Join 3,556 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


What Matisyahu, Adam Sandler, and Orrin Hatch have in common
December 2, 2010 11:20 AM   Subscribe

The real reason Jews don’t have more Hanukkah music is that historically, American Jewish singer-songwriters were too busy making Christmas music. ‘White Christmas,’ ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,’ ‘Silver Bells,’ and ‘The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting)’ were all written by Jews. Both Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand have their own Christmas albums. The No. 1 best-selling Christmas album of all time is from Kenneth Bruce Gorelick, the Jewish smooth-jazz legend Kenny G. American Jews have always produced a lot of holiday music, just not Hanukkah music. American Hasidic Jewish Reggae musician Matisyahu (not the other Matisyahu) offers an opinion on why there isn't more Hanukkah music and releases his own Hanukkah song called Miracle. On the flip-side, Mormon senator Orrin Hatch wrote and recorded his own Hanukkah song last year called Eight Days of Hanukkah.
posted by albrecht (75 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Great, one more thing to blame on the Jews.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:23 AM on December 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Baby, Light My Shamash just doesn't move units.
posted by cortex at 11:25 AM on December 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I had a pretty interesting discussion the other day about why there are so many gosh-darned Christmas songs. It boils down to a few reasons, I think:

(1) We like to sing when it's cold and dark outside,
(2) Of the Christian holidays, Advent is the longest bit of anticipation and joy, which leads to much more cheerful music than, say, Lent.
(3) Advent/Christmas music being the most joyful, it is also the commercial. I can't imagine "Where you there?" selling a lot of singles.
posted by muddgirl at 11:28 AM on December 2, 2010


I'm pretty sure that Woody Guthrie wasn't Jewish, but Indigo Girls did a pretty decent fun cover of Happy Joyous Hanukkah on their recent holiday release.
posted by hippybear at 11:28 AM on December 2, 2010


Baby, Light My Shamash just doesn't move units.

I assume that's why Jim Morrison changed the lyrics and title before releasing it commercially.
posted by The World Famous at 11:30 AM on December 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I heard that Matisyahu song on NPR yesterday. It doesn't sound like a fun song with which to sing along.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:30 AM on December 2, 2010


Other factors: Hanukkah is a minor holiday; Jews have dignity.

Purim would be a better candidate for music-making anyway, wouldn't it?

(Traditional Jewish (Chicago academic division) Hanukkah celebration.)
posted by kenko at 11:31 AM on December 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Jews have dignity.

Three words: David Lee Roth.
posted by The World Famous at 11:34 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Three words: David Lee Roth.

Three more: Lights the menorah.
posted by albrecht at 11:35 AM on December 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


On the flip-side, Mormon senator Orrin Hatch wrote and recorded his own Hanukkah song last year called Eight Days of Hanukkah.

what
“Anything I can do for the Jewish people, I will do,” Mr. Hatch said in an interview before heading to the Senate floor to debate an abortion amendment. “Mormons believe the Jewish people are the chosen people, just like the Old Testament says.”

In short, he loves the Jews. And based on an early sampling of listeners, the feeling could be mutual.
Oh dear Christ.
posted by zarq at 11:35 AM on December 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


When I was in high school, the nearby Jewish day school closed its high school program and we got a sudden influx of Jewish students who had, for the most part, never spent considerable time with a gentile. When all the Christmas decorations went up in stores in November, a few of my new friends asked me what all the Christmas stuff was about, especially "the lawn gnomes." So, my atheist self got to explain the story of the birth of the savior to everyone, eventually trickling down into Santa and Christmas carols and all the other stupid crap that takes place this time of year.

After my entire lunchtime-long story, I finally asked them, "so...what do you guys do for Hanukkah? Play dreidel?" half-jokingly, assuming that we (in my not explicitly but very much Christian schooling) had been similarly fed a bunch of bunk about Hanukkah being all about the dreidel. My Jewish friends just looked blankly at each other and said, "uhh...yeah. For chocolate coins."

