Creative Community for Peace ranks our favorite songs celebs have written that celebrate the miracle of light!
- One Week and a Day – Boyz II Menorah
Last year, James Corden formed the Hanukkah supergroup Boyz II Menorah, with fellow stars Zach Braff, Charlie Puth, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Josh Peck. Their track, One week and a Day, is the debut single off their fictional album Mazel Tov!: The Best of Boyz II Menorah. Written in 90s boy-band style, One week and a Day boasts three-part harmonies, a dramatic key change, and an epic hook: “I’ve got a week and a day of love for you this Hanukkah, girl/ I’ve got a week and a day to show you how much I care.” The accompanying video features the group in matching white outfits, performing choreographed dance moves in front of a giant menorah. If you want to add a little spark of romance to your latkes, this r&b ballad is the perfect song to do it.
- Puppy for Hanukkah – Daveed Diggs
Hamilton star Daveed Diggs dropped Puppy for Hanukkah just in time to light the menorah this year. Written by Diggs and fellow composers Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson, this instant hit is likely the first ever Hanukkah rap song for children. Part hip-hop, part klezmer, the tune draws on Diggs’ Black and Jewish roots at a time when Black Jewish representation is more crucial than ever. Having recently launched our Black Jewish Alliance, Creative Community Peace could not be more excited about this one!
- Light One Candle – Peter, Paul and Mary
Peter, Paul and Mary’s vintage recording of Light One Candle is a powerful commentary on wartime and a commemoration of Jewish national liberation. Having performed their song in Jerusalem in 1983, the folk group captures the true spirit of Hanukkah with their emotive lyrics: “Light one candle for the Maccabee children with thanks that their light didn’t die/ Light one candle for the pain they endured when their right to exist was denied.” If anyone gets their hands on the live Jerusalem performance, send it our way! Until then, enjoy this deeply moving version from their 25th anniversary concert:
- 8 Days (of Hanukkah) – Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
In 2015, the late soul singer Sharon Jones released the holiday LP “It’s a Holiday Soul Party”. Shocked were we to discover the first track off the album was none other than a retro Hanukkah jam that makes you want to get your Maccabean groove on. In classic Dap Kings style, 8 Days (of Hanukkah) captivates us with Jones’ supremely expressive vocals, a Hammond organ, a melodic horn section, and an irresistible groove. Definitely the funkiest Hanukkah song around, this holiday anthem references everything from dreidels to Manischewitz. The accompanying animated three and a half minute lyric video has enough soul to last for all eight nights.
The Chanukah Song – Adam Sandler
- 26 years later, we’re still crazy about Adam Sandler’s timeless hit number, The Chanukah song. Originally performed on Saturday Night Live in 1994 and updated every year with new pop culture references and mentions of Jewish celebrities, The Chanukah Song is a heartwarming ode to those in the Jewish faith who feel left out of society’s annual Christmas cheer. Having inspired countless covers, spoofs, and future parody songs, we imagine The Chanukah Song will continue to charm and entertain Jewish and non-Jewish audiences for many years to come.
This article was written by Creative Community for Peace