8 Best Hanukkah Songs: From Adam Sandler to 'Bohemian Chanukah'
Go ahead and rock around the Christmas tree, jingle your bells and deck those halls. While Christmas is still three weeks away, Jews all over the world are busy heating up their latkes, putting wicked spin on their dreidels and celebrating the eight crazy nights of Hanukkah right now. And they're doing it with their own festive holiday tunes.
So, what better way to honor the holiday than to crank up our eight favorite Chanukah jams?
Adam Sandler, "The Chanukah Song"
The OG of Chanukah hits has to be Sandler's iconic recitation of all the famous folks you didn't realize were also celebrating the holiday, if only to make those kids with Santa envy realize that they've got a pretty deep bench as well. From David Lee Roth and David Beckham to Mayim Bialik, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jake Gyllenhaal, Maroon 5's Adam Levine, Drake, Seth Rogen, Scarlett Johansson and Rush's Geddy Lee, Sandler reminds you to "Put on your yarmulke, it's time for Chanukah."
Six13, "Bohemian Chanukah"
Surfing on the popularity of the Queen biopic, this a capella group nails the perfect holiday parody with killer vocals and hilarious lyrics that perfectly melt the holiday's story into the British group's baroque arrangement. "Is this the eighth night/ We light with family?/ Recall with great pride/ Our escape from Greek tyranny," they open in the video that mimics the original's look.
Maccabeats, "Hasmonean - A Hamilton Hanukah"
This long-running a capella troupe also looked to pop culture to fry up this unique take on Lin-Manuel Miranda's smash Broadway musical. Instead of plumbing the story of an American president, "Hasmonean" tells the heroic tale of the celebration's heroes in lines such as: "We are not gonna betray our God/ Hey yo, we don't need permission/ To keep our traditions/ And we're not gonna betray our God."
Matisyahu, "Happy Hanukkah"
Everyone's favorite righteous rapper added his own spin to the Chanukah canon in 2012 with this funky jam. "Happy Hanukkah, I wanna give a gift to you/ Light up the nights, my love shine through," he croons over a bouncing riddim.
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, "8 Days (of Hanukkah)"
The late soul belter and her band had a lot to say in this burner from 2015. With a throwback 1970s funk swing, the track spreads the love while also teaching those who don't know a few things about this thing called Hanukkah. "Day two!/ Time to spin the dreidel/ And hope that gimel shows up on my turn," Jones sings over the James Brown-like beat and funky horns.
Erez Cohen, "A One Direction Hanukkah"
Way back in 2015, it felt like One Direction would go on forever. But Cohen knew all good things come to an end, which is why this boy band-loving tribute to the festival of lights came right on time: one month before 1D went on hiatus. "If you like eating latkes, playing dreidel too/ If you like just getting presents that could fill up your room/ This holiday's perfect," guest vocalist A.K.A. Pella croons to the strains of the 2015 hit "Perfect."
Maccabeats, "I Have a Little Dreidel"
The 'Beats are back with this unique take on one of the most beloved Hanukkah songs: the story of the celebration's signature plaything. The 14-member New York group make it their own by remixing the song in half a dozen styles, from big band and bluegrass to hip-hop, '80s synth pop, blues, classical, reggaeton and gospel.
Six13, "Chanukah (Shake It Off)"
The men of Six13 clearly have their lane when it comes to spot-on parodies of current hits. Their gelt-tastic spoof of Taylor Swift's song hits all the high points, while giving holiday hero Judah Maccabee major props. "Back in 160 B.C.E./ Lived Judah Maccabee/ His army was so weak/ But they still beat the Greeks/ Supply of oil wasn't great/ But a miracle took place," they bop in the video while flossing with their menorahs.