The shopping malls are filled with “Little Drummer Boy” and “Jingle Bells” right about now, but what do Jews listen to to get in the holiday state of mind? There aren’t a lot of Chanukah songs on the radio, but thanks to the wonders of the internet, there are some really great ones by talented singers cropping up on youtube here and there. Check out my playlist to see what I’ll be rocking out to for eight days and nights this December.
- Adam Sandler’s latest installment of the “Chanukah Song,” listing famous Jews and making silly words that end in -anukah. I remember listening to the original one or two versions back in high school as I got ready for school in the morning. They were the only Jewish holiday songs on the radio. And also filled with fun trivia. Who knew Drake the rapper was Jewish?
Favorite lines: “Princess Leia cuts the challah with Queen Elsa from Frozen. David Beckham is the king of soccer studs and he’s also a quarter chosen.”
- “Watch Me (Spin/Drey-Drey,)” a parody of “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” by Silentó and “Hotline Bling” by Drake. It was made by the talented a cappella group Six13.
Favorite lines: “I light that wick — lahadlik nay-nay.” This line puns on the Hebrew lehadlik ner ‘to light the lights,’ part of the prayer traditionally said over Chanukah candles, talking about the commandment to light the lights of Chanukah. My inner linguist loves when bilinguals mix two languages in one sentence.
- “Latke Recipe” by The Maccabeats is a parody of Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance” that gives detailed instructions on how to make potato pancakes.
Favorite lines: “Four potatoes, peel and grate/ Shred an onion, tears streaming down your face/ Then salt and pepper to your taste.” It is literally a recipe.
Or, if you want to use a recipe that calls for matzah meal and no baking powder, check out this next song. Seriously, there is no need to google latke recipes when all these Chanukah songs are about the potato pancake cooking process.
- “Fryin’ up Latkes,” written and recorded by a family friend of mine, Jimmy Hovan, is set to the popular Christmas carol tune “Here Comes Santa Claus.”
Favorite lines: “Pagans, Muslims, Jews and Christians like them just the same. Scraped my knuckles when I’m grating, toil through the pain. Oy gavelt I’ve burnt myself, It’s Chanukah time again.” I like that Pagans are the first other group he lists (go figure for one of my mom’s hippy friends from her youth). Also, I always scrape my knuckles when making latkes so I can relate to the next line too.
5. And for our musical nerds, check out the Broadway cast of “Soul Doctor” singing their own version of Adam Sandler’s “Chanukah Song,” in which they list some of the major Jews of Broadway. This song comes from the album Carols for a Cure, Volume 15, whose sales benefit Broadway Cares and Equity Fights AIDS.
Favorite lines: “Idina Menzel drinks Manischewitz wine, then spins the dreidel with Mel Brooks and Michael Feinstein.” Does anyone actually drink Manischewitz on Chanukah? I only drink it on Passover when there are no other options.
Chanukah starts tomorrow and the Geekettes will be posting a special series about Jewish authors going up each night of the holiday. So be sure to tune in tomorrow evening to get your Jew pride on and maybe discover some new authors to check out.
Have you got a favorite Chanukah song that we missed? What do you think of these ones? Let us know in the comments!