The album is called “Twas The Night Before Hanukkah”. Okay, the title may make you start your eyes rolling to the top of your head, but stop it.
This album was created by the Idelsohn Society for Music Preservation, a non-profit group. It aims to celebrate musical contributions that Jews have contributed to both Hanukkah and Christmas.
Idelsohn member David Katznelson talked about the project in a recent New York Times interview, ““We kept finding artists that either did Hanukkah recordings and Christmas recordings, or Jewish artists that never did Hanukkah recordings at all, but left us Christmas recordings, like Barbra Streisand,”. “Yentl herself, and it’s a Christmas recording!”
The first disc of the 2-CD set includes traditional songs but some arrangements you might not expect. Take a listen to”Dreidel” a full-on blues jam by Don McLean.
The second disc includes Jews singing both secular songs like The Ramones “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight) and religious songs like Bob Dylan’s “Little Drummer Boy”
It’s a wonderful and creative collection that’s well worth checking out.
If you happen to be in San Francisco on December 15 you can hear The Idelsohn Society Presents: ‘TWAS THE LAST NIGHT OF HANUKKAH