Archive for December, 2016

Hava Nagila

“Hava Nagila” (“Let us rejoice”) is an Israeli folk song traditionally sung at Jewish celebrations. While not specifically a Hanukkah song, it is frequently heard at Hanukkah celebrations.

This is an instrumental, surf-rock arrangement that seems to suit the song very well.

December 31, 2016 at 8:08 am Leave a comment

Tomorrow’s Love

“Tomorrow’s Love” is one of the “filler” tracks on the Ventures 1965 album “The Ventures Knock Me Out”, which primarily features hits of the day such as “I Feel FIne”, “Love Potion Number 9”, and “Oh Pretty Woman”. Songwriting credit for “Tomorrow’s Love” goes to members Bob Bogle, Don Wilson and Mel Taylor. It’s actually a pretty nice tune.

December 31, 2016 at 7:44 am Leave a comment

I Want to Hold Your Hand

This is my instrumental cover of “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. I doubt anyone needs an introduction this song. My arrangement turns it into a slow dance number.

December 29, 2016 at 5:52 pm Leave a comment

Rock of Ages

“Rock of Ages” (“Ma’oz Tzur”) is a Jewish liturgical poem. It is written in Hebrew, and is usually sung on the holiday of Hanukkah, after lighting the festival lights. Its six stanzas correspond to five events of Jewish history and a hope for the future. Of its six stanzas, often only the first stanza is sung (or the first and fifth), as this is what directly pertains to Hanukkah. “Ma’oz Tzur” was written sometime in the 13th century.

I have given it a instrumental setting in the style of the Shadows.

December 29, 2016 at 5:42 pm Leave a comment

The Wild Roses

“The Wild Roses” is a track from the Shadows 1967 album “From Hank, Bruce, Brian and John”. It is a very pleasant tune credited to S. Ichikawa..about whom I could find no information. A number of other songs on the LP have a Japanese connection.

It’s interesting to hear how this track shows that their approach remained much the same as the beginning of the decade.

December 28, 2016 at 5:39 pm Leave a comment

Mi Y’malel

“Mi Y’malel” (“Who can retell?”) is a popular Hanukkah song. The opening line, which literally means “Who can retell the mighty feats of Israel,” is a secular rewording of Psalms 106:2, which reads “Who can retell the mighty feats of God.”

I have given it a surf-rock instrumental setting with a prominent baritone guitar.

December 28, 2016 at 5:36 pm Leave a comment

Gully Ver

“Gully Ver” is the last track on side two of the Ventures 1962 album “Going to the Ventures Dance Party”. This seemed like a good candidate for a “live” video. The guitar is my Nash JG-63 “Jaguar”, which is very well suited to Ventures cover-duty.

December 27, 2016 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment


S’vivon is a popular Hebrew Hanukkah song, “Sevivon” or “S’vivon” is Hebrew for “dreidel”, where dreidel is the Yiddish word for a spinning top. “S’vivon,” is very popular in Israel and by others familiar with the Hebrew language.

I have given it a surf-rock instrumental setting.

December 27, 2016 at 3:31 pm Leave a comment

Shalom Chaverim

“Shalom Chaverim” is not, specifically, a Hanukkah song. However, it is apparently often heard at this time of the year. It’s a beautiful, traditional Hebrew folk song. The translation of the Hebrew text is basically: “Goodbye and be safe my friends. Until we meet again, have peace.”

I have given it a surf-rock instrumental setting that takes advantage of the fact that the song is also a canon/round.

December 26, 2016 at 6:38 pm Leave a comment

Gone Gone Gone

We now resume our regular, non-holiday programming.

“Gone Gone Gone” was released in 1964. It never cracked the top-40. But If you can sit still while listening to this, you need medical attention.

Seriously, many younger music fans need to take some time to learn about Phil & Don. They were were brilliant.

The Ventures covered this tune on their 19665 album “The Ventures Knock Me out”.

December 26, 2016 at 6:30 pm Leave a comment

The Dreidel Song

“I Have a Little Dreidel” (also known as the “Dreidel Song”) is a very famous song in the English speaking world for Hanukkah, which also has a Yiddish version. The Yiddish version is “Ikh Bin A Kleyner Dreydl”. The English version of the song is associated with the festival of Hanukkah, and is known by many Jews and non-Jews alike. The lyrics of the song are simple and about making a dreidel and playing with it.

I have given it a surf-rock instrumental setting with a bit of drum solo.

December 25, 2016 at 5:27 pm Leave a comment

Ner Li

“Ner Li” is a simple Hebrew Hanukkah song that is popular in Israel. Literally translated as “I have a candle,” The words are by L. Kipnis and the music by D. Samburski.

I have given it an instrumental setting in the style of the Shadows.

December 24, 2016 at 11:47 am Leave a comment

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” first appeared in 1739 in the collection Hymns and Sacred Poems, written by Charles Wesley. The popular version is the result of alterations by various hands, notably by Wesley’s co-worker George Whitefield who changed the opening couplet to the familiar one, and by Felix Mendelssohn in 1840.

My version is instrumental rock.

December 24, 2016 at 11:42 am Leave a comment

The Babe in Bethlehem’s Manger


“The Babe in Bethlehem’s Manger” is an anonymous English folk Christmas carol celebrating the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The writer of the carol is not known however the lyrics are traditionally ascribed as being a traditional folk hymn from the English county of Kent. The music probably dates from the 18th century.

My instrumental rock arrangement is in the style of the Shadows.

December 22, 2016 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

Wassail Song

“The Wassail Song” (Here We Come A-wassailing) is an English traditional Christmas carol composed c. 1850. It refers to ‘wassailing’, or singing carols door to door, in hopes of partaking of the wassail bowl – a hearty combination of hot ale or beer, apples, spices and mead.

My arrangement is in a 1960’s instrumental guitar rock style similar to the Ventures.

December 22, 2016 at 6:07 pm Leave a comment

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December 2016