Not One But Two Hamilton Hanukkah Songs For You (And the Lyrics)

Hamilton Hanukkah Songs

Big “Hamilton” fans, the two different a capella groups, Six13 and The Maccabeats, each created Hamilton-Inspired Hanukkah songs this year. Both groups adapted the original lyrics, yet went about it differently.

Hamilton Hanukkah Songs

Hamilton Hanukkah Songs

The Maccabeats music video for “Hasmonean,” a parody of the musical Hamilton, original music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda:

How does a Hasmonean son of a priest
And a Hebrew, raised in a village with his four brothers,
In a Judean province ruled by pompous king Antiochus,
Under pressure, grow up to be a hero and commander?
When the king came around, we said “this decree’s insane, man
We could not observe our laws while living in our own land!
Fight back like your father, don’t forget from whence you came,
And we’ll call you by a brand new name
What’s your name, sir?
Call him Judah Maccabee
The hammer whose aim is true
And we’re ready to show the king
We don’t owe him a single thing
The world will never be the same!

You’ll be Greek
Soon you’ll see
You will pray to Zeus the same as me
You’ll be Greek
No need to fight
Our Hellenism serves you right
You won’t miss your Shabbat
Or circumcision for your tots
And if you don’t comply
I will send my great Selucid army and you’ll tell history goodbye

We are not gonna betray our God
We are not gonna betray our God
Hey yo, we don’t need permission
To keep our great traditions
And we’re not gonna betray our God
We been here since Abraham and mom Sarah
And now we’d never vow to bow to a statue of Hera
Our teacher Moses passed down the book that is good
It said we pray just to one God
And not an effigy of stone or of wood
Two thousand years and while the world’s still turnin’
Traditions givin’ us the teachin’ and learnin’
We keep (on) readin’ ‘n yearnin’
We want to keep the Sabbath and the days that are holy
Can we uphold our Temple ceremony?
We’re past patiently waitin’. we’re passionately
Smashin the invasion
Taking action on rededication!
And though this story has its fair share of sorrow
Today we’re gonna fight for tomorrow
And we are not betray our God!

Although we may not live forever
We can be glad we won the fight
When our descendants come together
They’ll tell our story for eight nights
Celebrate our freedom
Something they can never take a way
No matter what they tell you
(Let’s have a festival of light)
Celebrate our victory
And how we changed history
And tell the story of eight nights
They’ll the story of the lights
They’ll tell the story for eight nights

Maccabeats Credits:
Video by Uri Westrich
Lyrics by Spencer Garfield
Additional lyrics by the Maccabeats
Arranged by Julian Horowitz
Recorded by Colin Egan, Alex Green, Doug Staiman, and Ami Kozak
Edited by Alex Green for Plaid Productions
Mixed by Ed Boyer
Mastered by Dave Sperandio for Vocal Mastering
Director of photography: Giovanni Ferlito
Choreography: Reina Potaznik
Body double: Yoni Lewis
Security: Matt Schwartz, Yoni Bardash, Sky Krug
This and all Maccabeats music is recorded a cappella.


Six13’s performance for President and Michelle Obama at the White House is based on “The Story of Tonight”, “Alexander Hamilton” and “My Shot” from “Hamilton: An American Musical”, Music with original lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda:

I tell the tale of those before me
And of their victory in the fight
And now our children tell the story
They tell the story of the lights
We’ll add another one each night
Light a light to freedom, they tell the story of…

How does a humble ragtag band full of boys from yeshiva,
Rise up to triumph against unbelievable odds
In a battle our people still remember,
And celebrate with dreidels every year around December?

The five pious and loyal sons of Mattathias
Stood against bias, said, “You can’t deny us
You disagree? Try us! Our God will supply us
With strength to win, and then potato latkes we will fry us”

For every day, while praying was being barred and made harder
Our ways they tried to change, Antiochus sent his guard out
Inside, our boys knew not to forget what they were part of
Five brothers and their dad ready to win or die as martyrs

Then the Greeks came, and Hellenization reigned
Our people saw our future drip, dripping down the drain
They entered into the Temple, and the altar they profaned
Left a blood stain, our heroes got sick of the pain

Well, they spread word around, we said, “This is insane, man,
We Jews will not survive under Antiochus’ reign, man
Let’s fight and send the Greeks right back from whence they came
And our bravery will win us fame, say your name, man!”

Judah, Judah Maccabee
They call me Judah, Judah Maccabee
And Antiochus says he’s number one
But just you wait, just you wait…

I am not throwing gelt in the pot (2x)
I’m straight gimmel-spinnin’ while y’all are nun and shinnin’
And I’m not throwin’ gelt in the pot
Make the menorah hot

See, it isn’t all about presents
Cause gratitude for miracles is Chanukah’s essence
The Maccabees revolted, thwarted Greek plans
Now a hora we dance, and we fry latkes in pans – we’re gonna make it hot

Yeah, we give thanks for being free
Because of the revolt led by Judah Maccabee
They defied, do or die, you and I feel great
And celebrate, as the lights we illuminate

And I am not throwing gelt in the pot…

Nes gadol
Haya po (if you’re in Israel)
Haya sham (if you’re anywhere)

Light up, candles in the Chanukiah
Light up, we remember Maccabees when we
Light up, light up

And I am not throwing gelt in the pot…

Ma’oz Tzur Yeshu’ati (3x)
Lekha na’eh leshabe’ah

Happy, happy Chanukah
Judah Maccabee, we sing of you
And the odds you overcame
When we’re playing our dreidel game
Each night, we light those candles’ flames

For the victories and miracles we celebrate…
What ya say, boys?
Happy, happy Chanukah!

Six 13 Credits:
Based on “The Story of Tonight”, “Alexander Hamilton” and “My Shot” from “Hamilton: An American Musical”
Music and original lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Adapted lyrics written by Elliot Olshansky
Additional adapted lyrics by Mike Boxer
Arranged by Mike Boxer
Lead vocals performed by Mordy Weinstein, Jacob Spadaro, Craig Resmovits, Mike Boxer, Eric Dinowitz, and Rob Operman
Recorded by Colin Egan, Marianne Cheng and Mordy Weinstein
Edited by Jeff Eames
Mixed by Ed Boyer
Mastered by Dave Sperandio
Produced by Mike Boxer for Six13
Videography by Greg Starr
Video edited by Rachel Chalhoub
Additional direction by Mike Boxer
Additional filming by Josh Sauer & Gabi Resmovits

Six13 is: Mike Boxer | Eric Dinowitz | Robert Operman Craig Resmovits | Jacob Spadaro | Mordy Weinstein

This post was inspired by my friend, textile designer Ellen November