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The ultimate Chanukah playlist? You got it.

It’s the Festival of Lights this weekend, and musical enlightenment is in short supply. The traditional tunes for the Jewish festival are (a) an 18th century German marching tune and (b) a selection of mumbled drones.

So me and my friend Haylz (that’s here somewhere in the pic below) put our heads together to bring you a selection of offbeat holiday arts & ents.

We differ on some tracks. A few of my faves failed to make the cut. For instance, I prefer the solo version of the Chanukah stand-up (Haylz has gay men doing chorus)

On the other hand, Haylz (check below) is big on contemporary comedy. Me, I can’t resist the Jewish mother’s lament (are those double entendres intended?):

This one has single entendres:

And no Chanukah is complete without the essential Handel anthem

But these are minor refinements. Click your way right here thru Haylz’s list.

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  1. Here’s a whole Maccabee musical drama on YouTube:

    A nice eclectic mix of pop, folk, klezmer, and more serious classical style. Dialogues and narration are spoken in German in this live performance, but there are subtitles in English. All of the songs are sung in English (amateur chorus with professional soloists and instrumental ensemble). Be sure to listen to the clips featuring tenor Carl Hieger (especially “Kadosh”, clip number 4a) and baritone Randal Turner (“Olympus” – 3a, “Desecration Song” – 4b, and “Be Brave” – 7)!

  2. Martin Bookspan says:

    Tom Lehrer and I were college classmates, and I was one of the first people ever to hear “Chanukah in Santa Monica”.

    • Wow, Martin – you have just taken my breath away. I tried to get Tom Lehrer once to participate bin a course I gave on musical irony, but I never got an answer. Is there more to tell about the circumstances of how Ch in St M was composed? best, N

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