Sometimes, a bit of humor or oddity can be pedagogically advantageous. In this connection, I have tried to fit the chief, Maccabean figures into the chorus from “Little Bunny Fufu” (who may apparently appear, at least occasionally, as “Little Rabbit Fufu” in the UK) (midi audio, lyrics).
There is, of course, a little fudging in this adaptation:
- The first mention of a John Hyrcanus and an Aristobulus should naturally be taken as implying “the first” in their denominations, just as the second mention should be taken as implying “the second.” Creativity failed me, however, when trying to think of a tune where these additional epithets could be included without making nuisances of themselves.
- Two slightly different pronunciations of Aristobulus appear (see Tomasino 330).
- At the end of the ditty, little bunny Fufu ends up having to pick up the field mice and bop them on the head once more in order to squeeze in Antigonus Mattathias.
Still, even with these caveats, a ditty like this one could prove to be a useful tool for helping students learn a basic framework for the Maccabean period’s chief figures. Those who are interested can download or listen to the recording in mp3 format.
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