Are you struggling with holiday music choices for your interfaith family? Or perhaps you’re a closet carol-loving Jew, like Bob Dylan. Or a non-denominational December-loving person who will poke his eye out if he hears the club version of “All I Want for Christmas (Is You)” one more time. Or a Christian who’s always wished “Good King Wenceslas” was a little bit better for dancing the hora.
Not to fear – “Oy to the World” has got you covered. A project of composer Paul Libman and The Klezmonauts, the aptly subtitled “A Klezmer Christmas” rearranges favorite Christmas carols with that unmistakable klezmer feel. Libman doesn’t hesitate to go completely over the top with minor keys in places Anglicans have never heard them, an oom-pah beat everywhere it fits, and clarinet solos even in the traditionally solemn “We Three Kings of Orient Are.”
Libman’s project wouldn’t be out of place in New York, where it’s not uncommon to encounter scattered klezmer dance parties on Nittel Nacht (er, Christmas Eve). With its true egalitarian embrace of Jewish music and the Christmas spirit, we can’t imagine why our local mall hasn’t picked up on this yet.