Chanukah comes to West Side Story

Chanukah comes to West Side Story


norman lebrecht

November 30, 2021

All the way from Santa Monica (as Tom Lehrer mght say).



  • Armchair Bard says:

    Wonderful, Norman, wonderful. Thank you.

    Chag Urim Sameach!

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    Larry David would hate it

  • V.Lind says:

    Well, that was cute! Always nice when parodies actually scan, and this was perfect.

    Prompted me to check out the website they mentioned at the end — I highly recommend anyone who liked this does so, if only for the Bohemian Chanukah video.

    I’m sending these on to several Jewish friends.

  • M2N2K says:

    The timing of it seems perfect right now, since the new West Side Story courtesy of Steven Spielberg is coming to US movie theaters just a few days after the current Hanukkah ends.

    • V.Lind says:

      The timing of NL’s post may be perfect but I gather from the Jewish friends to whom I sent it last night (who had seen it before) that it has been around for a while.

      Oh, well, off to make some latkes.

      • M2N2K says:

        There is no doubt that everyone’s “Jewish Friends had seen”everything “before”, but The ([Upper] West Side) HANUKKAH STORY has been around for even much longer than that. Enjoy making and devouring your latkes!

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    Ha, ha very clever.

  • bet says:

    The best bits are parodies of the original lyrics. The not so successful bits just use the melody, just setting text to any other famous melody. Not sure why West Side Story is better than, say, Cats as the template.

    • M2N2K says:

      First, you are free to make your own arrangement as “catty” as you want. Second, using WSS may indeed be “better” simply because it is musically a better piece. And I actually do like ALW’s feline opus, but LB’s masterpiece is a more impressive compositional accomplishment.

  • anmarie says:

    Thanks so much, Norman.