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Put On Your Yarmulke, It's Time For Chanukah

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Dec. 20, 2011 at 6:00 PM , Categories: Miscellaneous , Tags: holiday_songs
Unusual Holiday Songs

For the past few years I've been posting an unusual holiday song each December. This year Matthew Jordan (of the Ghostbusters Wiki) offered to make me a little image to use for this now-annual tradition, and I thought it would be a great way to connect all of the posts, old and new. So, this year is the first year that the awesome title banner above is being officially used, though I retrofitted all of the old posts with it.

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. This is the holiday that Jewish people typically celebrate in December, though sometimes it occurs in November (it all depends upon where the Hebrew calendar lines up with the regular calendar each year). Hanukkah is an eight-day holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. For the non-religious and the non-Jewish, think of Hanukkah as the Jewish Christmas :-)

Hanukkah is not as popular in terms of mainstream music as Christmas is, so there really aren't any well-known Hanukkah songs. "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel" and "Chanukah, Oh Chanukah" is about as well-known as it gets. Adam Sandler wanted to change all that in the mid-1990s with the release of a song that he appropriated titled, "The Chanukah Song". Available on his 1996 comedy album "What The Hell Happened To Me?", it's not so much of a song as it is a list of people who are Jewish. Still, it became really popular and is pretty much the only mainstream Hanukkah song there is. If you tuned in to see The Real Ghostbusters in the Winter of 1998 on the then-new Fox Family channel, you would have seen Sandler's live concert performance of the song, as it was constantly shown during commercial breaks. A few years after the original was released, Sandler made a revised version, changing a few lyrics and updating the list of Jewish people. This version, cleverly titled "The Chanukah Song, Part II", was recorded live at Brandeis University for his 1999 album "Stan and Judy's Kid". Because having two versions of the same song wasn't enough, Sandler released a "Part III" in 2002 on the Eight Crazy Nights soundtrack (MP3 album), this time featuring vocals from actor Rob Schneider and the children's choir The Drei-Dels.


Of course, why stop at only three versions when you can have FOUR!!! No, Sandler didn't put out a "Part IV" (not yet anyway), but someone did do a cover version... and it's someone whom you would never have expected to do a cover version of an Adam Sandler song - NEIL DIAMOND! Off of his 2009 "A Cherry Cherry Christmas" album, this version is more melodic, relaxed, and "adult contemporary" than Sandler's version - and it's probably the "safer" version if you want to listen to the song with your parents. An animated music video was created for the song (below), along with an online ecard that you can give to anyone you like - or hate, depending on their preference for Neil Diamond.



For the complete list of Spook Central's holiday song posts from years past, click here. Thanks to Matthew Jordan for making the "Unusual Holiday Songs" title banner that appears at the top of this post.
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In Loving Memory of Joel Richard Rudoff (July 28, 1944 - January 20, 2014)

In Loving Memory of Linda Joyce Rudoff (July 12, 1948 - November 29, 2015)

Doreen Mulman (May 22, 1961 - March 14, 2014)

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