Let’s make an archives musical; or, An Archivist on the Roof

In my copious free time I have been plotting an archives musical based on the Broadway classic Fiddler on the Roof. Maybe it won’t go anywhere, but I think we should all enjoy whatever I end up with. I’ve heard that the creators of Fiddler don’t take kindly to parody, so good luck getting permission to actually perform this thing, but I aim to misbehave.

The Archives (music from Tradition [lyrics, video])

The archives, the archives! The archives!
The archives, the archives! The archives!

Who, day and night, must generate the records
Papers, correspondence, even photographs
And who has the right as owner of them all
To designate their final home?
The donor! The donor! The archives!

Who must know how to use history sources
Primary and secondary
Who must know her way around the reading room
And fill out call slips for ev’ry request?
The user! The user! The archives!

I have my MLS degree and passed the ACA
I hear we’re going digital, but I–keep printing
The staff! The staff! The archives!

And who has been obsessed
Since Roots came on TV
With finding every branch
On my whole damn fam’ly tree?
The genealogist! The genealogist! The archives!


6 Responses to “Let’s make an archives musical; or, An Archivist on the Roof”

  1. Liam Says:

    Reblogged this on Panorama of the Mountains and commented:
    I’m always up for a musical based on Fiddler on the Roof, especially if it relates to my chosen field.

  2. Liam Says:

    I can see the great numbers that would follow such as “Processor, Processor” and “Sunrise, Sunset Clauses.”

  3. Seth Shaw Says:

    Yay! I was in a high-school production of Fiddler and greatly enjoyed it. I occassionally pull out the soundtrack (though it has been a while). Time to pull it out again. This looks like a lot of fun.

  4. Friday News Round-Up | Florida-Archivist.org Says:

    […] Our favorite archivist funny blog, Derangement and Description, is back with an idea for an archives musical. […]

  5. More fun with Archivist on the Roof | Derangement and Description Says:

    […] A crazy little archives webcomic « Let’s make an archives musical; or, An Archivist on the Roof […]

  6. jriley Says:

    You don’t need permission to parody – it’s fair use – so go for it!

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