You don't have to celebrate Hanukkah to enjoy singing its songs. Orrin Hatch,
Utah's devout Mormon senator, has written a hot new track
dubbed "Eight Days of Hanukkah." Where'd the inspiration come from? The Atlantic's own Jeffrey Goldberg
tells the story beginning when he and Hatch met for an interview in
We spent an hour in his office listening to some of his music, a
regular Mormon platter party. After five or six Christmas songs, I
asked, him, "What about Hanukkah songs? You have any of those?"
Regretfully, Hatch said he didn't know any. Fast forward ten years later and Goldberg receives an e-mail from Hatch:
"Dear Jeff, I know it's nine years too late, but I hope you will like
some of the following ideas." What followed were five verses of a
sincerely felt Hanukkah song.
After giving it a listen, Goldberg admits to being a huge fan:
It's a delightful thing to have Orrin Hatch write a song for Hanukkah.
Of course I appreciate the absurdist quality to this project, but I
also deeply appreciate Hatch's earnestness. His lyrics are not
postmodern or cynical, which is a blessing, because I for one have
tired of the Adam Sandlerization of Judaism in America. Yes, we are, as
a people, funny (at least when compared to other people, such as
Croatians) but our neuroses, well-earned though they may be, have
caused us to lacerate our own traditions, which are in fact (to borrow
from Barack Obama) awesome.
The clip below features Hatch donning studio headphones and gently "la la la-ing" to the refrain":
The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now. Our team tracks newsmakers and opinions across the entire media spectrum: newspapers, web sites, television, radio and magazines.
But we do more than just collect information. By synthesizing, analyzing and summarizing what’s out there, and adding new information when we can, we are a news engine that gives you a quick and valuable account of the issues of the day.