‘Tis the season of Christmas music. There’s “Joy to the World”, “Deck the Halls,” “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” etc…. And maybe one good Hanukkah song (Adam Sandler, we see you, even though you’re kind of creepy these days). But: did you know the 2013 Hanukkah comedy album masterpiece, Suck, It Christmas!!!, exists? And not only does it exist, but was written by Crazy Ex-Girlfriend songwriters Rachel Bloom, Jack Dolgen, and Dan Gregor? No? Let us tell you…
It is filled with tunes that you could expect to hear on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, except 10 times more Jewy and a bajillion times more explicit. The album plays with anti-Semitic tropes about Jews controlling the world, and treads through familiar Jewish topics such as the Holocaust, Barbra Streisand, Schindler’s List, playing basketball at your local JCC, and foreskins — all in fresh and hilarious ways. And! The whole album is only 18 minutes long. (If you’re craving more Hanukkah music after you listen, go check out Alma’s very own Hanukkah playlist on Spotify.)
Here’s our unofficial official rankings of the Hanukkah comedy album you won’t be able to stop listening to this Kislev (yes, that is the Hebrew month Hanukkah falls in. And yes, I had to google that):
11. Let Me Be the Cantor in Your Temple: This song is just a refrain of the lyric “let me be the cantor in your temple” for a minute and a half. Nothing much to write about here, except it was my least favorite song on the album. Is it a sex joke? Why was there no further context than a short spoken word intro that doesn’t clear anything up? More confused than anything. But don’t let this one song derail you from the other 10 amazing ones…
10. Elders of Zion Meeting #3: The last Elders of Zion meeting and the last track on the album, it’s revealed to be an ad for an ABC show (jokingly, of course). Arguably the worst Elders of Zion track on the album (and the shortest).
9. Elders of Zion Meeting #1: The first spoken-word on the album consists of “a recently uncovered recording of a secret meeting between the Elders of Zion, a clandestine organization of elite Jews who control the world…” Bloom, Dolgen, and Gregor play the hilariously stereotypical Elders where they are derailed from planning the next global depression by arguing over where Sal parked. Not a song, which is why it’s falling low on the list with the other meetings.
8. Elders of Zion Meeting #2: Same pattern as the first Elders of Zion Meeting, but instead of talking about media manipulation, they argue about where they’re getting lunch. It starts less excitingly without the provocativeness of the premise (you *just* heard another version of this), but this one has a twist: once they get into a debate over where to eat lunch, it spirals into what lunch place they were eating at when they “planned 9/11.” You cannot stop laughing. Also I’m sure there are some anti-Semites out there who will listen to this and think to themselves, “Ah, yes, we were right all along.” Oy.
7. Foreskin Angels: Here we have a children’s song parody, but about circumcision. It takes a weird turn — about how all the foreskins become an angel — but the angel is a “protector of your dick.” Less funny to me than the other ones (I’m not super here for penis humor), but clever if you’re into penis humor. And surprisingly really catchy. Reminds me of “Puff, the Magic Dragon” in a strange way.
6. Happy Epic Chanukah: A head-banger to say the least, this one is about how God has to stop for bathroom breaks which is why Hanukkah is eight nights long. (“God has a sensitive Jew-stomach!”) Latkes, according to the song, exist so God can carbo-load and fight General Zod (Superman’s enemy, for those less comic-savvy). Dreidels, then, are to keep Zod dizzy in prison. Bathroom humor, an absurd premise (God fighting Superman’s enemy), name dropping Barbra Streisand (duh) and Woody Allen (ugh), plus a shofar thrown in for good measure… a winner. But not easy on your ears, so not something I would listen to again. Unless I’m fighting in the War on Christmas.
5. Think About All the Dead Jews: A fantastic klezmer tune. Rachel Bloom recently tweeted that this song is the precursor to the most Jewish song on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: “Remember That We Suffered” and when you start listening, you will definitely hear the musical similarities.
