Kudos to Philip Brasor for a much needed review of Hanukkah music in his Dec. 18 article, “Rocking around the Hanukkah menorah.” Such an article was long overdue and this was a thorough treatment of the subject.
Still, not to kvetch, but if I may add a few thoughts. First, the author refers to Woody Guthrie as the only Gentile to compose a Hanukkah song as far as he knew — fair enough. I would like to add “Reggae Hanukkah,” an excellent album featuring some traditional but many original Hanukkah songs. Second, I feel that in this listing of Hanukkah CDs, Paul Zim should not be overlooked. He has produced several Hanukkah albums that serve as an excellent introduction to the music of the holidays.
I think it is a little unfortunate that the article did not mention the growing number of Christians who celebrate Hanukkah, including U.S. President George W. Bush. One recent survey showed that there were more Christians than Jews celebrating Hanukkah in America. And increasingly, it is being celebrated not just by “Messianic Jews” but my more traditional mainline denominational Christians as well. So it is not true, I think, to say that most “non-Jews” only know a few Hanukkah songs or have only heard them in school.
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