At 75, Elton John just keeps getting better and better. Since the pandemic started, he’s collaborated with literally every single major pop star, including, most recently, Britney Spears, who hasn’t released music in over half a decade (I am totally obsessed with this video of their “Hold Me Closer”).
And this year, Elton John is finally getting the Hanukkah parody treatment — and it’s been a long (long!) time coming, because his song titles can be so easily turned into Hanukkah puns! Beloved Jewish a cappella group Six13 did a pretty great job with their new parody medley of his songs.
The group titled this compilation “Elton Johnukkah.” I, for one, support making Elton Johnukkah a national holiday.
The video for this medley is such a delight. While the band members do not totally forgo their usual matching button-up shirts, they did also don some pretty camp and colorful outfits in homage to the Rocket Man — rainbow shirts, shiny purple blazers, lots and lots of colorful shades, and miles upon miles of sequins everywhere, which surely shine as brightly as the Hanukkah candles.
Fun fact: Elton John did visit the land where the miracle of Hanukkah occurred on multiple occasions, performing in Israel in 1979, 1993, 2010 and 2016. That 1993 concert almost didn’t occur because John was mobbed by paparazzi and fans shortly after landing (one fan was even hospitalized!) and literally turned his private jet around. He was later coaxed to return to the country and perform that concert, which is a true miracle, even if not a Hanukkah one.
Now back to those Hanukkah puns! The most obvious John contender for the Festival of Lights treatment is “Candle in the Wind,” which the band turned into “Candles in the Window.” Hearing them sing “the oil burned out long ago/traditions never did” does hit us pretty hard in those feels.
Then, there’s “Tiny Dancer,” which became “Tiny Dreidel” (they are tiny!) and “Rocket Man” which flawlessly turns into “Latke Man” — a much safer career choice, if you ask me, as long as you maintain fire safety.
Speaking of fire safety, the parody of said song also includes a joke about making sufganiyot at home for the first time, which many a viewer will find relatable (and yes, there are oven mitts involved, ’cause those oil splatters can be painful).
Yet probably the best song choice for this fraught year is “I’m Still Standing” — which the band turned into “We’re Still Standing.”
“We’re still standing/Each and every Yid” they sing, because Jews are “true survivors/Yeah, we beat the Seleucids.”
And survivors we are. In a year full of antisemitism, it’s nice to get a rallying cry courtesy of Elton John (who in 2020, signed an open letter decrying antisemitism and systemic racism) and Six13.
We’re still standing. Yeah, yeah, yeah!