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Holiday Songs: Hanukkah Rocks!

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A long time ago, but right around this time of year, I was sitting in a living room with a record collector pal, poring through the bins of seasonal vinyl from the likes of Jethro Tull, Merle Haggard and Fear. My friend looked up from his fourth or so glass of nog and remarked, "What am I listening to all this Jesus stuff for? I should put on the Blue Oyster Cult Hanukkah album."

"BOC made a Hanukkah record?"

"No. But they should!"

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Sadly, this has not been the case in the years since, nor have we seen contributions to the small-but-emerging genre of Hanukkah Rock from such notables as Kiss, the Beastie Boys, or Steely Dan. In fact, when they do eventually have a Rock and Roll Hanukkah album, that should be the line up. And a tour. That's a holiday show I'd pay to see!

But there are enough to get your party started without resorting to the 100,000th play of the Adam Sandler song. Here are a few of my favorites. Happy Hanukkah!

DICK DALE - Hava Nagila

Yup, it's Misirlou reimagined as the age-old favorite, and every bit as rambunctious as that sounds. Prepare to stomp holes in the floor.

(More songs after the jump)

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TOM LEHRER - Hanukkah in Santa Monica

A rarity from the master satirist, beloved by theater kids and funny old uncles the world over.

EL VEZ - The Dreydel Song

What do Elvis and Mexico have to do with Hanukkah? Nada. But, put the three together and you've got a heck of a good time.

THE YID KIDS - Santa Doesn't Come To Little Jewish Children's Houses

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One thing we know about these children, they're not frightened of the truth. "When we get our presents/ We know mommy and daddy sent them." A song of realism.

VELOURIA - 'Til Next Hanukkah

These folks livened up the Spaceland scene for a good few years back in the 90s, and here make the most of their contribution to the holiday canon. Put them on the big tour while we're at it, they should be OK with playing before BOC.

Photo by Silfverduk on flickr.