiet home, a kosher home? Who must raise a family and run the home, so Papa's free to read the Holy Book? The Mama! The Mama! Tradition! The Mama! The Mama! Tradition!
Sons: [singing] At three I started Hebrew School, at ten I learned a trade. I hear they've picked a bride for me, I hope she's pretty.
Daughters: [singing] And who does Mama teach to mend and tend and fix, preparing her to marry whoever Papa picks? The daughters! The daughters! Tradition!
Men: [singing] The Papa!
Women: [singing] The Mama!
Sons: [singing] Sons!
Daughters: [singing] The Daughters!
All: [singing] Tradition!
Tevye: Then there are the others in our village. They make a much bigger circle. We don't bother them, and so far, they don't bother us. And among ourselves, we always get along perfectly well.
[pointing to Itchak and Avram]
Tevye: Of course, there was the time when he sold him a horse and told him it was only six years old, when it was really 12. But now, it's all over, and we live in simple peace and harmony.
[In Avram's ear]
Tevye: It was twelve years old.
Itchak: It was six!
Avram: Tevye knows!
[they begin arguing]
Tevye: All right children. Let's go.
Fyedka: [introducing himself to Chava] I'm a pleasant fellow, charming, honest, ambitious, quite bright, and very modest.
Golde: [about Tevye] You can die from such a man!
Tevye: [about Perchik] Is he in bad trouble, that hero of yours?
[she nods again]
Hodel: Yes. But he did nothing wrong. He cares nothing for himself. Everything he does is for other people.
Tevye: Yes, but if he did nothing wrong, he wouldn't be in trouble.
Hodel: Oh Papa, how can you say that? What wrongs did Joseph do? And Abraham, and Moses? And they had troubles.
Tevye: Yes, but... But why won't you tell me where he is now, this Joseph of yours?
Hodel: It is far, Papa. Terribly far. He is in a settlement in Siberia.
Tevye: [shocked] Siberia! And he asks you to leave your father and mother, and join him in that frozen wasteland and marry him there?
Hodel: No, Papa. He did not ask me to go. I *want* to go. I don't want him to be alone. I want to help him in his work.
Hodel: How can I hope to make you understand, why I do what I do? Why I must travel to a distant land, far from the home I love. Once I was happily content to be, as I was, where I was. Close to the people who are close to me, here in the home I love. Who could see that a man would come, who would change the shape of my dreams? Helpless now, I stand with him, watching older dreams grow dim. Oh, what a melancholy choice this is, wanting home, wanting him... Closing my heart to every hope but his, leaving the home I love. There where my heart has settled long ago, I must go, I must go. Who could imagine I'd be wandering so far from the home I love. Yet... there with my love, I'm home.
[the train is heard]
Tevye: [concerned] And, who my child will there be to perform a marriage there in the wilderness?
Hodel: [smiling] Papa, I promise you, we will be married under a canopy.
Tevye: Yes, yes. No doubt, a Rabbi or two were also arrested.
[the train pulls in, Tevye lifts Hodel's luggage aboard]
Hodel: [crying and hugging him] Papa! God alone knows when we shall see each other again.
Tevye: Then, we will leave it in His hands.
[he helps her aboard and watches the train pull out]
Tevye: [looking up] Take care of her. See that she dresses warm.
[after Chava elopes]
Tevye: [singing] Little bird... Little Chaveleh. I don't understand what's happening today. Everything is all a blur... All I can see is a happy child, the sweet little bird you were, Chaveleh, Chaveleh... Little bird, little Chaveleh, you were always such a pretty little thing, everybody's favorite child... Gentle and kind and affectionate, what a sweet little bird you were, Chaveleh, Chaveleh...
Men: [singing] And if our good fortune never comes, here's to whatever comes.
Tevye: And until your golden day comes, Rev. Perchik, How will you live?
Perchik: By giving lessons to children, Do you have any children?
Tevye: I have five daughters.
Perchik: [Looking to Tevye in disbelief] Five?
Perchik: Girls can learn too, girls are .
Mendel: A radical!
Tevye: Oh, go away!
All: To life, to life, L'Chaim!
[the constable enters Anatevka]
Tevye: Welcome, your honour, what's the good news in the world?
Constable: I see you have company.
Tevye: [looks at them nervously] They are my friends.
Constable: It's just as well. What I have to say is for their ears also. How much time do you need to sell your house and household goods?
Tevye: Why should I sell my house? Is it in anybody's way?
Constable: I came to tell you that you have to leave Anatevka.
Tevye: How did I come to deserve such an honour?
Constable: Not just you of course, but all of you!
Tzeitel: Chava, I've found him; will you be a lucky bride! He's handsome, he's tall! That is, from side to side, but he's a nice man, a good catch, right?
Tzeitel: You heard he has a temper.
Hodel: He'll *beat* you every night.
Tzeitel: But only when he's sober...
Fyedka: Some are driven away by edicts... others, by silence.
Tzeitel: Since when are you interested in a match, Chava? I thought you just had your eyes on your books.
Chava: [storms away with basket]
Tzeitel: [to Hodel] And you have your eye on the Rabbi's son.
Hodel: Well, why not? We only have one rabbi, and he only has one son. Why shouldn't I want the best?
Tzeitel: Because you're a girl from a poor family. So, whatever yente brings, you'll take, right?
[puts black blanket on head]
Tzeitel: Of COURSE right!
Yente: Even the worst husband, God forbid, is better than no husband, God forbid.
Mordcha: May the authorities be like onions with their heads in the ground!
Mordcha: May the Czar have his own personal plague!