Tunes on Tuesday: Banu Choshech Legaresh

Why this tune?

Today is the fifth day of Hanukkah, so I’m staying on the subject of Hanukkah songs. This year I’m releasing instrumental versions of eight Hanukkah songs, one for each day of the festival of lights. For day five, I recorded an original arrangement of one of the classic Hebrew songs for the holiday, Banu Hoshech Legaresh, which we sing around our Hanukiyya at home.

Like so many Hanukkah songs, this one is often performed as a song for children. As you can see below, it has also inspired plenty of versions for grown-ups as well, perhaps because of the strong melody and powerful lyrics.

Dig this detail!

The lyrics of this song are more powerful than most of the popular English language Hanukkah songs – starting with the title, which translates as “We come to expel the darkness.” The chorus calls out to darkness to *flee* from the light. I like that better than “I have a little dreidel”

Best wishes to all of you: Happy Hanukkah / Hag Urim Sameach / חג אורים שמח.

Hear the story

Check it out!

A version for kids

For solo bass by Alex Bershadsky

From hip-hop collaborators Subliminal and The Shadow

My short interpretation for this year’s collection Eight Songs for Eight Days

Published by Oren Levine

Jazz pianist and composer in Washington, DC. Also a digital product and technology professional working at a small DC nonprofit

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