Get Into The Holiday Spirit With Eight Hanukkah Songs For Eight Nights
By Ariel King
November 19, 2021
While there are more Christmas songs out in the world than people can count, Hanukkah songs can be harder for holiday music lovers to come by. With the festival of lights just around the corner, iHeartRadio has gathered eight Hannukah hits to get you into the holiday spirit. So spin your dreidels, gather your gelt, and stuff yourself with latkes as we suggest a song for each night.
1. Yo La Tengo’s “Eight Candles”
Yo La Tengo released their own holiday classic, "Eight Candles," to celebrate the eight nights of Hanukkah. The smooth single creates a jazzy feel that's fit for serving as the soundtrack to boisterous Hanukkah dinners. The humming lyrics find the group celebrating Hanukkah while personifying the candles, singing "They're alive and the window's aglow/Teasing shadows with nowhere to go."
2. Jack Black’s “Oh Hanukkah”
Jack Black reinvented a Hanukkah classic, “Oh Hanukkah” with an acapella with many vocal harmonies. He brought forth a rock edge to the classic single, his boisterous vocals creating a slightly comedic sense to the single. With "Oh Hanukkah" a holiday classic, Black's version allows all to get into the Hanukkah spirit.
3. Too $hort’s “Hanukkah (Favorite Time Of The Year)”
Too $hort brought some Hanukkah cheer with his own holiday single, “Hanukkah (Favorite Time Of The Year).” While he makes sure that he can get a piece of brisket as he laments that Hanukkah just might be the superior holiday due to it having eight nights, rather than just one day, Too $hort’s single carries a smooth R&B instrumental into the holiday.
4. Matisyahu's "Happy Hanukkah"
Matisyahu throws listeners back to the early-2010s with his bouncing instrumentals. Singing about the celebration of Hanukkah, Matisyahu's reggae rap manages to get all who listen into a sparkling holiday spirit that will get them moving and grooving.
5. Barenaked Ladies' "Hanukkah Blessings"
When the Barenaked Ladies released their Holiday album in 2018, they made sure to release a few Hanukkah songs, as well. "Hanukkah Blessings" finds the band singing about lighting the candles at the end of the day, leading into the nightly prayer for when the candles are lit.
6. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' "8 Days (of Hanukkah)"
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings brought a soothing r&b sound to Hanukkah with their single, "8 Days (of Hanukkah)." Taking listeners through each night and celebrating all of the holidays' annual traditions, including latkes and brisket, the track creates one verse for every night.
7. Matisyahu's "Miracle"
Matisyahu manages to bring an upbeat feel to Hanukkah that urges listeners to dance with his single "Miracle." Released in the early-2010s, the song features Matisyahu's signature raps as he goes through New York City, the track subtly referencing the holiday within his lyrics.
8. Woody Guthrie’s “Hannukkah Dance”
Woody Guthrie's wife had been Jewish, and the folk artist wrote quite a number of Hannukah songs in honor of her culture. Guthrie's song has been covered a number of times by many other Jewish artists, and the song's lyrics urges kids to dance and celebrate the holiday.
9. Honorable mention: Adam Sandler’s “Chanukah Song”
While Hannukah may have eight days, a menorah does have nine candles. No Hannukah list would be complete without Adam Sandler’s Hannukah song. His lyrics encapsulate what “all those nice little Jewish kids who don’t get to hear any Hannukah songs” feel during the holiday season. The “Chanukah Song” remains a treasure within the Jewish community and remains a point of pride for all who celebrate the holiday.