Long story short, Jews don't need songs. They have chocolate.
posted by phunniemee at 11:36 AM on December 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm Spending Hanukkah (in Santa Monica)

Warning: contains the rhyming of Yom Kippur with Mississippi.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:36 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm with Kenko. Hanukah isn't that big a deal to us members of the tribe. Now for Passover, which is a very big deal, there are plenty of songs. (Sadly, not the quality of Christmas carols, but there have always been a lot less Jews to create and experience the music. And for a lot of conservative and Orthodox Jews, instrumental religious music is anathema anyway.)
posted by bearwife at 11:37 AM on December 2, 2010


This album (found via this NPR piece) has a couple of Hanukkah songs on it; I thought Ocho Kandelikas was particularly interesting, given that is sung in Ladino, an almost forgotten language spoken by Sephardic Jews which I had never heard of, despite that fact it has been on the front page here 3 times.
posted by TedW at 11:38 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


The True Story of Orrin Hatch's Hanukkah Song.
"Jeff, it's Orrin," I heard over the phone. "What do you think of the song?" It was, indeed, Hatch. The second miracle of the night.

"Senator Hatch," I said. "It's Christmas Eve."

"Yes, it is!" Hatch replied. "What about the song?"

"Senator," I said, "I love the song."

And I do. It's a delightful thing to have Orrin Hatch write a song for Hanukkah. Of course I appreciate the absurdist quality to this project, but I also deeply appreciate Hatch's earnestness. His lyrics are not postmodern or cynical, which is a blessing, because I for one have tired of the Adam Sandlerization of Judaism in America. Yes, we are, as a people, funny (at least when compared to other people, such as Croatians) but our neuroses, well-earned though they may be, have caused us to lacerate our own traditions, which are in fact (to borrow from Barack Obama) awesome. The story of Hanukkah is a good case in point--maybe the perfect one.

I also appreciate the song because Hatch's collaborator, Madeline Stone, has written music that, to borrow this time from Felix Unger, is happy and peppy and bursting with love. And I love the fact that the song's producer, Peter Bliss, hired a delightful singer named Rasheeda Azar, who was not only a back-up vocalist for Paula Abdul (Jew) and Janet Jackson (not a Jew) but is a Syrian-American from Terre Haute, Indiana. Rasheeda's participation closes a circle of sorts, since the Syrian King Antiochus was, of course, the antagonist in the story of the Maccabean revolt.

And so it was a very American day in a recording studio on West 54th Street in Manhattan when we gathered to hear Rasheeda sing. In one small room were Bliss; Madeline Stone, a Jewish songwriter who writes contemporary Christian music in Nashville; a crew of downtown Jews from Tablet Magazine; Hatch's chief of staff, Jace Johnson, who didn't seem to know exactly what he was doing there, but was very nice about the whole episode; and Hatch himself, who sang background vocals and even showed us the mezuzah he wears under his shirt. Hatch, like many Mormons, is something of a philo-Semite, and though he is under no illusions about Jewish political leanings in America--he told me that though he likes Barbra Streisand very much, he's fairly sure she doesn't like him--he possesses a heartfelt desire to reach out to Jews.

Hatch said he hoped his song would be understood not only as a gift to the Jewish people but that it would help bring secular Jews to a better understanding of their own holiday. "I know a lot of Jewish people that don't know what Hanukkah means," he said. Jewish people, he said, should "take a look at it and realize the miracle that's being commemorated here. It's more than a miracle; it's the solidification of the Jewish people."


I take it back. That's kinda neat.
posted by zarq at 11:40 AM on December 2, 2010 [9 favorites]


Happy for the Jews to claim Kenny G.
posted by Lleyam at 11:42 AM on December 2, 2010


Jews don't need songs. They have chocolate.

Sure, but Hanukkah gelt are chocolate only in the way that the last-minute chocolate bunny you buy right before the store closes on the night before Easter because it's the only one left is chocolate.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:43 AM on December 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


And based on an early sampling of listeners, the feeling could be mutual.

I know a Jew who does not love Orrin Hatch.

Interested parties can MeFi Mail me for details.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:46 AM on December 2, 2010


Gods of Fire - Hanukkah Gone METAL

\m/
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 11:51 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Matisyahu
Santa's sleighs,
TV trays,
Lite Brite,
on Christmas Eve.
[...]
Stripping away that paper,
and reveal your coal,
got to give yourself up
to the North Pole.


