A nar


A nar - (2007)     

א נאר

From Yiddish folk sayings

for medium high voice and piano


א גאנצער נאר איז א האלבער נביא׃

א נאר בלײבט נאר׃

יעדער נאר איז קלוג פאר זיך אלײן׃

אז א קלוגער רעדט צו א נאר רעדן צװײ נאראנים׃


A whole fool is half a prophet.

A fool remains a fool.

Every fool is clever to himself.

When a clever one talks to a fool, two fools talk.


[ 4 pages, circa 1' 30" ]



This ironic setting melds four short Yiddish adages about fools, to remind us that there are always fools in our midst. Given the extremely heated politics over issues of man-made global warming and the proposed extremes of economic programs to combat that which is "forecast" first and foremost from economic data, I was reminded in reading through some Yiddish sayings about fools of the observation that "It's true he's a great scholar but he's not overly intelligent."


The popular arguments of scientific "consensus" strike me as odd, given that in my youth global cooling was heralded as the secular version of an apocalyptic "end time," and today the reverse of that thirty year old apocalypse is now in the news.


Even so, there still are some scientists predicting global cooling to begin again soon, and a number of prominent scientists who freely acknowledge "climate change," but advise caution in the conclusion that man can or even should attempt to control nature. The arguments of the day come down to who shall have social and economic control over large masses of population. I suspect this is a fool's mission, irrespective of either climate phenomenon, for a climate changes from year to year and eon to eon, but changing politics also "blows with the wind."


This is doubly applicable in the modern secular attacks on religion, by such writers as Dawkins. This Marxist perspective simply revisits the old arguments, denying that humans think in the metaphors of belief, out of which religious perspectives speak. To deny religious perspectives is to attempt to substitute another, such that modern critiques of the various overt forms of atheistic secularism identify it properly as a "substitute belief system." This foolishness is two-fold, for attacking religions, on the one hand, and demanding quasi-religious belief in social governance on the other. As In note in another page, Charles Darwin spoke of the "Creator." How odd that Darwinians now come to ignore Darwin's assertion of belief.


The opening text of this song reminds us that "a complete fool is half a prophet." The prophetic words of doom and end times as preached by religious fundamentalists, on the one hand, and irreligious fundamentalists, on the other, is most humorous in the larger scheme of things, I conclude. Therefore to many, in their eyes I too must be a fool although I preach little except trust in God and skepticism in the lesser ways of men.



The score to A Nar is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.


A nar