Updated Nov 30, 2012
The first night of Hanukkah is Tuesday night, Dec 24, 2016. (The last: Jan 1st)
A medley video
The Rocky Hora Chanukah Song, The Shlomones
Happy Hanukkah for Sandy Relief, by Matisyahu
Miracle, by Matisyahu
Candlelight by The Maccabeats
Dreidel, by Erran Baron Cohen
Mrs. Maccabee's Kitchen: New Hanukah Songs (search for "free")
Without music- just references
Less fun, more traditional Hanukkah music
Woody Guthrie's Happy Joyous Hanukkah album
The "real meaning" 1 of Hanukah is that Jews are good at war. The Maccabees rebelled against the (waning) (Greek) Seleucid empire and freed Israel for 200 years around 164 B.C.E. Hanukkah celebrates the re-dedication of the Temple following the victory. So Hanukkah is essentially a Zionist holiday-- it celebrates Jews regaining the rule of Israel.
Hanukkah can be thought of as a minor holiday, sort of like Armistice Day in the US. It'd be a forgotten holiday, except for three things. First, the Jews are pretty good at remembering small holidays. Second, the Jews were trounced about 200 years later when they rebelled against the Romans, and the history of winning wars stopped until modern times, esp. the Six-Day War. Third, the holiday falls near a holiday central to capitalism and a major US religion, so many Americans incorrectly assume Hanukkah is a major holiday, too.
In our neighborhood, the local public elementary school likes to put up a few not-very-religious Xmas decorations, and to show they're not prejudiced, also a few Chanukkiyahs (menorahs) and Stars of David. While the former is a symbol of this, albeit Zionist, holiday, the latter is mainly the symbol of Israel. (As a kid, I knew little or nothing about Hanukkah, and later thought it was about the miracle of the oil candle burning for 8 days...) Thank you, local school district, for your unwavering support of Israel this holiday season.
1. real meaning is an oxymoron. Meanings are imaginary, made-up (and then inherited)
And for those that want an alternative,
You're welcome to email me...