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Torah Study


Adon Olam




adon olam

For many years we have had the tradition of picking unusual melodies for Adon Olam. It is fun for the congregation to try to guess the melody, if the schatz can carry a tune. It’s also fun to guess why the schatz chose a particular melody.

Adon Olam is in the meter of iambic tetrameter:
duh-DUH, duh-DUH, duh-DUH, duh-DUH.
It is a very common meter, many melodies can be used for this hymn. Some suggestions are given below.

Under the assumption that if A=B and B=C then A=C, feel free to try and sing any of the songs listed below to the tune of any of the others!

To hear a given tune, click on the sound  button, and an mp3 file will open in a new window. Most files are ~1MB.

Traditional Jewish Melodies

Adon Olam (well, of course there are several real melodies)
Anim Zemirot
Dovid Melech Yisrael sound  button
Dror Yikra (several) sound  button
Ein Keloheinu
El Adon (Shabbat shacharit) sound  button
Lecha Dodi (several)
Shalom aleichem
Shir Hamaaloth (Birkat hamazon)
Sim shalom
Tzur mishelo (several) sound  button or sound  button
Yedid Nefesh (several)
Yom zeh m’chubad
Yonah matzah

Jewish Holidays

Aday ad yimloch sound  button
Adir hu sound  button
Chanukah chag yafeh col cach
Dayenu sound  button
Echad Mi Yodea sound  button
I have a little dreidl
Maoz Tzur
Mi Yimalel
O Chanukah o chanukah
Oh once there was a wicked wicked man sound  button
V’col ma’aminim

Israeli Secular Melodies

Ba Shanah Habaah sound  button
Hava nagila
Jerusalem of Gold
Sharm al Sheikh (with thanks to Rabbi Dr. Moshe Frankel) sound  button
Shavtem mayim

Yiddish Classics

Bei Mir Bist du Shoen
Dona, Dona sound  button
My Yiddische Mama
Tumbalalaika sound  button

U.S. Patriotic Melodies

America the Beautiful sound  button
Grand Old Flag sound  button
Battle Hymn of the Republic
God Bless America sound  button
Yankee Doodle (when you're in a hurry to get to the Kiddish) sound  button
Yankee Doodle Dandy (George M. Cohan)

Anchors aweigh
Caisson Song (Army theme)
Marine Corps Hymn
Off we go into the wild blue yonder (good for the weekend of the air show) sound  button

General Secular Melodies

Addams family theme
As tears go by
Auld Lang Syne
Alley Cat
Both sides now sound  button
The Campbells are coming
Can’t help falling in love
Captain of the Pinafore
Cecelia (Simon & Garfunkel)
The Chicken Dance ("Le canard", good for Bar Mitzvahs)
Cornell Alma Mater (tune also used by many other colleges)
Did you ever see a lassie.
Do-re-mi (Sound of Music) sound  button
El Condor Pasa
English country garden
Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal sound  button
Foggy, foggy dew sound  button
Gaudeamus igitur
Good day, sunshine (Beatles)
Green grow the lilacs
Gypsies, tramps and thieves
Habanera (from Carmen)
Happy birthday to you (for when kiddish is in honor of someone’s birthday)
Happy wanderer sound  button
Hernando’s Hideaway
In heaven there is no beer
Irish Washerwoman sound  button
I’ve been working on the railroad
Jamaica Farewell sound  button
Keeper of the Eddystone Light sound  button
L'Arlesienne (Bizet) sound  button
La Cucaracha
La donna e mobile
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
Light cavalry overture
Limbo Rock
Little Buttercup
Lone Ranger theme (William Tell Overture - even faster than Yankee doodle) sound  button
Love potion #9
Mack the knife sound  button
Masterpiece Theatre Theme (Mouret’s “Rondeau”) sound  button
Merry merry month of May
Michael row the boat ashore
Michigan Fight Song
The minstrel boy
Molly Malone
My Bonny lies over the ocean sound  button
My way
Never Smile at a Crocodile (Disney’s Peter Pan) sound  button
Notre Dame Fight Song
O Tannenbaum (some think this is in poor taste)
Ode to joy (Beethoven's 9th)
On the beautiful blue Danube sound  button
On Wisconsin
Our great Mikado.
Prince of Denmark’s March
Rise and shine (Noah built him an arky, etc.)
The river is wide, I can’t cross o’er.
Rock around the clock
Scarborough fair sound  button
Scotland the brave
Singing in the rain
Sixteen going on seventeen
Sloop John B. sound  button
Somewhere over the rainbow
Sounds of silence
Steelers going to the Superbowl sound  button
Streets of Laredo
Summer time (from Porgy and Bess) sound  button
Take me out to the ball game (Where are you going after shul?)
Teddy Bears' Picnic
The Toreodore Song (from Carmen)
The very model of a modern major general sound  button
There was a Union Maid
They can't take that away from me sound  button
Turkey in the straw
Underdog Theme song sound  button
Walking in a winter wonderland sound  button
Waltzing with bears sound  button
Waltzing Mathilda
Wedding March (Mendelsohn)
We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing
When the Saints go marching in sound  button
When I was a lad (Pinafore) sound  button
When you wish upon a star
Windy (the Association)
Yellow Submarine
You are my sunshine
You can't always get what you want

(these will only be familiar to people who do recreational folk dancing.)

Bucimis (15/8 time)
Cetvorno shopsko oro (7/8 time) sound  button
Daichovo Oro (9/8 time)
Pravo Oro
Sedi Donka (25/8 time, really 7/8+7/8+11/8)

Crici crici ticek
Moja diridika (Adon olam is almost as good a tongue-twister as the original lyrics) sound  button

Samiotisa (7/8 time, the Bulgarians don't have a monopoly on it)
Slow hasapikos (several) sound  button or sound  button

Tubarocza Czardas and Hohrenski Czardas

Paddy on the Turnpike


Le bal de jugan

La bastringue

Alunelul sound  button

Korobuschka sound  button

Gae Gordons

Shano dusho

Tancu tancu sound  button

Janta Och Hambo and Rospiggspolska sound  button

Ali Pasha (5/4 time)

Suggestions for additions to our list may be sent to Leon Metlay at:
leonEmail picture

Congratulations! You are visitor No. to the Adon Olam Songbook since 11/14/05.

Congregation Beth Hamedresh - Beth Israel (BHBI)
1369 East Avenue  •  Rochester, NY 14610  •  (585) 244-2060