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Everything’s Coming Up Moses

Songs from Tablet Magazine’s ‘Gypsy’-inspired Passover musical

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Moses (Seth Rudetsky) parts the Red Sea as, from left, Hebrew No. 1 (Rachel Shukert), Aaron (Dan Fishback), and Pharaoh (Matt Cavenaugh) look on (Len Small/Tablet Magazine)

Everything’s Coming Up Moses, written by Tablet contributing editor Rachel Shukert (with a small assist from Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim), is a musical retelling of the Exodus as seen through the larger-than-life journey of Moses, the original pushy stage mother. Through an irresistible blend of Broadway razzledazzle and old-fashioned show-biz moxie, Moses tirelessly shepherds the Children of Israel to the Promised Land—whether they like it or not. It debuted last night at New York’s Laurie Beechman Theatre, starring Seth Rudetsky as Moses, David Rakoff as God, and Matt Cavenaugh as Pharoah, plus Dan Fishback and Rachel Shukert. Michael Schiralli directed, Rich Silverstein was music director, and Tablet’s Jesse Oxfeld read stage directions.

Here are lyrics to four songs.

“Some Hebrews”

MOSES
[Spoken.] You just don’t get it, do you, Aaron? Anyone who stays in Egypt is dead! If I die, it won’t be from slaving. It’ll be from fighting, to get up and get out!

Some Hebrews can get a thrill
Hauling stones up a sandy hill
That’s OK for some Hebrews
Who don’t know they’re alive

Some Hebrews can thrive and bloom
Digging pits for some Pharaoh’s tomb
That’s perfect for some Hebrews
For four centuries or five

But I at least gotta try
When I think of all the sights that I gotta see
And all the prayers that I gotta pray
All the tables I gotta eat at
Come on, Aaron, whatta you say?

Some Hebrews can get their kicks
Cutting straw and then making bricks
That’s peachy for some Hebrews
For some weak, dumb Hebrews to be
But some Hebrews ain’t me!

I had a dream
A wonderful dream, Aaron
All about God in a bush that was burning
That’s all that it took for the wheels to start turning

I had a dream
Just as real as can be, Aaron
There I was in Mr. Almighty’s office
And he was saying to me, “Mose,
Turn your old staff into a serpent
Plagues of frogs and blood in the river
Send a cloud of locusts to Egypt
Boils and hail and death to the firstborn
Go to Pharaoh, if he’s in pain then
You’ll be on your way back to Canaan!”

Oh, what a dream!
A wonderful dream, Aaron
And all that I need is 88 bucks, Aaron
That’s what he said, Aaron
Only 88 bucks

AARON
[Spoken.] You ain’t getting 88 cents from me, Moses

MOSES
[Spoken.] Well, I’ll get it some place else! But I’ll get it! And I’ll get my people out!

Goodbye to the Desert Sinai!
Good riddance to all the rocks that I had to carry
All the bricks that I had to cart
All the mummies I had to bury
Hey, Red Sea, get ready to part!

Some Hebrews sit on their butts
Hope for freedom, but got no nuts
That’s living for some Hebrews
For some dumb bum Hebrews I suppose
Well they can stay and rot!
But not Mose!

“Little Pascal Lamb”

YOUNG FIRSTBORN EGYPTIAN CHILD
Little blood, river blood
You left us with nasty mud
Little frog, little frog
Your croaking freaked out my dog
Little louse, little louse
Infected our whole damn house
Little cow, little cow
You’re no longer with us now
Little boil! Little boil!
You’re giving us all the blues
We look in the mirror and recoil
The dermatologists all are Jews
Little hail, burning hail
The firewall did not prevail
Little night, endless night
Will we ever again see light?
Will we ever again see—
[The Young Egyptian Firstborn Child falls down dead.]

“Everything’s Coming Up Moses”

MOSES
[Spoken.] It’s time we show them what Moses is really made of, what I really got inside me. Finished? Ha! This is only the beginning!

I had a dream, a dream about you, Aaron
It’s gonna come true, Aaron
You think that we’re through, but Aaron—

Lift the staff! Part the sea!
We got nothin’ to do but be free
Manna falls from the sky
Honey, everything’s coming up Moses

No more fights, no more fuss!
It’s the number we call Exodus!
Gotta rush, gotta fly
Honey, everything’s coming up Moses!

