8 Essential Songs for Your Hanukkah Playlist (Yes, You Need One)

Adam Sandler made sure you didn’t feel like the only kid in town without a Christmas tree, but his Chanukah songs are the only mainstream song Jewish kids hear. We’ve compiled a list of Hanukkah songs. Some are just for the adults. Others the whole family can enjoy together.

“I Did It For The Toys” by Dance Hall Crashers

In “I Did It for the Toys,” Elyse Rogers and Karina Deniké sing about Santa’s unsavory side. The song tells the story Mrs. Claus cheating on Santa, so he goes out and gets himself a mistress. This mistress only sticks with Santa, who in this story is a pervert with a NAMBLA membership, because she wants all the toys she never received because her family is Jewish. In the end, the mistress breaks up with Santa because “he won’t get a clue so I hit him with a matzo ball, right between the eyes.”

“Christmas Wrapping” by Save Ferris

Save Ferris’ rendition of The Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping” tells the story of a Jewish woman in the 1990s trying to celebrate Hanukkah, but feeling left out and overwhelmed due to the fact that Christmas permeates everything during the month of December. At first, she goes to the mall and feels like “a sitting duck in Santa’s zoo,” so she decides to miss Christmas. Gradually, she starts feeling better about the holiday season, even though she has “one pile for all the Christmas cards from the friends who just don’t get it yet.”

“The Chanukah Song” by Yidcore

For all the punk rockers out there, Yidcore reworked Sandler’s Hanukkah song as a tribute to all the influential Jews “in the punk rock biz.”

“Chinese Food on Christmas” by Brandon Walker

Walker celebrates the tradition of “Chinese Food on Christmas.” While he seems sad that Santa won’t come visit him, Walker is happy that his family gets to spend the day together eating Chinese food and going to the movies.

“Chanukah” by Six13

Six13’s “Chanukah” is a parody of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” It manages to fit the story of Hanukkah, Hanukkah traditions, and how to play dreidel into a song that clocks in under 4 minutes.

“Happy Hanukkah” by Matisyahu

Of course, Matisyahu has a catchy and extremely enjoyable song that simply wants to wish you a Happy Hanukkah.

“Feast of Lights” by They Might Be Giants

They Might Be Giants’ “Feast of Lights” is for all those Jewish kids who see random family members once a year and then never see them again until next year because no one likes each other.

“My Girlfriend (Forgot Me This Christmas)” by The Click Five

Strictly speaking this isn’t a Hanukah song because the lead singer never states why his girlfriend forgot he would be lonely on Christmas Day without her. However, those of us who don’t celebrate Christmas can empathize. While most people would be upset, he’s upbeat and sings, “That’s ok. We’ve still got New Years.”

Hopefully, this mixture of original songs and covers of well-known songs will brighten your December. Happy Hanukkah everyone!

Anglophile, Rockabilly, Pompadour lover, TV and Music Critic