More Music of Christmas – Day 5: Goyim Friends

“Goyim Friends”
By The LeeVees

When I was researching this song, I found an anomaly. Namely — I can’t find any proof that I heard this band in concert and yet I know I did. I got their CD signed. I specifically remember them talking about this song. But looking up the concert, I can’t find it. Did I actually see The LeeVees? Did Adam Gardner and Dave Schneider just show up at a Barenaked Ladies concert and play a few songs? I don’t know, and it’s gonna bug me.

But let’s not let my recall issues distract us from the song. As mentioned, The LeeVees are made up of Adam (from the band Guster) and Dave (from the Zambonis), who decided there was a distinct lack of Hanukkah songs out there, so they recorded an entire album, “Hanukkah Rocks”, about the Jewish holiday. They’ve since expanded their offerings to include songs about Jewish traditions outside of the winter holiday, but seeing as tonight is the eighth night of Hanukkah, it feels appropriate to highlight one of their original songs.

I first heard “Goyim Friends” at that concert that I swear happened. Adam jokingly introduced the song thusly: “If you don’t know what goyim means, you are one.” The Hebrew/Yiddish word goy means someone who is not Jewish; goyim is plural. As I am not Jewish, it didn’t take long for me to figure out what Adam meant.

This song is a light-hearted look at the differences in gifts that Jewish people receive for Hanukkah versus the gifts that those who celebrate Christmas get. You get the sense that there should be a hint of jealously in the words, but The LeeVees don’t play that aspect up, except in a humorous way. And then the final verse is the kicker, where they talk about all the other Jewish holidays they get off, while goyim don’t get them. Sort of a good tradeoff, isn’t it?

The song, and entire album, are straight out of mid-2000’s alt-rock. Not quite pop but not hard rocking, it fits the bill for those who loved that music scene from the late 90’s until the boy bands and bubblegum pop came back. Great guitar work and driving drums make this song awesome to listen to.

There aren’t many Hanukkah songs out there, but Adam and Dave as The Leevees provide a whole album worth in “Hanukkah Rocks.” Pick it up or listen on whatever streaming service you choose. Totally worth it.

Tomorrow – Monday Music Monstrosities returns. Beware.