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Sunday, January 24th, 2010

"If I Were A Rich Man"

The Magnetic Fields cover Fiddler On The Roof

Image via AmazonAmazonStephin Merritt is not a man generally given to performing other peoples’ songs. And while it’s a bit ironic, considering his songs are some of the most-covered in indie-dom, you can hardly blame him considering how ridiculously prolific he is with various bands in The Magnetic Fields, The 6ths, The Gothic Archies and The Future Bible Heroes, to say nothing of his recent stage musical work. The man writes a lot of quality tunes and there’s only so much time in the day – why waste it on other peoples’ material?

When he does reinterpret someone else’s song, however, he picks his spots. Like his contribution to Knitting On The Roof, the 1999 tribute album to the Broadway classic, wherein he offers a ukulele-powered rendition of the show’s most famous song and makes it about a million times more dour in the process. His Reb Tevye is not a jolly sort, no. Of course, it’s also hard to imagine Merritt dancing around a barn or consorting with chickens so perhaps direct comparisons to Topol’s interpretation are misplaced.

The new Magnetic Fields album Realism is out this week and they play the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 8. There are currently no major productions of Fiddler On The Roof running anywhere A touring production of Fiddler On The Roof is coming to Toronto in June and you can rent the movie pretty much anywhere. Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.

MP3: The Magnetic Fields – “If I Were A Rich Man”
Video: “If I Were A Rich Man” (from Fiddler On The Roof)

By : Frank Yang at 10:23 am
Category: Chromewaves Radio

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RSS Feed for this post6 Responses.
  1. barclay says:

    Wasn’t Harvey Fierstein recently touring a production in Toronto? It was supposed to be Tevye’s farewell tour, and then he got sick.

  2. Grant says:

    There is a show with Harvey Fierstien touring North America right now, it will be in Toronto in June.
    http://www.mirvish.com/shows/fiddler

  3. Frank Yang says:

    thank ye kindly for the corrections.

  4. JiM says:

    It is coming in June… but it was also in town just before Christmas. I know, because I left it after intermission.

  5. Adam M. Anklewicz | information technology, music, film, photography says:

    […] of Chromewaves, I’m now aware of a cover by Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields singing “If I Were […]

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