My B Side feature on “Dreidel Rap ’89” and Hanukkah hip-hop songs doesn’t quite cover the range of pop songs dedicated to this minor Jewish holiday—I’d have run the risk of completely blowing my word count, for one thing. But my eyes and ears generally gravitate toward whatever odd piece of Hanukkah-related music I find online and off throughout the year, even when what I usually stumble upon is yet another a cappella parody YouTube video (the Jewish equivalent of quaint ukulele covers of popular indie-rock songs). So when I found a 2006 seven-inch by a band called Jewdriver, a California band formed to make parody covers of infamous British neo-Nazi punk group Skrewdriver, I had to pick it up.
The Jewdriver record I bought, Hanukkah Hangover, isn’t particularly good—after listening to one side of rudimentary oi-punk I got my fill. But I’m still taken by the cover, which is a close up of a hairy, bear-chested, suspender-wearing punk with a tattoo of the Star of David in flames. Like Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song” had done for me decades earlier, the album art showed to me that there are other people out there celebrating the same strange holiday as me, and choosing to express their Jewish identities in unexpected ways to boot.
I haven’t found the songs from Jewdriver’s Hanukkah Hangover anywhere online in an easily streamable format, but if you’re curious here are some of the band’s other offerings.