I realize this has nothing to do with energy, food or environment, but it amuses me, so a brief hiatus from relevance will be taken. As y’all know (or don’t) Chanukah starts this weekend, and the household is awash in preparations, many of them involving glue sticks and song.
During the course of my life, I’ve had several candidates for the “Most nauseating holiday song award” – before my conversion to Judaism, I was an avid advocate of “The Little Drummer Boy” whose sicky sweet rumpapumpumming went on an awfully long time and seemed to be a favorite for covers by artists I already couldn’t stand. Later on, I came to feel that “O Christmas Tree/O Tannenbaum” narrowly edged out the little drummer on the grounds that bad in two languages got extra points.
Once I converted, however, and had children, I realized that all my prior distastes had been a small thing to the song most people do not officially know as “I had a little fucking dreidel” (kudos to my friend Alexandra for properly and permanently renaming it for us one afternoon.) The thing is, most people know 30 or 40 Christmas songs, and some of them are lovely, so you can reasonably hope that in an afternoon at the mall, or watching your kids sing in some holiday concert, you will get some beautiful Christmas music. But the evil Dreidel song is the *only* Chanukah song that most non-Jews know, (except perhaps now Adam Sandler’s Chanukah song, which they do not sing at children’s concerts – pity that) and is probably the only Chanukah song many secular Jews ever heard more than once (a friend of mine observed that during his childhood they always sang Chanukah songs at school – but songs *no one* had ever heard of, certainly none of the Jewish kids.) Moreover, it is on every Chanukah album, even the good ones, and it sucks. Oh, how deeply it sucks.
But there is a new candidate for worst Chanukah song ever – and funniest Chanukah video. Apparently Mormon senator Orrin Hatch wrote a deeply sincere Chanukah song as a gift to the Jewish people. It is horrifyingly bad, and the video of him actually singing is pretty unbelievably funny.
Because I am an official representative of the Jewish people, I should express my gratitude to Hatch. And in a sense, I am grateful – because now I will go back to my kids singing the dreidel song and stop begging them to “please, sing some other Chanukah song, any other Chanukah song, please, for the sake of your mother’s sanity.” I will now be much more careful and add more caveats to my pleas.
I appreciate Hatch’s kind intentions, and on behalf of the Jewish people, I express my gratitude, while hoping that he has also enclosed a gift receipt somewhere. But I’m sure we’ll find a use for it somehow.
Ok, what’s your nominee for absolute worst holiday song?
And to prove further that the Dreidel song isn’t as bad as the Hatch video, here’s Erran Baron Cohen’s also very funny (but intentionally) and musically interesting version. I still don’t like the song though (I can’t embed the video, since embedding is disabled).