|Music for Holidays|
- 1 Hanukkah blessings
- 2 Maoz Tzur
- 3 Judas Maccabaeus
- 4 Oh Chanukah
- 5 I Have a Little Dreidel
- 6 Sevivon
- 7 Al Hanisim
- 8 Mi Y'malel
- 9 Ner Li
- 10 Chanukah Chanukah
- 11 Non-traditional songs
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
There are three Hanukkah blessings (Modern Hebrew: בְּרָכוֹת לֵחֲנֻכָּה Berakhot Laḥanukka, Lit: Hanukkah blessings) that are sung for lighting the candles of the menorah. The third blessing (shehecheyanu) is only sung on the first night. After the two or three blessings are sung, Hanerot Halalu is chanted. The following blessings are transliterated according to proper Modern Hebrew.
|Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah lights.||בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵנוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְווֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל חֲנֻכָּה׃||Barukh Atta Ado-nai Elo-heinu melekh ha'olam, asher kiddeshanu be-mitzvotav, Ve-tzee-vanu le-had-leek ner shel ḥanukka.|
|Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who performed wondrous miracles for our ancestors, in those days, at this moment.||בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵנוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הַהֵם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה׃||Barukh Atta Ado-nai Elo-heinu melech ha'olam, she'asah nissim la'avotenu bayamim hahem baz'man hazeh.|
|Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has kept us in life, sustained us, and brought us to this moment.||בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵנוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה׃||baruch Atta adonai eloheinu melekh ha'olam sheheḥehyanu vekiyy'manu vehiggi'anu lazman hazeh.|
"Ma'oz Tzur" (Hebrew: מעוז צור), also a widely known English version as "Rock of Ages", is a Jewish liturgical poem or piyyut. It is written in Hebrew, and is usually sung on the holiday of Hanukkah, after lighting the festival lights. Its six stanzas correspond to five events of Jewish history and a hope for the future. Of its six stanzas, often only the first stanza is sung (or the first and fifth), as this is what directly pertains to Hanukkah. "Ma'oz Tzur" was written sometime in the 13th century.
Judas Maccabaeus is an oratorio by George Frideric Handel. During Hanukkah, the melody for "See, the Conqu’ring Hero Comes" is used by Spanish and Portuguese Jewish communities for the hymn En Kelohenu.
"Oh Chanukah" (also "Chanukah, Oh Chanukah") is an English version of the Yiddish "Oy Chanukah" (Yiddish: חנוכּה אױ חנוכּה Khanike Oy Khanike). The English words, while not a translation, are roughly based on the Yiddish. "Oy Chanukah" is a traditional Yiddish Chanukah song and the English version, along with "I Have a Little Dreidel," is one of the most recognized English Chanukah songs. Both songs are playful with upbeat tempo and are sung by children. The lyrics are about dancing the horah, eating latkes, playing dreidel, lighting the candles and singing happy songs.
I Have a Little Dreidel
"I Have a Little Dreidel" (also known as the "Dreidel Song") is a very famous song in the English speaking world for Hanukkah, which also has a Yiddish version. The Yiddish version is Ikh Bin A Kleyner Dreydl, (Yiddish: איך בין אַ קלײנער דרײדל Ikh Bin A Kleyner Dreydl Lit: I am a little dreidel). The English version of the song is well associated with the festival of Hanukkah, and is known by many Jews and non-Jews alike. The lyrics of the song are simple and about making a dreidel and playing with it. The lyrics are as follows:
I have a little dreidel
I made it out of clay,
And when it's dry and ready
O dreidel I shall play.
O dreidel dreidel dreidel
I made it out of clay,
And when it's dry and ready,
O dreidel I shall play.
A popular Hebrew Hanukkah song, "Sevivon" or "S'vivon" (Hebrew: סביבון sevivon) is Hebrew for "dreidel", where dreidel (Hebrew: דרײדל dreydl) is the Yiddish word for a spinning top. This song, "Sevivon," is very popular in Israel and by others familiar with the Hebrew language. The English below is a literal translation, not an English version.
|Hebrew||Transliteration from Hebrew||English Literal Translation|
סֵבִיבוֹן סב סב סב
Sevivon, sov, sov, sov
Dreidel, spin, spin, spin.
"Al Hanisim" (or "Al Hanissim") is a popular Hebrew song for Hanukkah taken from liturgy (see Hanukkah → Special additions to the daily prayers), and is also an Israeli folk dance. The song is about thanking God for saving the Jewish people. The most popular tune, however, is relatively recent, having been composed by Dov Frimer in 1975.
