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?
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