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Candlelight Coda: Some Songs We Missed In Our Hanukkah Music Chat

Last week week I spoke with Josh Kun, co-founder of the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation, about the songs of Hanukkah. And in response, many listeners wrote in.

Shoshana Hoose of Portland, Maine, for instance, took issue with what she found to be "a lack of understanding of the holiday's serious meaning — and a lack of knowledge about music that reflects that meaning. Hanukkah is a holiday that honors religious freedom."

"I find the guest's comment that his favorite Hanukkah music is actually Christmas music sad," writes Andrea Kuperman of Kettering, Ohio. She says the conversation spent too much time discussing Christmas music, writing, "If you dig a little, you can find some fun and non-Christmas-like music for Hanukkah."

And there were plenty of requests. The song mentioned most frequently was "Light One Candle," by Peter, Paul and Mary.

There was the more traditional "Ocho Kandelikas" — performed below by the band Pink Martini (featuring NPR's own Ari Shapiro).

Also popular was "Candlelight" by the Maccabeats, an a cappella group based out of Yeshiva University. The song, set to the tune of Taio Cruz's "Dynamite," is part parody and part history lesson.

And, if we might add one more of our own, here's Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings playing a brand-new song at NPR headquarters, during a holiday-themed Tiny Desk Concert. It's called "8 Days ("Of Hanukkah)."

Find the original interview below.

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Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.