"Mi Y'malel" (or "Mi Yimalel") (Hebrew: מי ימלל "Who can retell?") is a very well known Hebrew Hanukkah song. The opening line, which literally means "Who can retell the mighty feats of Israel," is a secular rewording of Psalms 106:2, which reads "Who can retell the mighty feats of God." Below is a singable version of this song called "Who Can Retell," with words based on the Hebrew, as well as a literal translation.
|Hebrew||Transliteration from Hebrew||English (singable version)||English (alternate lyrics)||English (literally translated version)|
מי ימלל גבורות ישראל
Mi yimalel gvurot Yisrael,
Who can retell the things that befell us,
Who can retell the things that befell us,
Who can tell of the heroic deeds of Israel?
The transliteration of the Hebrew is as follows:
Ner li, ner li, ner li daqiq,
Bakhanukah neri 'adliq.
Bakhanukah neri ya'ir
Bakhanukah shirim 'ashir.
The literal translation is:
I have a candle, I have a small thin candle
On Hanukkah, my candle I will light.
On Hanukkah my candle will glow
On Hanukkah I will sing songs.
Another traditional Chanukah folk song with origins in Israel is Chanukah, Chanukah Words by Levin Kipnis Transliterated and translated by Gila Ansell Brauner of Jerusalem, Israel 
Chanukah, Chanukah, Chag yafeh kol kach Or chaviv, misaviv, Gil leyeled rach.
Chanukah, Chanukah, Sevivon sov sov Sov sov sov, sov sov sov, Mah na'im vatov.
Chanukah, Chanukah, What a lovely holiday! Cheerful lights around us shine, Children have fun and play.
Chanukah, Chanukah, The dreidel spins and spins. Spin your top until it stops, Have a good time, see who wins!
חנוכה חנוכה עממי מילים: לוין קיפניס לחן: עממי
חנוכה, חנוכה, חג יפה כל כך אור חביב מסביב, גיל לילד רך. חנוכה, חנוכה, סביבון סוב סוב סוב נא סוב, סוב נא סוב מה נעים מה טוב.
(I'm Spending) Hanukkah in Santa Monica
Light One Candle
"Light One Candle" is a 1983 Hanukkah song written by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary. It is a very popular song and it has been sung by the trio at their concerts. It is a song that encourages the Jewish people to remember the history of the holiday and continue their heritage.
The Chanukah Song
The Chanukah Song is a series of popular Hanukkah songs by Adam Sandler that are each a slightly different variation of a list of Jewish celebrities listed by Sandler for Jewish children who feel isolated during the Christmas season. It begun as a skit on Saturday Night Live and then appeared on his album What the Hell Happened to Me?. Due to its popularity, Sandler recorded three follow-ups of the song. The songs often gets airplay during the winter holiday season.
Eight Days of Hanukka
Eight Days of Hanukka is a Hanukkah song written by Senator Orrin Hatch and Madeline Stone, a Jewish songwriter from the Upper West Side of Manhattan who specializes in Christian music. The song was written at the suggestion of Jeffrey Goldberg.
Hanukkah Hey Ya
"Hanukkah Hey Ya" is a Hanukkah spoof of a chart-topping 2003 OutKast song, "Hey Ya!," by American comedian Eric Schwartz. The song was made into an e-card in 2004. In 2009 Nefesh B'Nefesh produced a Hanukkah Flash Mob viral video that became a major success. The mob assembled on Jerusalem's Ben Yehuda Street and was choreographed by new immigrant Marvin Casey.
"Candlelight" is a song written and sung by The Maccabeats, an undergraduate a cappella student group at Yeshiva University. The song is a parody of "Dynamite" by Taio Cruz retelling the Hanukkah story. It was released in late 2010 and quickly achieved viral status.
- University of Pennsylvania Library: Freedman Collection of Recorded Jewish Music
- "Custom On-line Liturgy". Liturgy.lashon.net. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
- "Ner Li". Zemerl. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
- Beckerman, Gal (20 December 2011). "Hanukkah in Santa Monica". Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
- A Senator's Gift to the Jews, Nonreturnable, MARK LEIBOVICH December 8, 2009 , New York Times 
- December 1, 2009, Smooth-E's Jewtronic Music-Making, By Ryan Torok, Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, 
- "Hanukkah Flash Mob". Urlesque. 2009-12-16. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
- Feeling the beat, By YAEL BRYGEL, Jerusalem Post, June 3, 2009
- "Nefesh B'Nefesh Hanukkah Flash Mob (Official NBN Release)". YouTube. 2009-11-23. Retrieved 2011-08-22.