For generations Jewish children have sung a classic ditty for the holiday of Purim called “Once Where was a Wicked, Wicked Man and Haman Was His Name-o.” The chorus, as you may know from your own Purim festivities, goes “For today we’ll merry, merry be (x3) and nosh some hamantaschen.”
Some research reveals that this classic Purim jingle full of odd turns of phrase has its origins in the 19th-centuryEnglish drinking song, “Landlord Fill The Flowing Bowl.”
Landlord fill the flowing bowl, until it doth run over (x4)
Chorus: For tonight we’ll merry, merry be (x3)
tomorrow we’ll be sober.
Here’s to the lad who drinks dark ale and goes to bed quite mellow (x2)
He lives as he ought to live, he’ll die a happy fellow (x2) Chorus
Here’s to the lad drinks water pure and goes to bed quite sober (x2)
He falls as the leaves do fall, he falls as the leaves do fall (x2) Chorus
Read more and listen here:
We modern Jews like to think we have a monopoly on snark and inside jokes, but here is definite evidence of a kindred spirit winking at us from the past.
And for the record- While the B-I-N-G-O has the same or a similar tune- it does not have the same chorus.
Note: someone else noticed this 10 years ago.