On to freedom, build your own pyramids
Jews don’t need ’em, they got a prophet to lead ’em!

Don’t need light! Don’t need bread!
Got a pillar of clouds overhead
We’ll be fine, we’ll be great
We’ll kvell, just you wait
That burning bush will never fade from view!
Honey, everything’s coming up Moses for me and for you!

We can do it, get to the old Promised Land
We can do it, Moses is gonna see to it!
Don’t need light! Don’t need bread!
Got a pillar of clouds overhead!
Lift the staff, part the sea
I can tell, we’ll be free
And no one’s gonna stop the freaking Jews!
Honey, everything’s coming up Moses and Miriam
Everything’s coming up farfel and matza brei
Everything’s coming up brisket and seder plates
Everything’s coming up Moses for me and for you!

“You Gotta Make a Living”

WISE SON
You can sing Aleinu
Til they say Dayenu
Bench at the bench til you’re bent
But you gotta make a living
If you wanna make your rent
You can sacrifice a heifer
Ostracize a leper
Spend Yom Kippur on your feet
But you gotta make a living
If you want your kids to eat

You can oy, you can oy
You can oy oy oy
It ain’t such a draw
Me I oy, and I oy
And I oy oy oy
In my practice of the law
My arguments are thrilling
And I ain’t even billing
I was first in my class at the bar
Make yourself a living
Israelites, and you’ll go far

WICKED SON
You can oy, you can oy
You can oy oy oy
It won’t make you well
Me I oy’d, and I oy’d
And oy’d, oy’d, oy’d
But I did it at Cornell
Tell me it’s farkakte
I’m still a fancy doctor
And clearing half a million a year
Make yourself a living
You can say goodbye to fear

SIMPLE SON
They can oy, they can oy
They can oy oy oy
That ain’t the golden goose
Me I oy, and I oy
And I oy oy oy
Yep, you guessed it—I produce!
Once I was a failure
Now I’m L.B. Mayer
For everything from films to Broadway
Make yourself a living
If you wanna win the day

ALL
Be a professional
Any old profession’ll
Earn you a house and a car
It’s easy to be giving
When you make a living
Can’t you see how happy we are
Make yourself a living
And you, Jew, can be a star!

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Don Drourr says:

Absolute genius!! I would love a copy to pass around and sing at next year’s seder instead of the ususal blabber. is it avaialble for dining room productions?

Philip Swan says:

Too funny – who’d have thought a musical about two shiksas in Vaudeville would translate so well to Passover? Then again, GYPSY was written, scored and directed/choreographed by four Nice Jewish Guys…

Howard Gradet says:

I’m with Don Drourr–can’t wait to use these songs at next year’s seder, and I’ve NEVER looked forward to a seder!

Risa says:

I heard Seth speak of this show on his show today and as soon as I arrived home I had to look up the lyrics
Great idea. Thanks

Now if the authors/directors/actors and audiences can come to see America as the latest Egypt, maybe they’ll have a chance to get out alive.

wendy says:

I hope this talented group of performers will come back to San Francisco and perform this wonderful show again. I can’t remember when I laughed so much. Rachel’s lyrics are brilliant. Brian Rosen (who played Moses) made me a believer (in him and in the power of musical theatre)!

karen says:

I also heard Seth sing on his show on Sirius! These are TERRIFIC! Will definitely incorporate them into a seder next year! What fun! Can you bring the show to Chicago????

Joel (Pisher) says:

I too heard Seth on the radio. Waited in my car in the parking lot till it was over. The buy one get one had to wait. I am so glad I found this. How creative. Thanks. I live in Chicago as well, let’s all get together, (Northbrook) so I’ll take the train! May be we can start a franchise. Take it on the road.

Would love to go to this musical, sounds hella fun, well at least different :)

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I heard Seth speak of this show on his show today and as soon as I arrived home I had to look up the lyrics. Would love to go to this musical, sounds hella fun, well at least different :)

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Everything’s Coming Up Moses

Songs from Tablet Magazine’s ‘Gypsy’-inspired Passover musical

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