Hanukkah songs – the great and the not so great

Many years ago, my brother was in an alt-country/folk band called 5 Chinese Brothers. Their oeuvre included a truly wonderful hanukkah song called Age Old Story. You can listen to it here. I posted the lyrics below. (Now he writes songs that teach vocabulary words. You can listen to those here. Oh, he’s also cute and single.)
Thanks to the song’s old country gospel vibe, you might my brother had written the least Jew-y Hanukkah song ever. But you would be wrong. How can a nice Jewish boy (even one who lives in the south) compete with Orrin Hatch for that honor?

Way back yonder in the days of the Bible
There’s a story true and grave
About a wicked king who ruled Judea
And an evil law he made
He declared that the Hebrews must forsake their G-d
And worship Zeus instead
And while some obeyed, still a few brave others
Declared they would rather be dead
They would not bow down, they could not bow down
Not even their lives to save
For the Lord decreed “You shall have no other
If you’d live in the holy way”
Rabbi Elezar was so well respected
The king said “Here’s what we’ll do
You just stand there before that statue of Zeus
And bend over to tie your shoe”
And Hannah she had seven sons
And many years before them, it’s true
Well, that king he tried the same trick on them
But those boys would not be moved
You may think it sad, this age-old story
Telling evil and not of good
But I believe when those people went to meet their maker
They were standing on the rock where Moses stood
And because the Maccabees came down from mountain
The temple to liberate
Reb Elezar and Hannah’s sons, they live on forever
In the stories that we celebrate

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posted December 9, 2009 at 8:47 am

That’s Y’All singing background vocals!!

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posted December 9, 2009 at 9:07 am

I’m sorry, but Orrin Hatch *still* wins.

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posted December 9, 2009 at 9:11 am

My brother has also written several ‘Jew-y Chanukah songs’! I’m going to send you a CD (or2). e-mail me your address.

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Frume Sarah

posted December 10, 2009 at 12:50 am

This song was all over the place today. It really isn’t very good and wouldn’t have gotten any notice if it wasn’t for the authorship.

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