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Hanukkah Songs

Hanukkah Songs

Do you know which songs are sung traditionally during the festival of lights? In this article, we tell you which songs are associated with the festival of Hanukkah.
Tulika Nair
Strains of Silent Night and Joy to World can be heard from every nook and corner during the holiday season but songs associated with Hanukkah like I Have a Little Dreidel and Maoz Tzur do not enjoy the same popularity, maybe with the exception of the different versions of Adam Sandler's Happy Hanukkah. The festival of Hanukkah is an important part of the religion of Judaism. Also known as the festival of lights, it is dedicated to reassertion of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem by the Jewish army. Some of the important traditions that are synonymous with Hanukkah includes the lighting of the nine-branched candlestick holder known as the Menorah and singing of songs.

Songs for Hanukkah

Most songs about the festival are about the defeat of the Greeks at the hands of the small army of Jews. There are also songs that talk about the oil which lit a flame for eight long days and nights. It is impossible to imagine any festival without music and these songs form an important part of Jewish Hanukkah traditions.

Hanukkah Songs
Name of Song Hanukkah Song Lyrics English Translation
Maoz Tzur Maoz tzur yeshua-si
Lecha na-eh li-sha-beyach
Tikone bais ti-fee-lasi
Vi-sham todah ni-za-beyach
Li-ase ta-chin mat-beyach.

Mee-tzar ham-na-beyach
Az eg-more vi-sheer meez-mor
Chanukas ha-meez-beyach
Az eg-more vi-sheer meez-mor
Chanukas ha-meez-beyach.
O Rock of my salvation, with delight we praise You.
Restore the Temple where we will bring offerings.
When You will eliminate our enemies,
Then I shall sing at the rededication.
Sivivon, sov, sov, sov Sivivon, sov, sov, sov
Chanuka, hu chag tov
Chanuka, hu chag tov
Sivivon, sov, sov, sov!

Chag simcha hu la-am
Nes gadol haya sham
Nes gadol haya sham
Chag simcha hu la-am.
Dreidel, spin, spin, spin.
Chanuka is a great holiday.
It is a celebration for our nation.
A great miracle happened there.
Chanuka, Chanuka Chanuka, Chanuka
Chag yafeh kol kach
Ohr chaviv, mi-savis
Gil li-yeled rach.

Chanuka, Chanuka
Sivivon, sov, sov
Sov, sov, sov! Sov, sov, sov!
Ma nayim vi-tov.
Chanuka is a greay holiday.
Surrounded with lovely light.
Fun for little children.
Dreidel, spin, spin, spin.
How wonderful!
Mi Y'malel Mi yimalel gvurot Yisrael,
Otan mi yimne?
Hen be'chol dor yakum ha'gibor
Goel ha'am!

Ba'yamim ha'hem ba'zman ha'ze
Maccabi moshia u'fode
U'v'yameinu kol am Yisrael
Yitached yakum ve'yigael!
Who can retell the things that befell us,
Who can count them?
In every age, a hero or sage
Came to our aid.
In days of yore in Israel's ancient land
Brave Maccabeus led the faithful band
But now all Israel must as one arise
Redeem itself through deed and sacrifice.
Ner Li Ner li, ner li, ner li daqiq,
Bakhanukah neri 'adliq.
Bakhanukah neri ya'ir
Bakhanukah shirim 'ashir.
I have a candle, I have a small thin candle
On Chanukah, my candle I will light.
On Chanukah my candle will glow
On Chanukah I will sing songs.
I Have a Little Dreidel I have a little dreidel
I made it out of clay
And when it's dry and ready
Then dreidel I shall play!

Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel
I made it out of clay
And when it's dry and ready
Then dreidel I shall play!

It has a lovely body
With legs so short and thin
And when my dreidel's tired
It drops and then I win!

My dreidel's always playful
It loves to dance and spin
A happy game of dreidel
Come play now, let's begin!
Chanuka, oh Chanuka Chanuka, Oh Chanuka, come light the Menorah
Let's have a party, we'll all dance the hora
Gather round the table, we'll all have a treat
Sivivon to play with, and latkes to eat.

And while we are playing
The candles are burning bright
One for each night, they shed a sweet light
To remind us of days long ago.
One for each night, they shed a sweet light
To remind us of days long ago.
Hanukkah Song by Adam Sandler Put on your yarmulke,
Here comes Hanukkah!
So much funukah,
To celebrate Hanukkah!
Hanukkah is the festival of lights.
Instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights.

When you feel like the only kid in town
Without a Christmas tree,
Here's a list of people who are Jewish just like you and me:

David Lee Roth lights the menorah.
So do James Caan, Kirk Douglas, and the late Dinah Shore-ah.

Guess who eats together at the Carnegie Deli?
Bowser from Sha Na Na and Arthur Fonzarelli!
Paul Newman's half Jewish, Goldie Hawn's half too.
Put them together, what a fine lookin' Jew.

You don't need "Deck The Halls" or "Jingle Bell Rock",
'Cause you can spin a dreidel with Captain Kirk
and Mr. Spock -- both Jewish.

Put on your yarmulke
It's time for Hanukkah
The owner of the Seattle Supersonicahs
Celebrates Hanukkah

O.J. Simpson - not a Jew.
But guess who is? Hall of famer Rod Carew -- he converted
We got Ann Landers and her sister Dear Abby.
Harrison Ford's a quarter Jewish -- not too shabby!

Some people think that Ebenezer Scrooge is
Well he's not, but guess who is -- All Three Stooges!
So many Jews are in showbiz,
Tom Cruise isn't - but I heard his agent is.

Tell your friend Veronica
It's time to celebrate Hanukkah.
I hope I get a harmonicah
Oh this lovely, lovely Hanukkah.
So drink your gin and tonicah
And smoke your marijuanikah.
If you really, really wannakah
Have a happy, happy, happy, happy Hanukkah!
Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah, in general, tends to get overshadowed by the excitement surrounding Christmas, but these songs should help revive the spirit of the festival.