The Jewish calendar is fraught with moments of anxiety. There’s the “ohmigosh it’s Rosh Hashana again and I don’t think I’m any different than last year” fright. There’s the “Help it’s time to start cleaning for Pesach” panic that follows soon after. The “what do I do for mishloach manos” scariness. And then, every year, when the inflatable Santas go up and the poinsettias begin to appear, I start to wonder, “What am I going to put on my Chanukkah playlist?”
Starting about nowish, we will be subjected to non-stop Christmas music of astonishing (but still insufficient) variety. Some of it is even catchy and fun to listen to (the first 24 times or so). But go search for a Chanukkah song, and you come up with… um… maybe a half-dozen options, and that’s if you’re really generous and include every single Chanukkah song written since the dawn of time. (Peter Paul and Mary, anyone?)
In my quiet desperation, I trawled the internet, finding a metalized Al Hanisim, a Shlock Rock song, a BNL called Hanukkah Blessings, and (I was very desperate here) a song called the Hanukkah Mambo by a group called the Yule Logs. (How umpromising is that?)
Note that one song is written by a Mormon, another is a parody of a Tao Cruz song, another is a reworded La Bamba, and a fourth is just updated instrumentals for the 21st century.
Hello! How pathetic is this situation?
So I was thinking, who do we have who could write a good Chanukkah song? Matisyahu already did his duty. But what about the rest of the Jewish music world?
After mulling it over a bit, I decided that both 8th Day and the Moshav Band should be encouraged to write Chanukkah songs. I would love to do the encouraging myself, but I don’t know members of any of the bands.
But I’m a religious Jew. So there shouldn’t be more than three degrees of separation between me and any other religious Jew. Therefore, I ask any Chabadniks or… moshavniks? to please find these musical folks and ask them, on behalf of me and the entire Jewish community, if they can please put out a single before Chanukkah?