I don't know.
posted by Dreamcast at 11:51 AM on December 2, 2010


> I'm pretty sure that Woody Guthrie wasn't Jewish...

You are correct, hippybear, but this Wikipedia link expolains some of the background/origin for his Jewish-themed lyrics.
posted by mosk at 11:51 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm still waiting for the Kinky Friedman holiday album...
posted by tspae at 11:54 AM on December 2, 2010


Previously: Some traditional Jewish holiday music - "sometimes it seems like almost all the best 20th century Christmas songs were [written by the Jews]"
posted by filthy light thief at 11:58 AM on December 2, 2010


That video for Miracle is pretty funny. Why is everyone on hockey skates? Doesn't matter!
posted by Theta States at 11:58 AM on December 2, 2010


Roses Are Reddish
Violets are Blueish
If it wasn't for Jesus
We'd All Be Jewish
posted by lalochezia at 12:00 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


My thought about the ubiquity of Christmas music in American culture is that it's a product of the Christmas-industrial complex that took some relatively modest rituals that were not at all ubiquitous across Christianity and proceeded the market the shit out of them.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:02 PM on December 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Matisyahu was a black man!
posted by PenDevil at 12:03 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


A few years back I made a mix CD for a friend who was having a Chanukkah-themed BBQ as part of his one-barbecue-a-month-for-a-year plan. It took me a long time to find much, but I did it. My favorite, which has become a year-round joy for me is The LeeVees' Applesauce Vs. Sour Cream. I see now that they have a number of tunes appropriate for the next week.
posted by knile at 12:05 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I remember in grade school we would sing Hannukah songs and Christmas songs, but the only two of the former that I can remember are that dreidel song, and "Oh, Chanukah! Oh, Chanukah!". It's a pretty lively tune, and a lot of fun to dance to.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:11 PM on December 2, 2010


Some more Chanukah music.
posted by inigo2 at 12:22 PM on December 2, 2010


The reason there are no good Chanukkah songs is because up until about 40 years ago, Channukah was a holiday of surpassing minor-ness in the Jewish calendar, trailing well behind Succoth as a festive celebration.

Then, as KirkJobSluder points out, the Christmas-industrial complex took over, and the American Jews who couldn't get behind a secularized Christmas, pumped Channukah up into a major holiday, complete with presents. Who can blame them? Christmas must have looked like so much fun from the outside.

As an elderly Jewish man told me last night, "When I was a kid, Channukah was nothing. We never heard of it."
posted by Faze at 12:24 PM on December 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Jews just aren't into music all that much. (NYT)
posted by Melismata at 12:25 PM on December 2, 2010


Previously.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:35 PM on December 2, 2010


Oh yeah, as if the yearly musical blight weren't bad enough, let's throw some more into rotation.

Last night I heard over a store musak a type of noise that sounded an awful lot like a Dolly Parton cover of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Is this necessary?

As a novelty song it was okay, no great shakes but funny--but only ONCE. Covers of Rudolph are completely extraneous. I hear Parton is a great singer, and her vocal performance wasn't bad, but it must be difficult to put genuine emotion into a song that is about, when you get down to it, an outcast magic reindeer with a shiny nose, and I have to say she did not seem up to the task.

I can't wait to be subjected to still more songs like this.
posted by JHarris at 12:39 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sorry Melismata, but screw that NYT link. The best spanish guitarist I know is Jewish, she's more that self aware enough to write and sing both for a general audience and her own co-religionists and communities, and I don't think she's all that atypical in that when it comes down to it. And at the end of the day, I really can't think of her ever playing Christmas songs.
posted by Ahab at 12:40 PM on December 2, 2010


Jews write Christmas songs instead of Hannukah songs because Christmas is awesome and Hannukah sucks. Why is there any discussion of this?

Oh, yay. Potato pancakes and spinning a top for M&Ms. God, I can't believe it's only possible to do that once per year. What are we celebrating again? Oh yeah. Murderous religious zealots. At least it's a festival of lights! Nine of them, and they're pretty much birthday candles, and by day three it's a chore. No, nothing to envy about Christmas at all.

