It’s the first night of Chanukah!

In honor of which, I bring you two (count ’em, two!) Chanukah songs.

The first is “Candlelight,” sung by the Maccabeats:

Video by Uri Westrich

And in case you were wondering about the lines in “Candlelight” that run:

We say “ma’oz tzur”
Oh, yeah, for all eight nights,

that is my second song, a very traditional Chanukah song.

“Ma’oz Tzur,” sung by students of Technion:

Video by Technion.

In case you are unfamiliar with the institution, Technion can be described as the MIT of Israel. They certainly sing it way, WAY better than I can–and they are appropriately ingenious with their instruments.

(More on the songs after the jump.)

Now go have some latkes or sufganiyot! Chag sameach (happy holiday)!

About “Candlelight”:

The melody is by Taio Cruz (although he, silly man, thought it was for a song titled “Dynamite”), and he is not (so far as I know) Jewish. The parody lyrics, however, are by two members of the Maccabeats (an a cappella group formed of current and past Yeshiva University students), David Block and Immanuel Shalev, and they definitely are.

And about “Maoz Tzur”:

This traditional melody for “Ma’oz Tzur” has been identified as mostly likely having been adapted from an old German folk song, possibly sometime in the 15th century.

The lyrics go back even farther–they are thought to have been written in the 13th century and we even know the poet’s first name, as he wrote it into the hymn as an acrostic: The first letters of the first five stanzas spell out Mordechai–מרדכי in Hebrew.