DTStudy: A Rabbi's Daughter
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DTStudy: A Rabbi's Daughter


Joe Offer 03 Jun 06 - 10:57 PM
Joe Offer 03 Jun 06 - 11:49 PM
Rabbi-Sol 04 Jun 06 - 03:31 PM
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Subject: DTStudy: A Rabbi's Daughter
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 10:57 PM

This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

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I don't know how much there is to say about this song, but I came across it and it seemed interesting. We have two versions in the Digital Tradition. The first is apparently the original song, composed in 1899 by Charles K. Harris, who did a much better job writing "After the Ball Is Over." The second is a truncated version from Folk Songs Out of Wisconsin. Hey, I learned only truncated songs when I was a kid in Wisconsin. Maybe it's part of the culture.

Here's the first Digital Tradition Version:


(Charles K. Harris)

A Rabbi sat one evening
With Bible on his knee,
His daughter knelt beside him
For she loved him tenderly,
"Come tell me, child, the Rabbi said
Why do you weep and sigh?
Don't be afraid to trust me, dear,
Tell me the reason why."

She gazed into his dear kind face
and said:"Will you forgive?
I love a man with all my heart
Without him I can't live."
The Rabbi looked down at his child
"One question answer me
Is he of Jewish faith or not?"
Her head sank on his knee.

cho: "You are a Rabbi's daughter
And as such you must obey,
Your father you must honor
Unto his dying day.
If you a Christian marry
Your old father's heart you'll break;
You are a Rabbi's daughter,
And must leave him for my sake."

The hour of midnight sounded,
The world seemed all at rest,
The maiden kissed a picture
And she held it to her breast,
I'm told I must not love you, dear,
I ne'er must see your face,
And that you cannot marry me
For you're not of my faith,

But I shall have no other love
And though my heart should break,
To you my love I'll faithful be,
Though I may never wake,
Her words came true that very morn,
For on her bed so white,
The Rabbi found his only child
Had died for love that night.

filename[ RABBIDGH

And the second version, from Folk Songs Out of Wisconsin, although the song apparently does not come from Wisconsin:


You are a Rabbi's daughter and as such you must obey,
Your father without question, unto his dying day;
If a Christian you should marry your father's heart would break,
You are a Rabbi's daughter, you must leave him for my sake.

From Folk Songs Out of Wisconsin, Peters
Collected from Miss Ewing of Pomona College, CA who said she
heard it sung in Lansing, MI in 1902.

filename[ RABBIDG2

PLEASE NOTE: Because of the volunteer nature of The Digital Tradition, it is difficult to ensure proper attribution and copyright information for every song included. Please assume that any song which lists a composer is copyrighted ©. You MUST aquire proper license before using these songs for ANY commercial purpose. If you have any additional information or corrections to the credit or copyright information included, please e-mail those additions or corrections to us (along with the song title as indexed) so that we can update the database as soon as possible. Thank You.
You can find the sheet music Here (click) at the Levy Sheet Music Collection. It was published as "The World's Greatest Song: A Rabbi's Daughter," in 1899. Words and music attributed to Charles K. Harris, who wrote "After the Ball."
The DT version is a fairly accurate transcription of the lyrics from the sheet music. No listing in the Traditional Ballad Index. The Roud Index has this as Number 6605, with five citations. Anybody know of other recordings, or of other versions?

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Subject: RE: DTStudy: A Rabbi's Daughter
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 11:49 PM

I suppose this song might make "politically correct" people nervous, but I think every preacher's kid faces the same predicament. Unitarian clergy probably get unhappy about their daughters marrying born-again Christians.
-Joe Offer-

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Subject: RE: DTStudy: A Rabbi's Daughter
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 03:31 PM

      It is not only Rabbis. Any observant Orthodox Jew would consider it their worst nightmare for their child to marry out of the faith. It is a definite no no.

                                              SOL ZELLER

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