The Ballad of Four Children

Haggadah Section: -- Four Children

Said the parents to their children,

“From your bondage you’ll cut loose,

You will eat your fill of matzah,

you will drink four cups of juice.”

Now these parents had four children,

yes their kids they numbered four,

One was wise and one was wicked,

one was simple and a bore.

And the fourth was sweet and winsome,

was so young and also small,

While the other asked the questions,

this one could not speak at all.

Said the wise one to the parents,

“Would you please explain the laws...

Of the customs of the Seder,

will you please explain the cause?”

And the parents proudly answered,

“’Cause our forebears ate in speed,

Ate the Pesach lamb ’ere midnight,

and from slavery were freed.

“So we follow their example,

and ’ere midnight we must eat

The afikoman (O so tasty!)

which will be our final treat.”

Then did sneer the child so wicked,

“What does all this mean to you?”

And the parents’ voice was bitter,

as their grief and anger grew.

“If yourself you don’t consider

as a child of Yisrael,

Then for you this has no meaning,

you could be a slave as well.”

Then the simple child said simply,

“What is this?” And quietly,

The good parents told their offspring.

“We were freed from slavery.”

But the youngest child was silent,

and just could not ask at all,

but with eyes all bright with wonder,

listened to the details all.

Now dear children heed this lesson,

and remember evermore,

What the parents told their children,

told their kids that numbered four.

Every Seder tells a story that belongs to you and me,

You and I were slaves in Egypt.

Now we’re blessed with liberty.

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