Woody Guthrie’s Happy Joyous Hanukkah
The Klezmatics celebrate Yiddish culture at this time of year when candles and family warm the dark nights. As outspoken human rights advocates, their Hanukkah celebration embraces audiences of all cultures and backgrounds as they explore Hanukkah lyrics by Woody Guthrie, father of American Folk Music.
About Happy Joyous Hanukkah
In 1942, Woody Guthrie moved to Brooklyn and soon, through his mother-in-law (the renowned Yiddish poet Aliza Greenblatt), he became involved with the Coney Island Jewish Community. He wrote songs about Hanukkah, about Jewish history and about spiritual life.
After his death in 1967, these songs sat forgotten in archives. “Lost” for almost 30 years, Guthrie’s “Jewish” lyrics were discovered in 1998 by Woody’s daughter, Nora Guthrie. She was so inspired by what she found, she asked the Klezmatics to write new music for Woody’s words.
Woody Guthrie’s Happy Joyous Hanukkah is one of two Klezmatics' releases based on this amazing material (the other, Wonder Wheel: Lyrics by Woody Guthrie, won the band a 2006 Grammy Award for Best World Music Album). Deftly intermingling Klezmer with American folk and bluegrass, Woody Guthrie’s Happy Joyous Hanukkah is destined to become a holiday classic for generations to come.
This collection of Guthrie’s songs, including ‘Hanuka’s Flame”, “Hanuka Gelt”, “Honeyky Hanuka” and others, is among the best of the dust bowl balladeer’s work, and the Klezmatics playful renditions cast a new light on the Hanukkah tradition.
About The Klezmatics
Since their emergence more than 30 years ago, The Klezmatics have raised the bar for Eastern European Jewish music, made aesthetically, politically and musically interesting recordings, inspired future generations, created a large body of work that is enduring, and helped to change the face of contemporary Yiddish culture. Often called a “Jewish roots band,” The Klezmatics have led a popular revival of this ages-old, nearly forgotten art form.