Larry Milder

Larry Milder

 Pleasanton, California, USA

Wit, wisdom and musicianship come together in Rabbi Larry Milder's American roots take on stories from the Bible.


Rabbi Larry Milder plays great flatpicking guitar; composes ridiculously funny musical midrash; and sings beautiful ballads of Jewish life and love.
Larry is the Rabbi of Congregation Beth Emek in Pleasanton, CA. His popular songs “Wherever You Go (There’s Always Someone Jewish)” and “Stars in the Sky” are sung in youth groups and summer camps throughout the country.
Larry’s CD’s, American Psalm and Bible & Beyond, include his mash-up of “Bim Bam” & Led Zepellin, his driving acoustic rendition of “Samson & Delilah”, a cowboy’s campfire rendition of the Exodus, and the poignant lesson in tolerance, “Courage”.


Everything Is In Vain

Written By: Larry Milder

Everything Is In Vain
©Laurence Elis Milder 2003

All the rivers flow into the ocean
But the ocean never seems to get enough
All the winds, they’re blowing off to somewhere
But they never rest.

Everything is in vain, nothing’s gonna change
‘neath the sun and the rain, everything is in vain
Everything is in vain, nothing’s gonna change
‘neath the sun and the rain.

This eye ain’t satisfied with seeing
This ear ain’t never gonna hear enough
These words won’t ever tell the meaning
Of what it’s all about…Everything…

All the seasons, all the reasons
For running after guts and glory
There’s no use, so end of story.
Just remember all the tender
Embraces of your younger days
‘Cause nothing lasts, but love is always.

Before the golden vessel shatters
Before the silver thread is thrown away
Before you know what really matters
You’re gonna give it up…Everything…

All the seasons…

The swift don’t always win the races
The hero’s never who you thought he was
When you see victory in their faces
The battle’s just begun…Everything…

American Psalm

Written By: Larry Milder

©Laurence Elis Milder 2003

Take me down, take me down
To the banks of the river’s shore
Take me down, take me down
I won’t see her face no more.

You can take this old guitar
Hang it high upon that tree
Wood and steel carried from afar
It don’t play anymore for me…

I can’t sing the songs I knew
Can’t forget how I left you there
They all say, “Play a lonesome tune.”
They don’t know, they don’t really care…

My right hand don’t feel the same
Been so long that I’ve been gone
Mouth is dry when I call your name
But my right hand still holding on…

The Fox Is in the Garden

Written By: Larry Milder

Come with me to the garden
The fox is in the garden
Come with me to the garden
Your love is better than wine.

How the girls, they tease you so
How they make you cry
Has your true love gone away?
Has he left you by and by?
If I were an apple tree
Alone and in the woods
You could be my honey bee
And we’d go pollinating. Come with me…

My love is a lily flower
Rising ‘bove the thorns
My love is a gentle dove
Singing sweetly in the morn
I’m your hart, I’m your roe
Faster than the wind
I come running from the hills
When I hear you call me, if you come with me…

I can taste the cinnamon
The scent is in the air
All the rains have come and gone
And almonds blossom everywhere
Tell me that you love me so
Tell me you’ll be mine
And I’ll be yours for evermore
And every springtime you will come with me.

I am, you are, love is our star
I am, you are, love is our star

Come with me to the garden, the fox is in the garden
Love is our star

I am, you are,
With me to the garden your love is better than wine.

Cowboy Pesach

Written By: Larry Milder

Cowboy Pesach
©Laurence Elis Milder 2000

When the Hebrew slaves were finally free they all began to run
"Quick", they said, "git out of Egypt, that Pharaoh's got a gun!
He'll probably come after us, he's changed his mind before
So saddle up the old grey mare, I'm heading for the door."

They rounded up the cattle and the chickens and the sheep
And they started out a walkin' while all Egypt was asleep
They hadn't gotten very far before they yelled, "We're free!"
Then Moses said, "Oh, no, we ain't. I don't like what I see."

Before them was the Sea of Reeds, an ocean deep and wide
You couldn't swim across that sea no matter how you tried
But that weren't all, 'cause 'hind their backs they heard a frightful sound:
"'Gyptians", Moses hollered out, "It looks like we been found."

Then Moses started praying, "Lord, it's me, your trusty friend
I know you just sent ten big plagues, but don't let this be the end
We got ourselves a problem here, there ain't no place left to go
So how's about a little hand, a miracle, you know?"

Now just that moment God was thinking, "Miracles is fine,
But how they gonna live like that if all they do is whine?
They gonna have to learn to do these miracles alone
And I got just the trick to make them do it on their own."

"Oh, Moses," said the Lord, "Now this is what you got to do.
You walk right in that water and I'll split that thing in two."
"You got a deal," said Moses, and soon the word was spread
That God was gonna part the sea, 'cause that's what Moses said.

"That ain't quite it," said Moses, "first we gonna all get wet.
And we ain't got a lot of time, so move along, now, git."
Well, step by step, they all went down to where the water starts
With the sound of horses comin' and a poundin' in their hearts.

The first one stuck his toesies in and said, "It didn't split.
I guess it takes a little time, so I'll just set and watch a bit."
The second one, he bent and hit that water with his hand.
"Come on, you waves, now split apart, so I can walk on land."

Well, soon they started bickerin' and fussin' one and all.
"You go in first," said Shorty, "cause you know I ain't that tall."
"Well, I can't swim," his buddy said, "so why don't you go in?
If God had meant for me to float, he'd have made me with a fin!"

And while they all were arguing and cussin' and the like
A Hebrew, name of Nachshon, set right off upon a hike.
He walked right in that water till it covered up his knee
And then kept right on walkin' straight into the deep blue sea.

Now everyone grew silent as they watched from on the shore
To see if Nachshon'd turn around when he couldn't walk no more.
And all the Hebrews held their breath, not a word was on their lips
As the water kept on rising till it covered up his hips.

On and on brave Nachshon went, till the water reached his chest
And still, he didn't turn around; he didn't take no rest
Then someone started crying, "I think he's going in."
And still the sea weren't parted, though it came up to his chin.

Now some say he was foolish to keep going on like that
Why, a man could lose his life when all you see of him's his hat!
But miracles don't happen 'less a person does his part
And when the water finally reached his nose--God blew that thing apart!

Well, I think you know the rest, 'bout how they walked right through the sea
And how it closed right up again, so the Hebrews would be free.
But the next time that you're countin' on a miracle or two
Remember this: You keep the faith, but the first step's up to you.


American Psalm: Jewish Journeys on American Routes

Bible & Beyond: Biblical Ballads, Humor and Harmony

On My Block: Songs of Jewish Life, Laughter and Love

Rats, Leviathans & Other Tails: Strange Stories of Jews and Judaism