For some years now, dating back to the storied antiquity of Facebook some folks have been enjoying—or tolerating the Annual Murfin Winter Holidays Music Festival. This year we are moving the venue to Heretic, Rebel, a Thing to Flout. Facebook users will still see notifications and links but now faithful devotees of this electronic rag can participate as well.
It works like this. Every year beginning on the First Sunday of Advent—delayed this year by the proprietor’s hospital stay—until the Feast of the Epiphany—the Day of the Three Kings on January 6, I will post a seasonal song, not only sacred and secular Christmas favorites, but song celebrating the many winter festival observed during this time of year including Hanukkah, St. Nicholas Day, Santa Lucia, Winter Solstice, Boxing Day, and New Years. I try to mix up the familiar with what might not be so well known including songs from different cultures and new music. Of course there will be plenty of time and space for the old chestnuts. Regular followers know that I am especially fond of the secular songs of the Golden Age of American Christmas Music which stretched roughly from the early 1930’s to the late 1970’s.
I am also eager to get suggestions and requests. You can message me on Facebook, e-mail email@example.com , or post a comment to a blog entry.
Hanukkah began last evening with the lighting of the first candle on the Menorah at sundown. This celebration of the miracle of light that occurred when Judah Maccabee liberated the Temple in Jerusalem but only had enough purified oil to burn one night. But the oil was enough to light the Menorah for 8 days until more could be ritually purified. It is a joyful celebration of liberation and of enduring through dark and dangerous times. It is primarily observed privately over eight days in Jewish homes rather than being a synagogue ritual. It is especially treasured because it persisted through the darkest hours of the Holocaust and was even secretly kept in Nazi death camps.
Today we will begin with a selection taken from the album Hanukkah Songs—a comprehensive collection of Hanukkah songs. including songs in Hebrew, English and Yiddish featuring traditional and folk performances by leading artists from Israel.