Jewish Christmas songs


First Tablet brought you the story about a Mormon senator writing a Chanukah song.

Then the "The Tonight Show" gave us a Jewish-produced holiday season tribute to Mormons (JTA supplied the back story).

Now the Forward has jumped into the mix with an article by Amir Efrati about Jews who write Christmas songs:

Neil Diamond, the well-known crooner, and Allan Rich, an accomplished lyricist, are hoping their newly recorded songs, “Cherry Cherry Christmas” and “Make It Christmas,” become hits even as the men have been busy with their own December tradition of lighting Hanukkah candles.

A number of Jewish songwriters are trying to do what many of their counterparts did generations ago: write a famous Christmas song.

Some see commercial opportunity in songs that are played year after year. Others are seizing the chance to make their mark on a holiday they always loved but couldn’t fully celebrate while growing up in traditional Jewish homes. …

This year, “Make It Christmas,” written by Rich and Steve Dorff (also Jewish) became the title track to a Country music album recorded by comedian and singer Rodney Carrington. The song asks listeners to use the spirit of the holiday — “goodwill toward men” — every day. …

Some of the newest material from Jewish songwriters comes from brand-name acts, such as Diamond and Barry Manilow, who this year each released his third Christmas album, though both are filled mostly with renditions of classic songs rather than their own.

Diamond, known as the “Jewish Elvis,” included an uplifting tune he wrote called “Cherry Cherry Christmas,” which is currently the No. 8 adult contemporary song based on radio airplay, according to Manilow is on tour promoting his own album and telling audiences he is their “skinny, Jewish Santa Claus.” (Through spokeswomen, the singers declined to comment for this article.)

Meanwhile, other accomplished songwriters, such as Grammy Award-winning singer Melissa Manchester, who had her bat mitzvah six years ago, are keeping alive old Christmas songs they wrote by playing them at concerts.

Read the full story. Plus J.J. Goldberg on the new hit Chanukah songs, telling Adam Sandler to give it a rest. Here’s one of the tunes, but check out J.J.’s blog post, he has plenty more, including songs about Christians wanting to be Jewish.

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