3rd night of Hanukah. What are you singing?

Congregation Beth Israel’s restored Menora was used at the White House Hanukkah Party  Dec. 2, 2010

Chanukah, or Hanukkah, pronounced [χanuˈka] in Modern Hebrew, the  Jewish Festival of Lights, is an eight-day holiday commemorating the Maccabees rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, and the small amount of oil that somehow kept burning for eight days.

Did you know that many of the well-known Christmas songs, the ones we hear every year at this time, everywhere we go, in the malls, elevators, on radio and TV, tunes like “White Christmas” (Irving Berlin), “Let it snow Let it snow” (Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne) and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Johnny Marks), were written by Jews, but after all these years there still isn’t a great Hanukah song (and please don’t mention the silly kids tune Raffi made famous over 30 years ago)

  • I have a little dreidel, I made it out of clay.
    And when it’s dry and ready, then dreidel I shall play.

Remember Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah song on Saturday Night Live?

So young!

I don’t suppose you’d know the 100 singers of Angel City Chorale because they didn’t get too many YouTube hits (only just over 800 this evening). Click on the link and listen to Karen Hart’s amazing voice.

Part rap, part gospel, part humor, and a whole lot of soul”  written by soloist Karen Hart. Conducted by Sue Fink.
Sheet music for your choir

And finally, the Maccabeats, New York Yeshiva University‘s 14-member a cappella group singing “Candlelight

  • Based on Mike Tompkins’ a cappella version of Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite”
    Video created by Uri Westrich
    Lyrics to the song

The Maccabeats song explains the story of Hanukkah, describes foods like latkes and customs like the dreidel,

“I flip my latkes in the air sometimes, singing ay-oh, spin the dreidel,”

and gave them what they’d hoped for – it’s gone viral – in about a week there’s been almost a million views on You-Tube, TV shows are calling, and according to the Washington Post, they’re now receiving requests every four minutes, including one from the chief rabbi of London.

Is this going to be the every single December song?

Thanks to Alan G who told me about the Maccabeats


About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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8 Responses to 3rd night of Hanukah. What are you singing?

  1. Mahalia says:

    thanks for telling us what to sing! modern day yeshiva boys – oh, my! will introduce everyone to these tomorrow night at the christmas tree decorating/hannukah party 🙂

    • dearrosie says:

      Yeshiva boys sing before they can walk, and sing every single day right to their graves, which now makes me wonder what happens to the poor guys who can’t hold a tune?

  2. Susan says:

    Great Chanukah songs! Hey, if it’s Shabbat and Chanukah,… is it “Shabanikah”!

  3. Jean Isserow says:

    Hey, why has nobody mentioned “Ma’oz tzur …”? That has the most beautiful and stirring lyrics, and a lovely traditional melody, still being used (together with alternative melodies) today. And then there’s a Hebrew version of “Hail the Conquering Hero”, the chorus from Handel’s oratorio “Judas Maccabeus” that hails the triumph of Yehuda Ha-Maccabi, and is sung by school-children in Israel.

  4. dearrosie says:

    Thanks for your comment Jean. I checked on YouTube and there are many recordings of “Ma’oz tzur …” some of which I quite liked, but none of them have very high viewings. I don’t know what the public want!

    As for “Judah and his Maccabees” I liked the version that I included here, but it’s only had less than 1,000 “hits”

  5. heather epp says:

    Hey Rosie
    Thanks for telling me about the Macabee’s video of Candlelight – I somehow missed it in the media and I think it is terrific!

  6. dearrosie says:

    An interesting thought: before YouTube how would we have heard the Macabee’s song?

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