Orrin Hatch and Hanukkah

The Mormon senator from Utah writes a spirited Hanukkah anthem

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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 Washington:

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":

Eight Days of Hanukkah from Tablet Magazine on Vimeo.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.