I mean, it's just a mash-up of every awesome pagan holiday tradition on earth, and has the best movies, and, for Jews, you get to have Chinese food and see a movie, which is pretty close to orgasm when it comes to ecstatic experiences. And you see Jews you haven't seen in decades. Seriously, Christmas at a movie theater is like a combination Jewish Federation, Hadassah, and Federation of Temple Youth convention. It's the most wonderful time of the year!
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:45 PM on December 2, 2010 [16 favorites]


This post seems awfully similar to the one from 2008 (which two commenters here have already linked) about how a lot of Christmas songs are by Jews. How many Metafilter posts does it take to get that point across? I'd go for "one," so I'm flagging this as a double.
posted by John Cohen at 12:46 PM on December 2, 2010


> In short, he loves the Jews.

In fact, one of his favorite books is To Serve Jews!
posted by languagehat at 12:47 PM on December 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Dibs on David Lee Roth Lights The Menorah as a user name!
posted by sourwookie at 12:48 PM on December 2, 2010


True fact:

Chuck Berry's Run, Rudolph, Run takes longer to play than it did to write.
posted by sourwookie at 12:50 PM on December 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


I mean, it's just a mash-up of every awesome pagan holiday tradition on earth, and has the best movies, and, for Jews, you get to have Chinese food and see a movie, which is pretty close to orgasm when it comes to ecstatic experiences.

And don't forget the Matzoh Ball every Christmas Eve!
posted by inigo2 at 1:08 PM on December 2, 2010


Hannukah is still a nothing holiday, as far as I can tell, for many Jews, once either (A) your kids have grown up, or (B) you are no longer a kid. It's been ginned up into a big deal pretty much solely so that Jewish children can get presents around the same time as everyone else and don't have to feel like crap. Well, that and perhaps the pervasive HOLIDAYNESS of the HOLIDAY SEASON which happens on the HOLIDAYS meant some holiday pretty much had to happen there, I guess.

But one of the big secrets, for me (I am sure there are people who disagree with this and love every stressful minute of THE HOLIDAYS) is that once you grow up and don't care so much about getting presents at the same time as everyone else, and you realize that the only interesting thing about Hannukah is an excuse to make latkes ... you realize that YOU'RE FREE. You don't need to buy presents or figure out a place to put all the useless crap you get from people who don't know you very well and you don't need to deal with any of the stress and bullshit. Hanukkah passes and you don't even realize, and when Christmas hits you stay at home and read a book or (as so many do) go out and catch a movie.

Hannukah songs? Who need 'em? Who WANTS 'em? Heck, I don't even know who wants the damn *Christmas* music that blares monotonously in every store for at least an entire month starting the second Thanksgiving has been partially digested. Looking at Christmas from the outside, it looks like a nightmare -- overly stressful, overly expensive, overly commericalized, overly hyped, overly long, beaten into your head day after day after day BY GOD YOU WILL ENJOY YOURSELF OR SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOU! Which is countered only by a bunch of joyless zealots who insist that all this commercialization is such a pity because really people shouldn't be trying to have any fun at all on a holiday but should be meditating deeply on a myth that, frankly, sounds to anyone not raised in it about as relevant as one of those stories about Zeus turning into a bird to have sex with a hot girl. Which doesn't sound like a magnificently better way to spend your almost-solstice ritual celebration, honestly.

So, Hannukah songs? I hope they stay the ludicrous jokes they currently are. I hope they don't start any more traditions. I hope kids keep realizing Hanukkah is totally pointless. Because as long as that is true, then there is a means of ESCAPE.
posted by kyrademon at 1:08 PM on December 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


There is a ton of streaming and freely downloadable Matisyahu at the Internet Archive if people are into that sort of thing.

How many Metafilter posts does it take to get that point across?

We have a capslock day post every year. Annual things often get annual posts and this is fine. Flag and move on if this isn't the sort of thing you enjoy.
posted by jessamyn at 1:09 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Reminds me of a favorite Philip Roth quote:
"After Moses, the next great Jewish genius was Irving Berlin. He took the blood out of Easter and made it about fashion. And he took Christ out of Christmas and made it about snow."
posted by Mchelly at 1:27 PM on December 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


Barenaked Ladies - Hanukkah Blessings
posted by royalsong at 1:36 PM on December 2, 2010


Morgan Murphy with Aimee Mann doing The Motherfucking Hanakkuh Fairy.

Song starts around 3:15 on first link, 7:15 on second link
posted by flarbuse at 1:41 PM on December 2, 2010


I heard this story (once again, on NPR) yesterday that purports to trace the roots of Hanukkah celebrations in the US to a couple of rabbis in Cincinnati
posted by TedW at 1:43 PM on December 2, 2010


This thread is a lot of fun and I want to participate but I am WASPy as hell so I guess I'll just have to subsume the rest of you into my culture some more.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:45 PM on December 2, 2010


I don't even know who wants the damn *Christmas* music that blares monotonously in every store for at least an entire month starting the second Thanksgiving has been partially digested.

*raises a guilty hand*

I fucking love Christmas music and I can not lie.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:47 PM on December 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


I love Christmas music. But I tend to play it in March, when I really need it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:49 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


What? No love for Gefilte Joe & the Fish?
posted by jonp72 at 1:57 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I fucking love Christmas music and I can not lie.

GET HIM!
posted by zarq at 1:59 PM on December 2, 2010


... for Jews, you get to have Chinese food and see a movie, which is pretty close to orgasm when it comes to ecstatic experiences.

Jewish Christmas sounds a lot more fun than regular Christmas. Can we trade?
posted by desjardins at 2:05 PM on December 2, 2010


My personal pet peeve isn't so much with the Hanukkah songs, which are benign and universally underwhelming in their tepid celebration of a minor holiday that commemorates the accomplishments of a band of religious zealots. No, my complaint is with the flood of crappy Hanukkah children's books that have been released in the last 10-15 years. For a culture that likes to wear that "People of the Book" sobriquet on its collective sleeve, my kids' Hanukkah books are just...awful! And every year we seem to acquire yet another one that implies that life in the Shtetl was wonderful for its simplicity and the authenticity of the Jewish experience it afforded the happy peasants that lived in its various villages! {/} FML - my great-great-grandparents left that hell hole for a variety of reasons, all of them excellent, and I am forever grateful they left before they were swept away in the next pogrom. Rhapsodizing about their simple lives and their authentic Hanukkah experience is just so much bullshit.

The only one of these books I've read that's worth a damn, IMHO, is Lemony Snicket's (Daniel Handler's) The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming, which is actually a neat little book.

Bah, humbug. Hum...berg?
posted by mosk at 2:07 PM on December 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


You might enjoy Jewsmas, an inclusive winter holiday.
posted by jessamyn at 2:08 PM on December 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, yay. Potato pancakes and spinning a top for M&Ms.

A Finnish pancake treat perfect for the Christmas season.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 2:13 PM on December 2, 2010


I also love Christmas music, especially the 19th Century carols that sound best when sung in unison so even when I stroll through a department store with the Christmas music on, I can join in the joyous sounds of "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" or "I Saw Three Ships". I love it. I know that not everyone feels that way, but I look forward all year to Christmas time so I can carol with impunity.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 2:15 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jews have dignity.

...and a chip on their shoulder about Christmas the size of a ham*, it would seem.

"Meh, it's a minor holiday..."

"Yeah? That's great *eats ham*"

"...and we have chocolate..."

"O rly? *eats ham*"

"...I mean, it's really all about Passover..."

"You don't say? *eats ham*"

"...and WE WROTE EVERY LAST ONE OF THOSE FUCKING SONGS YOU THINK ARE SO GREAT AND DON'T YOU FUCKERS FORGET IT."

*chokes on ham*

*tasty, forbidden ham
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:07 PM on December 2, 2010


(i kid - please don't send eric bana to put a pillow over my head and shoot me in the face)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:10 PM on December 2, 2010


I also love Christmas music, especially the 19th Century carols that sound best when sung in unison

You would probably love Annie Lennox's brand new A Christmas Cornucopia [Annie Lennox website, track samples, warning: autoplay music]. It's nearly all traditional carols done in outstanding arrangements. It's one of the true "instant modern classic" holiday albums to be released, IMO.
posted by hippybear at 3:16 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think there are two reasons for the Jews-writing-Christmas songs. The first is simple economics: the market for Christmas songs is so much larger. The second is selection bias: Christmas songs get famous because the market is larger. The internet has changed this, of course - there's much more room for niche production.

