Chanukah Music Maligned

Today on NPR’s “All Things Considered” program, there was a brief entry about an “extremely catchy” new Chanukah song written by non other than Senator Orrin Hatch. The story went that Mr. Hatch was showing off his Christmas music to Jeffery Goldberg (who writes for The Atlantic), and was thereupon challenged to come up with a Chanukah song. 9 years later the song was written.

I have nothing against Orrin Hatch. Or Jeffery Goldberg. Or Robert Siegal for that matter.

But I take offense to the statement Siegal and Goldberg made during the course of the interview, where both bemoaned the lack of interesting or inspiring music for this (admittedly minor) Jewish holiday.

Either both men have been living under a rock, or they haven’t approached anyone even remotely knowledgeable about Jewish music in the last 15 years to find out what’s out there. There is so much good music – including Chanukah music – available, that I find it sad when a media organization like NPR, which seems to pride itself on its range of music taste and has music segments in multiple shows, doesn’t know about artists like:

…just to name a few. There are more (post your personal favorites in the comments below)

So if you are laboring under the same misconception – that if you want to listen to Chanukah music you are stuck with Rock of Ages and that dreidel song, please please please check out the links above. You can bet those artists are responding to this challenge even as I type this rant, and are highlighting their Chanukah offerings and even offering special deals and downloads.

If you feel like taking things a step further, you can let the fine journalists at All Things Considered know about this gaff by emailing them at

4 Responses to “Chanukah Music Maligned”

  1. Cat says:

    I’m not certain if they have any Chanukah music, but my all time favorite Jewish band (right now) is Blue Fringe.

    bluefringe dot com or bluefringe dot com/about/about.html or myspace dot com/bluefringe or even facebook dot com/pages/Blue-Fringe/8201184699?ref=sgm (WordPress didn’t want this post to look like spam, so I did the best I could to make it conversational.)

    Possibly “Seventy Faces” is my all-time favorite album (their 2nd of 3) but there are songs on all three albums that I adore.

  2. leon says:

    True to his word, Noah Budin has posted his song “Let It Burn” as a free holiday download from his site:

  3. Homeshuling says:

    May I add my personal favorite? By the now defunct alt-country band 5 Chinese Brothers:

  4. leon says:

    I also overlooked Craig Taubman on my original list:

Leave a Reply