Search Library

Four Children

Four Children

(to the tune of "Clementine")

1. Said the father to his children
At the seder you will dine
You will eat your fill of matzah
You will drink four cups of wine.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Said the wise son to his father
"Would you please explain the laws
Or the customs of the Seder
Will you please explain the cause?"

5. And the father proudly answered,
"As our fathers ate in speed,
Ate the Paschal lamb 'ere midnight
And from slavery were freed."

6. "So we follow their example
And 'ere midnight must complete
All the Seder; and we should not
After twelve remain to eat."

7. 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.

8. If yourself you don't consider
As a son of Israel
Then for you this has no meaning
You could be a slave as well."

9. Then the simple son said softly,
"What is this?" and quietly
The good father told his offspring
"We were freed from slavery."

10. But the youngest son was silent
For he could not ask at all.
And his eyes were bright with wonder
As his father told him all.

11. Now dear children, heed the lesson
And remember ever more
What the father told his children
Told his sons who numbered four.