I am still massively proud of this album. Plus, it has a song on it that was later re-jiggered to be “Remember That We Suffered.” BUY IT PLEASE https://t.co/5oPybVRKeb
— Rachel Bloom (@Racheldoesstuff) November 30, 2017
Instead of “Remember That We Suffered,” the refrain is “Think About All the Dead Jews,” which sets a decidedly darker tone for the entire song. Also not sung by Patti LuPone and Tovah Feldshuh, so just based on that alone (who can compete with that duo!?), this is a worse version. However, this version has a verse that goes, “The Pharaoh, the Nazis, the Cossacks, Jesse Jackson, your neighbor, the UPS guy, the girl who looked at you weird at the Gap…” It just shows how adept Bloom, Dolgen, and Gregor are at turning Jewish history into comedic songs.
4. Lonely Night: In some sense, this direct parody of “O Holy Night” with just the lyrics changed is the least original melody-wise on the album, but the comedy is pure gold. This song made me think of “Christmastime for the Jews,” the classic SNL sketch about what Jews do on Christmas night. But instead of being about all the fun things that Jews get to do on December 25, this song is the tale of a sad Jew who wants to take part in the holiday cheer, but her parents won’t let her. The kicker is the ending to the song: “Then they made me watch Schindler’s list / they made me watch Schindler’s List.”
3. What Would Hashem Do?: Another children’s song parody, this one truly sounds like something you would maybe hear in Hebrew school (besides the darkness of the lyrics). Instead of asking, “What would Jesus do?” Bloom, Dolgen, and Gregor ask, “What would Hashem do?” with varyingly hilarious responses. My first thought listening to this song was “Man Up” from Book of Mormon when Josh Gad sings “what did Jesus do / when they sentenced him to die?” and talks about how Jesus “manned up.” Not super sing-y (beside the “what would Hashem do?” refrain), but the innocent questions paired with the dark answers makes for a memorable hit.
2. Judaica: This one begins with a mom-daughter duo discussing the mom’s recent trip to Puerto Rico, and the mom says, “Do you know they have a lovely Jewish community there?” Then the song transitions into an electro-inspired jam about how when Jews travel, they always end up shopping for Judaica. It gets to a core of Jewish travellers: They seek out Jewish history wherever they go. The line, “In any city that I’m in (in in in), I find the Holocaust museum…” made me legitimately laugh out loud. This song was thoroughly enjoyable and the premise was comic and original (“Dancing all night at the club / waiting for the Judaica store to open”), so this song deservedly takes the #2 slot on the list.
1. Chanukah Honey: A direct parody of “Santa, Baby,” this winner is about a nice Jewish girl trying to flirt with a nice Jewish boy who got his MBA from Penn, plays basketball at the JCC, and went to camp with the girl’s friend’s step-cousin. The lyrics are *too good* not to include in full here, and this deservedly takes the best Hanukkah song on the album.
Chanukah Honey / you got your MBA from Penn / Amen / that is such a good school
Chanukah Honey / so come and light my candle tonight
Chanukah Honey / at the JCC you play basketball / so tall / you must be 5 foot 8
Chanukah Honey / so come and flip my latkes tonight
I know why you’re such a tease / it’s cause your last 3 girlfriends were Japanese / I’m exotic too. I’ve been to palm beach
By the way, I think our parents have mutual friends (the Schacters, do you know them?)
Chanukah Honey / you make puns just like my dad / so rad / you say Challa like HOLLA
Chanukah Honey / so come and spin my dreidel
You may think I’m stuffy cause I work in finance / but my Bat Mitzvah theme was dance!
Let me make all your dreams come true / by the way you went to camp with my friend’s step-cousin / small world!
Chanukah Honey / can you hear those wedding bells? / LOL / but seriously do you want kids?
Chanukah Honey / so come kiss my mezuzah tonight / (I heard you were the beatboxer in your college a capella group)
Come and bless my challah tonight / (I’d love to hear your version of who let the dogs out)
Mezuzah is the name for my clit.
Mic drop. Plus, this is the only song with its own music video: