Friday, November 26, 2010

Hannukah Songs beyond "I am a Little Dreidel"

Hey Everyone,

The holidays are upon us, Thanksgiving is officially over and I realize that that means it's time for Christmas songs. Personally, I am trying to brush up on mine. (Can I tell you that O Holy Night sounds pretty good on my new ukulele?)

It also has been brought to my attention that while I'm cramming on learning Christmas songs, some of you might need Hannukah songs for your clients that go beyond "I am a Little Dreidel" and "Rock of Ages", which are great songs but there are so many new ones out there and not to mention that the previous two songs might be young to use for older adults.

Here is a great resource to find Jewish Holiday songs to use in your practice. The website is

Even though there are a lot of children's songs on this site, there are songs that are modern enough to use with all age groups, including older adults.

My favorite song on that website to use with older adults is We Kindle the Lights by Peter and Ellen Allard. It was written for children, yet it is not juvenile at all. It's a fill-in song where the participants name things that they wish for for each night of Hanukkah. When I tried this song with children, I got a lot of responses such as video games, toys, candy. However, when I tried this song with older adults, their responses tend to be more contemplative using words such as health, family, good will, etc. That's not to say that children don't understand the message in the song, but in my experiences, adults can really relate to it. The sheet music is available on the Tot Shabbat website.

Additionally, there are a couple of other songs on the Tot Shabbat website that I would recommend. Light One Candle by Peter Yarrow, Ocho Kandelikas by Flory Jagoda, Not By Might - Not By Power by Debbie Friedman, and my personal funny favorite - Hannukah in Santa Monica by Tom Lehrer. Traditional songs include Mao Tzur, Mi Yimaleil, and Al Hanissim.

Lots of other songs on there so be sure to use this site as a resource. Let me know if you're looking for any other Hannukah suggestions.

Happy Holidays and Happy Hannukah! First candle is Dec 1!



  1. AWESOME! I use Dreidel, Light the Menorah, and Festival of Lights (which no one knows). But then we do the regulars all year: Hine Ma Tov, Heve Nu Shalom, etc, etc... But those aren't seasonal, of course. I will definitely check out the Tot Shabbat site!!! Thanks for the tip =)

    Happy Hannukah, Sherrye =)

  2. Hey Kat! Thanks for the comment. I'm going to watch Drumify this weekend with my parents. Did you have any idea that it was a family DVD? :-)

    Happy Hannukah / Merry Christmas to you too!!


  3. Oh my! Have fun, and feel better soon!