A Hymn for Thanksgivukkah

In the spirit of the Thanksgivukkah season, I have taken the liberty of adapting a favorite Thanksgiving hymn for this once-in-a-lifetime Chanukah.

Of course, I offer my apologies to Theodore Baker, who wrote those familiar English words back in 1894.  However, in fairness, it should be noted that Mr. Baker, himself, was appropriating an old Dutch folk hymn whose original words apparently celebrated the Dutch victory over Spanish forces in the Battle of Turnhout.  If you’re interested in all this, you can find more information here.  Oh, and if you need a refresher on the melody, there’s a lovely YouTube recording here.

In any case, I hope you enjoy my adaptation and Happy Thanksgivukkah!

“We Gather Together”
Original Text: Nederlandtsch Gedencklanck; trans. by Theodore Baker
Music: 16th cent. Dutch melody; arr. by Edward Kremser (1838-1914)

We gather together 
for gelt and for latkes,
and horas to dance.
his plan, it sure did shock us:
Destroy our holy place!
We did not stand a chance.

But Maccabees rose up
to fight for our freedom,
their leading succeeding,
our Temple reclaimed.
Its”rededication”
gave joy to the whole nation
(in Hebrew, “Chanukah,”
which accounts for the name).

We’re cleaning and beaming 
to have back the Temple
when tsurris did strike
and our joy nearly spoiled.
But miracles happen
to help fill in a gap and
then eight, full days of light
came from one jar of oil.

So now, we thank God for
the help and the freedom,
for courage to fight
against all tyranny.
A day of thanksgiving
for faith that goes on living,
for light and love and joy,

and the chance to be free.