Today, on “People are Dumb”

The community is up in arms about Gwen Stefani singing a remake of “If I Were a Rich Man” from Fiddler on the Roof.  The biggest complaint: “But she’s already rich!” Apparently Fiddler is believed by many to have been actual footage of the Singing Peasants of Russia, rather than a musical, played by actors, who probably made quite a bit of *gasp* money from acting in one of the most beloved musicals and movies in history.

Remember, all you aspiring rock stars:  in the post-grunge age of rock it is considered devious and confusing to sing from any perspective other than your own.  I mean,it’s like, a lie, unless you’re, like, totally singing from your heart. You gotta, like, keep it real, y’know?

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  1. funnier still is that the gwen stefani version is a cover of a r&b/dancehall version from “back in the day…” which was a cover of the fiddler on the roof version. i think stefani may have modernized a few lines in hyer version…

    can’t seem to dig up the name of that female vocalist, but i’m curious just because i can’t remember. or what year that version was released… mid 80’s at least.


    1. finally found it…

      and while i was a decade off somehow on the date (yay for my great memory… ) i found documentation. mostly for my own benefit, but thought you might be interested.

      from the billboard charts list junks:

      ISN’T IT ‘RICH’?

      Dear Fred,

      I’m writing today to ask about Gwen Stefani and “Rich Girl.” Obviously, it has its roots in “If I Were a Rich Man” from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

      However, as I’m sure you are aware, the reggae duo Louchie Lou and Michie One also released a song called “Rich Girl” in the 1990s, with a similar sound. However, to my knowledge, the song was never released because they could not clear the sample.

      Did the Louchie Lou and Michie One version ever appear on any Billboard chart? And for that matter, has the duo itself had any chart hits?

      Thanks very much!

      Greg Baker

      Dear Greg,

      Louchie Lou and Michie One have never appeared on Billboard’s Hot 100. The female duo from the United Kingdom did chart on the Hot 100 Singles Sales list, however. In 2002, “10 Out of 10” went to No. 20 on the sales chart.

      In January 1995, “Rich Girl,” credited to Michie One and Louchie Lou, appeared on the Bubbling Under the Hot 100 tally, and also had a brief run on Hot Dance Music: Maxi-Singles Sales. The recording of “Rich Girl” by Gwen Stefani featuring Eve is essentially a remake of the Michie One and Louchie Lou recording.

      Louchie Lou and Michie One had six chart entries on the British singles chart between 1993 and 1996, but “Rich Girl” was not one of them. Their first hit was a reworking of the Isley Brothers’ “Shout.”

      This week, “Rich Girl” becomes the highest-charting song to originate in a stage musical in 20 years. The Gwen Stefani song moves 10-7, surpassing the No. 8 peak of Madonna’s “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” in 1997. “Rich Girl” is the highest-charting song from a theatrical musical since Murray Head’s “One Night in Bangkok” from “Chess” peaked at No. 3 in 1985.

  2. WHAT….!!!

    You mean Tevia wasn’t poor?

    Next you’ll tell me Mertle was really an actor and not a tailor.


  3. The real question is, why is she doing so many covers lately? i didn’t think No Doubt was a cover band…

    1. Post-success writer’s block, maybe?

  4. >post-grunge

    ……Grunge is OVER!?! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! ;P

  5. I haven’t seen the actual video (yahoo blocks firefox and I don’t feal like working around it) but I suspect the objection is that she is not singing as Tevye. The fact that she changed the title to “Rich Girl” suggests that she has tried to make the song her own, and put her own persona on it. It is possible for singers to get in character like actors do, but if she did not do this, the complaint is valid.

    1. umm…

      the video starts off with a bunch of japanese girls playing with a toy pirate ship in a fish tank while gwen is on the tv and then merges the two with Gwen and I think Missy misdemeanor playing hot sexy pirates with a dancing crew having a blast being naughty while they battle each other and other various ships…

      thus… gwen does not really seem to be trying to invoke fiddler on the roof motifs in the slightest… (and the lyrics weren’t nearly 100% of the old song…) and I don’t really understand why she should have to be “in charachter” for something that she is obviously not trying to replicate… (but rather use more as a kind of vague inspiration..)

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