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:
- Noah Budin
- Julie Silver
- Beth Schafer
- Craig Taubman
- Sam Glaser
- Dan Nichols
- Shlock Rock
- Etan G
- Rabbi Joe Black
- Rick Recht
- Debbie Friedman
…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 email@example.com.