Also, previously.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:38 PM on December 2, 2010


jessamyn: "You might enjoy Jewsmas, an inclusive winter holiday"

I have got to play that Dreidel Game some time.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:27 PM on December 2, 2010


This thread is a lot of fun and I want to participate but I am WASPy as hell...

So am I, but I gotta say -- somehow it isn't December until I've heard Adam Sandler wishing me Happy Hannukkah.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:00 PM on December 2, 2010


Any thread that includes Mel Torme is a gas. Did not know that he was of Jewish descent, BTW.

And although he may not have appreciated The Christmas Song - it's truly amazing. Nat's version is great - but Mel's is AWESOME.
posted by davidmsc at 5:54 PM on December 2, 2010


Do you remember Christmastime for the Jews on SNL?

Some lyrics:

The holiday party starts about 6pm
Ain't nobody recreating Bethlehem
Yeah the Three Wise Men, that's a big old snooze
It's Christmas Time for the Jews

They can finally see King Kong without waiting in line
They can eat in Chinatown and drink their sweet ass wine
They can crank Barbra Streisand on the streets they cruise
It's Christmas Time for the Jews

Good stuff!
posted by Hop123 at 6:46 PM on December 2, 2010


Now you're making me think of Hannukah Harry from SNL.

"Socks?"
"Eight pair, can you believe it?! And Scott, for you, some slacks!"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:50 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have got to play that Dreidel Game some time.

MeFi Strip Dreidel meetup! WHO'S IN?

"ג! Everyone takes off 1 article of clothing!"
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:26 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Norm Macdonald once announced the new Christmas album by Kenny G.

Happy Birthday, Jesus...I Hope You Like Crap

What a Pandora station that would make.
posted by klausman at 6:07 AM on December 3, 2010


Hannukah is apparently the feast referred to in John 10:22, I just learned, which is only tangentially related, I guess, except to show that Christians have been getting their Hannukah coopting on since the very beginning.
posted by Jahaza at 9:43 AM on December 3, 2010


A lot of "Christmas" music is about things that many Christians find to be questionable for a variety of reasons. The American Santa is a Victorian literary invention that has very little to do with St. Nicholas (who has his own feast day next week) and nothing to do with the Nativity as presented by the Gospels. "White Christmas," a song that doesn't say anything about religious celebration but a lot about the melancholia of separation, was the perfect song at the perfect time for a nation with millions of people entering the draft or traveling cross-country for military production jobs. My own religious upbringing involved a fair amount of ambivalence about the mix of religious and secular interests. "Rudolph" is good fun and all but it's a bit of a distraction.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:24 AM on December 3, 2010


My own religious upbringing involved a fair amount of ambivalence about the mix of religious and secular interests.

Which is why I think it's best to let us secularists have the holiday once and for all. Christians can appropriate another seasonal holiday to celebrate the miracle; or better yet, the September equinox is fairly unencumbered.
posted by muddgirl at 2:06 PM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


"As Hanukkah approached this year, I sent a note to various remixers, asking if they’d be interested in selecting a holiday staple, or a song from another festive Jewish event, and taking a stab at remixing it. The response was swift, strong, and positive—as was the supportive response from the musicians and bands who had recorded the originals from which the remixers would subsequently work. Permission having been granted by the originating musicians (or their respective record labels), the remixers dove in deep, enacting their alterations with everything from laptops to modular synthesizers."
Whole album downloadable here.
posted by jessamyn at 1:36 PM on December 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


OK, people. Raise your hands if you remember when Onyx recorded a very NSFW Hanukkah rap for an HBO series called Hardcore TV in the early 1990s. Raise your hands if you remember Onyx? Raise your hands if you just don't care. Now you're getting it...
posted by jessamyn at 1:00 PM on December 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's not the holiday season until one of the guys from Onyx takes a bite out of a latke with zeal.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:39 PM on December 5, 2010


Happy Hannukah! I brought you some Afro-Klezmer music!
posted by not_on_display at 9:40 PM on December 5, 2010


« Older "It is only fitting that the story of the brain sh...  |  Haircut... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments