The Chanukah Playlist

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the list.  It’s a sum total of just under 1 hour of music:

DJew Hava Nagila – I couldn’t resist this hopped up version, even though I’ve never understood where Hava Nagila comes from or what it has to do with anything.

Mi Shema’amin by Benny Friedman – although not strictly a Chanukah song, the theme is close enough. And he’s got a great voice. Although someone else is singing in the video linked, and I’m not sure who.

Holiday Party by Pella Productions – It starts with Chanukah. Good enough. (Anyone know who these guys are?)

Candlelight by the Maccabeats

Maoz Tsur by PS22 – Another ‘couldn’t resist.’ They sound great. And I admire them for learning all the words right (although they seem to have chilukei deyos over whether it’s “yeshuati” or “yeshuasi”). I snipped off that inexplicable last part, obviously.

Chanukah track from A Gut Yohr by Sholom Jacobs – One of my favorite CDs for sentimental purposes. I don’t know why they do Chanukah with a chassidish havara, but I forgive them for the sake of my playlist.

Light the Way by Moshav Band – Not obviously a Chanukah song, but there’s a light theme thing going and it mentions Jewish continuity.

Candle in the Night – Seems to be an original song. No idea who.

Miracle by Matisyahu

Latke Man by the Yule Logs – on their album You Ruined Christmas. Weird, but I’m not turning down a song. I can’t find this on YouTube, alas. However, it’s a free download. Now why are a bunch of Christians writing us a Chanukah song and then giving it to us for free? What are we, charity cases? (Answer: yes.)

Chanukah Rights! by Six13

One Day by Matisyahu – It’s in the general theme.

Happy Hanukkah by Matisyahu – This man has contributed disproportionately to my playlist, forcing me to put it on shuffle. God bless him.

Eight Nights by StandFour

Rock of Ages – Presented by

Haneirot Halalu by Six13 – Can it be? An original, non-parody song? A blessing on their heads!

Yesh Tikvah by Benny Friedman – In the general theme of things, plus I love this song and it’s totally party material. (It also probably wins the prize for most mismatched song and music video.)

Na Nach by Moshe Levi – Totally irrelevant, but a great song nonetheless. (Sorry, video is lousy. I can’t find the studio recording on YouTube.)

Shades of Grey has a whole bunch more music videos listed here that I should probably sift through. Some of them look interesting. But some are just more pop parodies. I tire of those.

Happy Chanukah! 


11 thoughts on “The Chanukah Playlist

  1. OK, just one thing to nitpick about “chassidish havara.” In Europe, the havara was based more on region than religious sect. Therefore, my father’s davening is constantly accused of being chassidish, whereas there are no chassidim in his family tree.

    Lubavitchers and Stulleners, for instance, do not sound heimish because they were from Russia, which has a completely different regional dialect.

    Having grown up listening to MBD (who went to camp with my father and bumped my father down to second place in a singing competition) and Avraham Fried (who while affiliates himself with Lubavitch, his last name betrays his origins), I feel most at home listening to music with the heimisheh havara.

    So to clarify: Heimisheh havara. Not chassidish.

    Thank you, class, for your attention.

  2. Er, no. I just assumed that if he released it as a single it was an original. Apparently not. Thanks for the correction.

  3. Origins of Hava Nagila: Wordless chassidic nigun from Sadigorer, Ukraine. Made its way to then-Palestine around the turn of the 20th century and words were added by Chazzan Avraham Zvi Idelsohn around 1915. Some of the words are from t’hillim that are repeated in Hallel (Ze ha-yom asah h-shem, nagila ve-nismecha bo). Swift uptake by religious and non religious tzionim in Europe and Palestine. Became an improbable crossover hit in the US with the support of decidely un-Jewish bands but became a caricature of itself and of Zionism through overuse. Source:

  4. Actually, one member of the Yule Logs is Jewish, and the rest of the band would hesitate to call themselves Christians (though they do worship the almighty Santa). We have several original Haunkkah songs in our (mostly) secular Christmas rock catalog. Check out “The Story of Hanukkah” on “Yule Logs Double Live” for instance.

  5. Go figger. I should have guessed that a band capitalizing on Christmas would have to include at least one Jew. It’s a tradition dating back to Irving Berlin.

    Thanks for the correction!

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