A Hanukkah Miracle: Hatch Keeps The Oil Burning

The Atlantic's own Jeffery Goldberg has inspired something that may count as an American Hanukkah miracle--Orrin Hatch, the conservative Mormon senator from Utah, writing a Hanukkah song:

Hatch, the progenitor of numerous Christian hymns, promised Goldberg a decade ago that he'd write a Hanukkah song, since most Hanukkah music, in Goldberg's own estimation, isn't that great. The story of how the song came to pass, involving a Christmas Eve phone call taken in a West Virginia Wal-Mart, is well worth the read.

Hatch, Goldberg, and a crew of New York Jews from Tablet Magazine hung out for its recording by a Syrian-American singer from Terre Haute, Indiana, in a Manhattan studio in October, forming a diasporic melting pot for the song's creation.

Though he's a Mormon, Hatch has a soft spot for the Jews, and Goldberg praises his earnestness in the songwriting--it's not humorous, self-conscious or Adam Sandlerized, but an honest exultation in the Hanukkah story, complete with choral singing and a markedly Jewish-sounding minor key.

Now only if Hatch can write one for each day of Hanukkah.