Holiday Trivia – Popular Songs of the Season

Trivia To Make Your Day!
Here’s a little history and trivia about the popular songs of the season.

Chanukah

Also known as the Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication. Dates for 2015 12/6-1214.  Sorry this letter got out too late for Chanukah, but play these songs anyway, they’re fun versions! Chanukah Songs:
Chanukah, Oh Chanukah Sung by the glee cast.
Oh Chanukah (also Chanukah, Oh Chanukah) is an English version of the Yiddish Oy Chanukah (Yiddish: חנוכּה אױ חנוכּה Khanike Oy Khanike). The English words, while not a translation, are roughly based on the Yiddish. “Oy Chanukah” is a traditional Yiddish Chanukah song.
The Dreidel Song Sung by Shir Soul
I Have A Little Dreidel (also known as “The Dreidel Song” or “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel” is a children’s Chanukah song in the English speaking world which also exists in a Yiddish version called “Ikh Bin A Kleyner Dreydl”, (Yiddish: איך בין אַ קלײנער דרײדל Lit: I am a little dreidel). The song is about making a dreidel and playing with it. The meaning of the lyrics to the Yiddish and English versions is largely the same. However, in English the singer sings about a dreidel, whereas in Yiddish the singer is the dreidel. In the Yiddish version, the dreidel is made out of “blay” (Yiddish: בלײַ), which is lead, which is historically accurate, and in the English version it is made out of clay.
Maoz Tzur  Sung by Avi Piamenta ft. Guy 

Ma’oz Tzur (Hebrew: מעוז צור Māʕōz Sˤūr) is a Jewish liturgical poem or piyyut. It is written in Hebrew, and is sung on the holiday of Hanukkah, after lighting the festival lights. The name is a reference to the Hasmonean stronghold of Beth-zur. This Hebrew song is thought to have been written sometime in the 13th century. It was originally sung only in the home, but has been used in the synagogue since the nineteenth century or earlier. In more recent years, of its six stanzas sometimes only the first stanza is sung (or the first and fifth).

Sivivon Sov Sov Sov Kenny Ellis sings this, literally,  swingin’ version!
Sivivon, Sov, Sov, Sov is known as the other dreidel song–not to be confused with the one about making dreidels out of clay. A dreidel has two sets of letters–outside of Israel, a shin, which stands for sham, or “there,” in the phrase “A great miracle happened there.” Instead, in Israel, there’s a pey, which stands for po, or “here,” since the miracle of Hanukkah actually happened in Israel.

Christmas

Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Here are some Christmas tunes facts for you…
White Christmas Sung by Bing Crosby
White Christmas(1942) Irving Berlin
Bing Crosby’s Rendition is noted by the Guinness Book of World Records as the Best Selling Single Of All Time 50 Million Copiers Around the globe. Crosby first publicly performed White Christmas on his radio show, Christmas day 1941.  It was in the film Holiday Inn for which it the academy award for best musical song.
Jingle Bells Sung by Tom Roush with original 1857 Verses & Chorus
Jingle Bells by James Lord Pierpont (1822–1893)
One of the best-known and commonly sung American Christmas songs in the world. It was written by and published under the title “One Horse Open Sleigh” in the autumn of 1857. Even though it is now associated with the Christmas and holiday season, it was actually originally written for American Thanksgiving. It has been claimed that it was originally written to be sung by a Sunday school choir; however, historians dispute this, stating that it was much too “racy” to be sung by a children’s church choir in the days it was written.
Winter Wonderland Sung by the Pentatonix sing mixed with Bobbie McFerrins’ Don’t Worry Be Happy.
Winter Wonderland by Felix Bernard & Richard B. Smith,(1934) It’s original bridge about two lovers who spontaneously decide to get married was considered unsuitable for children.  This led to the creation of another bridge describing kids building a snowman only to watch other kids destroy it.  Today we hear the original bridge!
Rudolf The Red Nose Reindeer This is a recording of the original recording of Gene Autry singing it in 1949.
Rudolf The Red Nose Raindeer, by Johnny Marks (1949) is the 2nd best Christmas Single of All time. Robert L. May created Rudolph in 1939, as an assignment for Chicago-based Montgomery Ward. The retailer had been buying and giving away coloring books for Christmas every year and it was decided that creating their own book would save money. Rudolph was supposed to be a moose but that was changed because a reindeer seemed friendly
May’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, adapted the story of Rudolph into a song. Gene Autry’s recording of the song hit No. 1 on the Billboard pop singles chart the week of Christmas 1949. Autry’s recording sold 2.5 million copies the first year, eventually selling a total of 25 million, and it remained the second best-selling record of all time until the 1980s.
Here is a recording of the first time it was sung on November 1934 on the Eddie Cantor Show
Written by John Frederick Coots and Gillespie(1934). It became an instant hit with orders for 100,000 copies of sheet music and more than 30,000 records sold within 24 hours.
Silent Night Sung by Bing Crosby
by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr (1818) in Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. It was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011.  The version of Silent Night sung by Bing Crosby is the third best-selling single of all-time.
Silent Night was sung on the battle fields of France by the German soldiers in order to instigate the Christmas Truce of World War 1(1914).  Whole regiments stopped killing each other and played football in no-man’s land instead.

Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa (/ˈkwɑːnzə/) is a week-long celebration held in the United States and in other nations of the Western African diaspora in the Americas. The celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture, and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving.  Kwanzaa has seven core principles (Nguzo Saba:Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination),Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility),  Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity),Imani (Faith).
 It was created by Maulana Karenga, and was first celebrated in 1966–67.
Here are some songs dedicated to Kwanzaa.
Music performed and composed by: Kevin Davis and BanCaribe
Performed by: 2008 Prairie Hill School 2nd Grade, Song 3
Composer: shawke
Composed Joaquina Peterman
Composed and performed by DANA MANNO with special background vocals by a young ALICIA KEYS ,and CHENANA MANNO with Mark Stevens Chaka Chans brother, Animation by STOZO THE CLOWN.
Festivus (for the rest of us…)
For those us familiar with Seinfeld you are likely aware of George Castanza’s family holiday; Festivus (for the rest of us). This holiday has taken hold in the U.S. and currently celebrated on December 23rd.  Festivus traditions also have roots that pre-date Seinfeld, as it began in the household of Dan O’Keefe, a television writer who is credited for writing the Seinfeld episode.  Perhaps you know this, or perhaps you wondered, as I did… Is there a website dedicated to festivus?
Why Indeed there is one! Look no further—  Here you can find out everything you always wanted to know about Festivus:  Origins, The Festivus Pole, Festivus Dinner, Airing of Grievances, Feats of Strength, Festivus Songs, The Festivus Miracle! You can also find it on Wikipedia (I can not tell you how relieved I was to find this!)
Tragically, I could not find any good songs about festivus. So I believe there is a niche to be filled! After scouring the internet I found a few songs that had a little festivus depth, but there seems to be not trivia about their origins; sigh…enjoy (or at least try to…)
Composed and performed by Ben Kling
Performed by: The La Habra High School Choir performs an original song 
Composed by D.V. Montoya
Festivus Carol (to be confused w/ The Festivus Carol)
Written and composed by Mick and Tobin