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What's your favorite Hanukkah song?

We winnowed down a library of Hanukkah anthems to come up with five tributes to the Jewish holiday: three traditional songs, a new Orrin Hatch addition and an Adam Sandler satirical classic.

By Cameron Smith  |  December 10, 2009; 6:01 PM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I vote for the jazzy, Mi Yima-el, by Debbie Friedman. How come all the songs listed are in English? Some of the greats are in "jewish" languages: How about Ocho Candelikas (Ladino), Mi Yima-el (Hebrew).

But if limited to English, how about the great paean to the women who fed the Maccabbee troops:

"But it is not fair that we should forget, Mrs. Maccabeus to whom we owe a debt! She mixed them, she fixed them, she poured them into a bowl. You may not guess, but it was the latkes that gave brave Judah a soul!"

Thanks ma!

Posted by: skepticinmd | December 11, 2009 6:59 AM

Posted by: dude11 | December 11, 2009 8:00 AM

Several years ago we wrote a Hannukah song for our grandchildren to sing at the lighting of the first candle. It is to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas and goes like this:
On the first day of Hannukah my bubala gave to me a bagel with lite cream cheese.
On the 2nd day of Hannukah my bubala gave to me 2 potato latkes and a bagel with lite cream cheese.
On the 3rd day......3 gold coins
On the 4th day......4 matzo balls
On the 5th day......5 oy veys
On the 6th day......6 wooden dreidels
On the 7th day......7 yarmulkes
On the 8th day......8 Menorah Candles
It is sung with great animation and the children love it.

Posted by: rickw3 | December 11, 2009 10:17 AM

This poll is rendered invalid by its failure to include Ocho Candelikas.

Posted by: David40 | December 11, 2009 11:25 AM

I've got to go with The LeeVees,
either "My Goyim Friends" or "How Do You Spell Chunnukkahh?" but I'll settle for "Latke Clan".

How could you miss them? Orin Hatch? Really? Really?

Posted by: mom22 | December 11, 2009 12:52 PM

Completely agreed with the first comment, "The Ballad of Mrs. Maccabeus" is marvelous.

"One latke, two latkes, and so on into the night...!"

Peter, Paul & Mary's "Light One Candle" should rank up there, too, but I'm partial to "Mi Yimalel" when done as fast as possible. "Ocho Candelikas" is a clear classic and Safam's "Never Give Up" is great fun.

Posted by: jgoldbe4 | December 12, 2009 11:50 AM

None of my favorites are options at all! My all-time favorite Chanukah song is "Rock of Ages," "Maoz Tzur" in Hebrew. I'm a little bit offended by this list being utterly incomplete.

Posted by: abg1985 | December 12, 2009 2:08 PM

I have no favorite but will use this opportunity to say how offended and disgusted I am at Senator Orrin Hatch writing a Hanukkah song. His end-times, rapture-motivated "love for the Jews" gives me the creeps.

Posted by: ruthsacks | December 12, 2009 3:46 PM

This list of anthems was winnowed far too long or incorrectly. The only song that can be described as a Chanukah anthem, is O Chanukah. Adam Sandler's song is charming but not very relevant to the celebration and meaning of Chanukah. And, why does the non-Jewish world persist in thinking I Have A Little Dreidel, a young childrens' tune, is representative of Chanukah songs? Does anyone over the age of 6 sing it? (The answer is no.)

I agree that Mi Yimallel is a beautiful song - it's one of my favorites. From the first night of Chanukah to the last, my head is filled with it's sound.

There are many traditional melodies and some great new ones - your list omits them all.

And let's leave Senator Hatch out of Chanukah, please.

Posted by: portiaperu | December 13, 2009 1:45 AM

Hannukah in Santa Monica by Ton Lehrer,cleverest rhyme I've ever encountered.
Here's a link:

Posted by: woodside1 | December 13, 2009 7:38 AM

Hannukah in Santa Monica by Tom Lehrer, cleverest rhyme I've ever encountered.
Here's a link:

Posted by: woodside1 | December 13, 2009 7:39 AM

Clearly the list is incomplete without Maoz Tzur. Not only is it the most traditional and therefore best known, it's the only Chanukah song with the musical grandeur not to seem out of place next to the great Christmas carols.

There is, however, one excellent song recently (by comparison to Maoz Tzur at least!) written by Stephen Schwartz:

Posted by: philautos | December 13, 2009 8:36 AM

A few years ago, Marvin Hamlisch introduced an original composition for Chanukah during his Christmas concert with the National Symphony Orchestra. It was a beautiful song. I had hoped it would catch on.

Posted by: Jogger | December 13, 2009 9:29 PM

Definitely agree with Ocho Candelikas. Great song. So is this one, featuring an awesome flash-mob doing a Hanukkah dance:

Posted by: DevorahLeah1 | December 13, 2009 11:44 PM

Barenaked Ladies "Hannukah Blessings" should be on this list.

Posted by: BuffaloGal78 | December 14, 2009 9:07 AM

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