Each December we’re confronted with a continuous barrage of holiday music. Certain, there are many songs about Christmas from in the present day’s largest stars, however for individuals who have fun Hanukkah, it looks like the choices are sorely missing. Adam Sandler made a strong try to rectify that in 1994, and, since then, a gentle trickle of pop tunes has been added to the canon of Hanukkah music. Although Christmas songs nonetheless rule the airwaves, there are some fairly nice songs that pay tribute to the Pageant Of Lights, and we’ve collected 25 of the best. From conventional tunes to offbeat comedy numbers, the 25 finest Hanukkah songs will gentle up all eight nights of your celebrations.
Take heed to the Hanukkah compilation Hanukkah+ right now, and scroll down for our greatest Hanukkah songs.
Greatest Hanukkah Songs: 25 Methods To Have fun The Pageant Of Lights
25: Klezmer Conservatory Band: ‘Oy Chanukah, Oy Chanukah!’
The Yiddish ‘Oy Chanukah, Oy Channukah!’ is a standard vacation tune that chronicles all of the enjoyable and scrumptious actions that happen throughout the eight nights of Hanukkah, together with making latkes, spinning the dreidel, dancing the hora and, in fact, lighting the candles of the menorah. Although the English model of the tune (‘Oh Hanukkah’) is heard most continuously as of late (see No.three), it is a basic rendition in Yiddish by Boston’s famend Klezmer Conservatory Band.
24: Don McClean: ‘Dreidel’
No, this 1973 single from the ‘American Pie’ singer-songwriter isn’t a Hanukkah tune, per se – nevertheless it is likely one of the few charting pop tracks that references the seasonal spinning prime. ‘Dreidel’, from McClean’s self-titled third album, is a poignant tune in regards to the rollercoaster of life. Over time, there was hypothesis about the place McClean bought the inspiration for the lyrics, although phrase has it that the artist spent a while residing on an Israeli kibbutz. No matter McClean’s connection could be, this early 70s folk-pop gem is a thought-provoking addition to the most effective Hanukkah songs on the market.
23: Buzzy Lee: ‘Give You All the things’
Most Christmas songs usually centre round themes of affection, but few Hanukkah songs ship the identical sentiments. All of that modified with this 2019 synth-pop tune from Buzzy Lee, aka Sasha Spielberg. On this candy monitor, the actress and songwriter professes her like to a major different, promising items of apple sauce and diamond rings.
22: Barenaked Girls: ‘Hanukkah Blessings’
The Canadian rockers, who introduced us tongue-in-cheek hits like ‘One Week’, ‘If I Had $1000000’ and ‘It’s All Been Accomplished’, eschew their signature humour on this honest ode to the Pageant Of Lights. Impressed by his youngsters, frontman Steven Web page got down to write a Hanukkah tune that mirrored the true which means of the vacation. The monitor options top-notch vocal harmonies, a catchy acoustic melody and a recitation of the Hebrew blessing for the menorah candles, as well.
21: Béla Fleck & The Flecktones: ‘The Hanukkah Waltz’
Progressive banjoist Béla Fleck and his band current this authentic composition, which feels each conventional and fashionable on the identical time. Treading the stylistic line between bluegrass, jazz and klezmer music, the instrumental piece is a spotlight on The Flecktones’ Grammy Award-winning vacation album, Jingle All The Manner. As a particular deal with, visitor musician Andy Statman shines with a hypnotic clarinet efficiency, making for top-of-the-line Hanukkah songs.
20: Woody Guthrie: ‘Hanukkah Dance’
Impressed by his spouse’s Jewish heritage, people legend Woody Guthrie penned a handful of Hanukkah songs within the fall of 1949. Doubtless written to carry out for kids at Jewish neighborhood centres, nearly all of these compositions have been by no means recorded, and a few have been by no means even set to music. ‘Hanukkah Dance’, nevertheless, is a uncommon exception. The remainder of the songs have been set to music a half a century later, on the behest of Guthrie’s daughter Nora, by fashionable klezmer band The Klezmatics.
19: The Dwelling Sisters: ‘Hanukkah’
This charming tune from indie-folk supergroup The Dwelling Sisters affords simply the correct quantity of mid-century vacation kitsch. Becky Stark (Lavender Diamond), Eleni Mandell, Alex Lilly and Inara George (The Hen And The Bee) sing spectacular four-part harmonies as they marvel on the endurance of a tenuous relationship. It’s a Hanukkah miracle!
18: Alex Frankel: ‘Hanukkah In ’96’
Alex Frankel of Holy Ghost! will get reflective on his synth-pop monitor ‘Hanukkah In ’96’. Wishing that “the vacations have been shorter”, Frankel’s seemingly autobiographical tune remembers bittersweet adolescent reminiscences. Enjoyable truth: apart from being one half of Holy Ghost!, Alex (alongside along with his brother, Zach) can also be the proud proprietor of Frankel’s Delicatessen in Brooklyn, making him the creator of each top-of-the-line Hanukkah songs and a few of the finest pastrami sandwiches.
17: Indigo Ladies: ‘Comfortable Joyous Hanukkah’
‘Comfortable Joyous Hanukkah’ was one in all Woody Guthrie’s long-lost Hanukkah compositions, set to music in 2006 by The Klezmatics. A number of years later, Indigo Ladies recorded their very own interpretation of the tune, riffing on the klezmer band’s melody. On this acoustic model, the people duo put a bluegrass spin on the tune, whereas particular visitors Janis Ian and Mary Gautier harmonise on backing vocals.
16. The LeeVees: ‘How Do You Spell Channukkahh?’
This hilarious indie-rock ditty boldly makes an attempt to reply the age-old query: simply how do you spell “Hanukkah”? The LeeVees, fashioned by Guster’s Adam Gardner and Dave Schneider (of the hockey-obsessed band The Zambonis), is a novelty undertaking that solely performs songs in regards to the Pageant Of Lights. The monitor, on their aptly titled album Hanukkah Rocks, additionally boasts a pleasant DIY animated video. After listening, chances are you’ll not have any extra readability on the vacation’s right spelling, however you’ll have top-of-the-line Hanukkah songs in your head.
15: Haim: ‘If It Be Your Will’
Tapped by famend music supervisor Randall Poster to contribute a monitor for his 2019 compilation, Hanukkah+ , Haim selected to document a fascinating cowl of Leonard Cohen’s ‘If It Be Your Will’. Sisters Alana, Danielle and Este Haim deliver a solemn magnificence to the tune, which Cohen initially launched in 1984. The songwriter was stated to have been impressed by an outdated prayer about surrendering to the next energy.
14: Matisyahu: ‘Miracle’
In 2010, the ‘King With out A Crown’ rapper launched this infectious ode to Hanukkah, together with a cinematic music video. Entitled Matisyahu’s Miracle On Ice, the allegorical quick movie chronicles a dream-induced sequence of wintry adventures for the artist, by which he escapes imprisonment by a nutcracker and faces off with a Greek god on the hockey rink, amongst different hijinks. In the long run, all events dance collectively on the ice in a real vacation miracle. This upbeat single, together with Matisyahu’s 2012 follow-up, ‘Comfortable Hanukkah’, greater than earns its place among the many finest Hanukkah songs for any vacation playlist.
13: Loudon Wainwright III: ‘Eight Nights A Week’
Most of the best-loved Christmas songs (‘White Christmas’, ‘The Christmas Tune (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fireplace)’ and ‘Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!’ have been written by Jewish artists: Irving Berlin, Mel Tormé and Robert Wells, and Sammy Kahn and Jule Styne, respectively. As a gentile, the elder Wainwright turns the tables on this method. His honky-tonk tribute to the Pageant Of Lights brings a pleasant contact of satire to the most effective Hanukkah songs.
12: Yo La Tengo: ‘Eight Candles’
Since 2001, Yo La Tengo have carried out highly-anticipated, (practically) annual exhibits for all eight nights of Hanukkah of their native Hoboken, New Jersey, and, extra just lately, at New York’s Bowery Ballroom, so it’s no shock that the group wrote a tasty tune in tribute to the vacation. ‘Eight Candles’ harkens again to mid-century surf rock with its dreamy, reverb-soaked melody. It’s the proper accompaniment to heat latkes and an illuminated menorah on a chilly winter’s night time.
11: The Flaming Lips: ‘Sing It Now, Sing It One way or the other’
This authentic monitor from the Grammy Award-winning psych-rock band is likely one of the many stellar Hanukkah songs on the Hanukkah+ compilation. Filled with haunting bells and expansive strings, this attractive tune reminds us of the bigger spirit of the vacation season, asking, “What’s a life if it’s lived with out love?”
10: Sufjan Stevens: ‘Maoz Tzur (Rock Of Ages)’
“Ma’ouncesTzur” (roughly translating to “rock of ages”) is an historical hymn (or piyyut) historically sung at Hanukkah. Composed within the 13th Century, the joyous tune recounts key moments in historical past when the Jews overcame challenges, because of divine intervention. Although this instrumental model is just a brief interlude on Sufjan Stevens’ vacation album, Silver & Gold, it affords magnificence in its simplicity.
9: Adam Inexperienced: ‘Dreidels Of Fireplace’
In his authentic tune ‘Dreidels Of Fireplace’, antifolk hero Adam Inexperienced questions the finer factors of the Hanukkah story: simply how did one night time’s value of oil stretch for eight entire nights? Later, Inexperienced laments his liked one taking all his cash in a contentious recreation of dreidel. Lush string preparations, plus a wholesome dose of absurdity, make this monitor top-of-the-line fashionable Hanukkah songs on the market.
eight: Watkins Household Hour: ‘Hanukkah Dance’
Siblings Sara and Sean Watkins breathe new life into this Woody Guthrie rarity (hear the unique model earlier on this checklist, at No.20). Working with acclaimed producer Mike Viola (Fall Out Boy, Jenny Lewis, Andrew McMahon), the leaders of the Los Angeles bluegrass collective recorded a spry, instrumental cowl, which feels completely festive.
7: Tom Lehrer: ‘(I’m Spending) Hanukkah In Santa Monica’
Musical satirist Tom Lehrer wrote this tune about escaping the chilly climate of the Northeast for hotter climates throughout Hanukkah (amongst different Jewish holidays). Lehrer debuted the novelty tune in 1990 on Garrison Keillor’s The American Radio Firm present. Since then, the tune has change into normal fare, carried out by everybody from Michael Feinstein at his famed vacation cabaret exhibits, to Homosexual Males’s Refrain Of Los Angeles.
6: The Maccabeats: ‘Candlelight’
When 14 Orthodox Jewish college students at New York’s Yeshiva College fashioned an a cappella group, they’d no thought the place their creativity would take them. In 2010, the all-male ensemble launched a video for his or her tune ‘Candlelight’, which units the story of Hanukkah to the tune of Taio Cruz’s ‘Dynamite’. Although the Maccabeats solely meant to succeed in their fellow college students with the parody video, the monitor went viral, peaking at No.1 on Billboard’s Digital Comedy Tracks, and incomes the group an invite to carry out on the White Home for President Obama. At present, the tune boasts practically 15 million views, whereas the group has gone on to have a profitable profession, performing all over the world and releasing a number of albums.
5: Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings: ‘eight Days (Of Hanukkah)’
The late, nice Sharon Jones might do no improper, and her soulful ode to Hanukkah, recorded with The Dap-Kings, isn’t any exception. The funky monitor covers all of the fundamentals of the vacation, from spinning the dreidel to purchasing brisket from the kosher butcher. It additionally features a useful reminder to gentle the menorah from proper to left. As a particular bonus, youngsters (and grown-ups) will love the group’s Schoolhouse Rock!-style lyric video.
four: Peter, Paul & Mary: ‘Mild One Candle’
The enduring people trio’s Peter Yarrow initially wrote this stirring tune in help of Israel’s pacifist motion throughout the 1982 Lebanon Warfare. The lyrics, nevertheless, reference the traditional Maccabees’ combat for freedom, as commemorated by Hanukkah. The group premiered the tune throughout a vacation efficiency within the early 80s and, since then, it’s risen by the ranks of the most effective Hanukkah songs.
three: Jack Black: ‘Oh Hanukkah’
Jack Black places his personal distinctive spin on this conventional Hanukkah tune (see No.25 for the basic, Yiddish model), and the result’s epic. The Kung-Fu Panda and Faculty Of Rock actor’s upbeat, a cappella recording options multi-tracked vocal harmonies which might be worthy of a Queen tune. Might we anticipate something much less from the Tenacious D singer?
2: Erran Baron Cohen (that includes Jules Brookes and Y-Love): ‘Dreidel’
Although it goes beneath a number of aliases (‘I Have A Little Dreidel’, ‘The Dreidel Tune’ or ‘Dreidel Dreidel, Dreidel’), this basic youngsters’s tune – written within the late 20s in each English and Yiddish – is probably the best-known Hanukkah tune all over the world. On this model, composer and multi-instrumentalist Erran Baron Cohen (brother of Sacha) affords a contemporary, fashionable tackle the tune, and even enlists hip-hop artist Y-Love for a rap interlude. Irresistibly catchy, the monitor may have you throwing down for a recreation of dreidel very quickly.
1: Adam Sandler: ‘The Chanukah Tune’
When actor and comic Adam Sandler unveiled his ode to Hanukkah on Saturday Night Live in 1994, he was introducing the world to a brand new vacation basic. In an effort to assist Jewish youngsters really feel rather less alienated throughout the holidays, when Christmas is in all places, Sandler wished to remind them that they have been in nice firm, celebrating “eight loopy nights” together with people like David Lee Roth, Spock (aka Leonard Nimoy), Goldie Hawn, The Fonze himself (Henry Winkler) and, in fact, Tom Cruise’s agent. The tune was launched on Sandler’s 1995 comedy album, What The Hell Occurred to Me?, and was up to date each few years to maintain up with well timed cultural references. Nonetheless, this authentic model stays the most well-liked one. It’s simply the most effective Hanukkah tune in popular culture historical past.