Hanukkah is upon-us-kah! In recent years, the Festival of Lights has become an occasion that’s celebrated with a wealth of Jewish a cappella songs, including some so infectious that they are pretty much guaranteed to get stuck in your head all year long.
Here at Kveller, we have compiled our 8 favorite Hanukkah parodies. Play one for each night of the holiday — or play all of them on repeat every night. You do you!
8) “Candlelight” — The Maccabeats
Here’s the O.G. that started it all: “Candlelight” (parodying Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite”). It came out in 2010 and started a wave of Hanukkah a cappella fun that many groups are still riding to this day! I love this one because it tells the tale of Hanukkah so succinctly; it was one of my definite go-tos when I was teaching Hebrew school. Plus, who knew “I flip my latkes in the air sometimes” could be such an infectious lyric?
7) “Hanukkah oh Hanukkah” — Shir Soul
This delightful parody by Shir Soul (shir is the Hebrew word for “song”) is pretty spot on! If you don’t know Pentatonix, they’re the a cappella group famous for their dramatic music videos, and this one seems to riff off their Daft Punk video.
6) “Hanukkah Song Mashup/Dance Spectacular!” — Elliot Dvorin
This delightful dance and song medley was shot in Chicago’s Daley Square during Hanukkah and it has a bit of everything in it, from Adam Sandler’s iconic “Chanukah Song” to the modern Ladino classic, “Ochos Kandelikas,” and so much exciting dance. It’s a fun one to watch with kids.
5) “Shine On You” — Listen Up!
This Matisyahu cover is simple and beautiful. I love that Listen Up! also features a female vocalist, Sari Greenberg (because, let’s face it, this world of Jewish a cappella could use some diversity). All the vocals meld so well in this song, it’s a joy to listen to.
4) “I Light It” — Six13 (With NYC and NCSY)
This video features my favorite city, New York, and its lovely diverse faces. But it also covers three different pop songs, Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” Enrique Iglesias’ “I Like It,” and Kanye’s “Heartless.” It’s really a lot of fun!
3) “Miracle” — Maccabeats
This is what happens when two of our favorite Jewish musical acts come together: The Maccabeats’ version of Matisyahu’s “Miracle” is nothing short of miraculous. (Bonus: It also features a cameo from Mayim Bialik and her family).
2) “Bohemian Chanukah” — Six13
Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a hard song to cover successfully, but when it’s done right, it can be amazing. This Hanukkah cover just really really works — it’s fun, psychedelic, and so well-produced.
1) “Hasmonean” — The Maccabeats
The best parody is of the best musical EVER, Hamilton! A cappella all-stars The Maccabeats took on the Lin-Manuel Miranda masterpiece and really made it their own. If you haven’t watched it yet, don’t throw away your shot — do it now.