It’s official: The favorite song of the Yenta house this Chanukah season is this ska-flavored version of “Ocho Kandlikas” by Hip Hop Hoodios. (Wait just a sec for the beats to kick in. It’s available on the “Celebrate Jewish Hip Hop” collection from CraigNCo or downloaded here.)
It is my goal to lobby the music teachers of America to replace the oh-so-tired “Chanukah, Oh Chanukah” on the playlists of every elementary school choral concert with this Ladino classic by 2009.
(Ladino is the dialect of Sephardic Jews descended from those ousted from Spain and Portugal; it’s to Spanish what Yiddish is to German. Marcia Fine’s latest novel, The Blind Eye explores this history that’s unfamiliar to so many of us Ashkenazic, Eastern European-descended folk.)
But the Chanukah rockin’ doesn’t stop at home: We got it goin’ on during carpool with Radio Hanukkah on XM radio, channel 108! To hear “Sunrise, Sunset” and a klezmer power hour hosted by accordian mistress Annette Ezekiel from Golem is such a tonic for all those same twenty-five ubiquitous Christmas tunes bombarding us in stores, offices, hospitals, nail salons, hotel lobbies and all other public places. Honestly, isn’t time someone retired poor Brenda Lee already?