Hanukkah starts tonight, which means that many families in the Hamptons and points afar will begin celebrating the Festival of Lights. Amid all the rich. time-honored traditions of the holiday, one relatively new phenomenon that we celebrate in particular today is the evolution of Hanukkah songs in recent times.
Not so long ago, the dreidel was virtually alone among Hanukkah subjects inspiring songs people would find themselves humming in the car, singing along with on the radio and sharing with the masses. But now, who doesn’t love Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song” or marvel at the brilliant “Candlelight” by the Maccabeats?
We offer eight favorite Hanukkah songs in honor of the eight crazy nights to come!
1. Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song”—From “David Lee Roth lights the menorah” to “O.J. Simpson…not a Jew” to “Tell your friend Veronica it’s time you celebrate Hanukkah,” this first iteration of the comedian’s classic remains the standard by which all other Hanukkah songs must be measured.
2. “Candlelight” by The Maccabeats—Any group that can morph Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” into a song about the Maccabees deserves to be on this list every year
3. Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert Sing Hanukkah Songs—Somewhere, Bing Crosby is rolling over…in hysterics.
4. “The Latke Song”—How did it ever take so long to celebrate the shredded, fried potato in song?
5. “The Driedel Song”—Thanks to this song, we all know when we will play—when it’s dry and ready, and not a minute before
6. South Park’s “It’s Hard To Be A Jew On Christmas”—A precursor to the genius that Matt Stone and Trey Parker delivered in another religion-themed smash, The Book of Mormon
7. “Oh Hanukkah” By The Barenaked Ladies—Just one example of why their album Barenaked for the Holidays should be on everyone’s Top Ten list this time of year
8. “Miracle” by Matisyahu—Matisyahu wrote, “Christmas songs out there, I wanted to give the Jewish kids something to be proud of. We’ve got Adam Sandler’s song which is hilarious but I wanted to try to get across some of the depth and spirituality inherent in the holiday—in a fun, celebratory song.” Mazel tov!