The kids who make up the Chorus of New York P.S. 22 are going to grow up thinking that it’s easier to meet famous people than it is to pick your own nose. They’ve been raved about by BeyoncÃ© and Lady Gaga, they’ve backed up Tori Amos, and, now, they’ve sung the songs of Shlomo Carlebach.
(Actually, to be specific, they’ve sung the song of King David. Shlomo, I think, wrote this particular musical accompaniment, but I’ll defer discussion of the authorship of the Book of Psalms to our article.) This video, on the other hand, I don’t think warrants any debate. It’s cute, boisterous, and inspired — especially that great little hip-hop solo around the 2-minute mark:
In the YouTube tagging, people have, perhaps arbitrarily, labeled it a Hanukkah song. I don’t know exactly why, but its meaning — “I lift up my eyes to the mountains/And call for your help” — is pretty thematically Hanukkah-related. Although it’s also one of the big themes of the Book of Psalms. And, it could be argued, one of the big themes of this religion we call Judaism…and of that universal belief we call being alive.
(And, by the way, you can download a free, chilled-out version of the song from Project Ben David here.)
Pronounced: KHAH-nuh-kah, also ha-new-KAH, an eight-day festival commemorating the Maccabees’ victory over the Greeks and subsequent rededication of the temple. Falls in the Hebrew month of Kislev, which usually corresponds with December.