Tradition (song)

"Tradition" is the opening number for the 1964 Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof.[1][2] In the song, the main character, Tevye, explains the roles of each social class (fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters) in the village of Anatevka, and how the traditional roles of people like the matchmaker, the beggar, and the rabbi contribute to the village. The song also mentions the constable, the priest, and the other non-Jews with whom they rarely interact. Later in the song, an issue involving an argument between two men about selling the other person a horse and delivering a mule creates a ruckus in the village. Overall, the song sets up the major theme of the villagers trying to continue their traditions and keep their society running as the world around them changes.[3]

Appears inEdit

  • Fiddler on the Roof (1964–present)
  • Fiddler on the Roof (1971). In the film version, the horse-mule incident is replaced by someone selling someone else a horse, telling him the horse was only six years old when it was really twelve.


The song has been described as "groundbreaking"[4] and "electrifying."[5]


  1. ^ Phillips, Elizabeth (March 2015). "Fiddler on the Roof: A Balancing Act" (PDF). The Montag. 4: 130–143. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  2. ^ "'Fiddler On The Roof' Synopsis", accessed February 23, 2016
  3. ^ "'Fiddler on the Roof' Notes", accessed February 23, 2016
  4. ^ Isenberg, Barbara (March 30, 2014). "'Fiddler on the Roof's' universal themes still resonate after 50 years". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  5. ^ Isherwood, Charles (December 20, 2015). "Review: A 'Fiddler on the Roof' Revival With an Echo of Modernity". The New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2018.