The Ballad of the Four Sons


(sung to the tune of "Clementine")

  
 
		 Said the father to his children,
		 "At the seder you will dine,
		 You will eat your fill of matzoh,
		 You will drink four cups of wine."
		 
		 Now this father had no daughters,
		 But his sons they numbered four.
		 One was wise and one was wicked,
		 One was simple and a bore.
	 
		 And the fourth was sweet and winsome,
		 he was young and he was small.
		 While his brothers asked the questions
		 he could scarcely speak at all.
 
		 Said the wise one to his father
		 "Would you please explain the laws?
		 Of the customs of the seder
		 Will you please explain the cause?"
		 And the father proudly answered,
		 "As our fathers ate in speed,
		 Ate the paschal lambe 'ere midnight
		 And from slavery were freed."
	 
		 So we follow their example
		 And 'ere midnight must complete
		 All the seder and we should not
		 After 12 remain to eat.
	 	
	 	 Then did sneer the son so wicked
		 "What does all this mean to you?"
		 And the father's voice was bitter
		 As his grief and anger grew.
		 
	 	 "If you yourself don't consider
		 As son of Isreal,
		 Then for you this has no meaning
		 You could be a slave as well."
		 
		 Then the simple son said simply	
		 "What is this," and quietly
		 The good father told his offspring
		 "We were freed from slavery."
		 
		 But the youngest son was silent
		 For he could not ask at all.
		 His bright eyes were bright with wonder
		 As his father told him all.
		 
		 My dear children, heed the lesson
		 and remember evermore
		 What the father told his children
		 Told his sons that numbered four.
		

	 


 






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