Tag Archives: kids songs dreidel

Sing A Hanukkah Song From Spain!

Have you noticed the hastag #ChristmasAroundTheWorld? I love seeing how very special holidays, like Christmas and Hanukkah, are celebrated from culture to culture, with beautiful and diverse traditions. Want to celebrate #HanukkahAroundTheWorld with me?

Here’s a lovely little counting song from Spain in the Ladino language for you!

Is this Song In Spanish?

No. If you speak Spanish many of the words will sound very familiar, but the language is Ladino, a mixture of Hebrew and Spanish. Many people may not know that Jewish people traveled throughout the world bringing their meaningful customs with them. Jewish people who established communities in Spain and Portugal were often known as Sephartic Jews and many of their traditions melded with their new homeland.  Sadly, they were cruelly expelled from Spain in the late 1400’s and traveled to find new homes around the world in places such as Mexico, North Africa and even the United States.

Is The Ladino Language Still Alive?

Languages and mother tongues are so important to their speakers. A while back I shared a story about a marvelous musical mom named Sarah Aroeste who is proud to be raising her children bilingually in Ladino and English!  She even created a children’s music CD to share her Ladino language with the world.  You can check it out at the link below.

What Do The Lyrics Say?

You probably already guessed that the 1- 8 part of the song counts the candles on the menorah. I’ve added a new first verse in English because so many of my friends and fans speak English. The lyrics to the song are below with translations from the Ladino next to them.

Whether you are Jewish or not, I wish you a very beautiful holiday of lights!


The holiday of lights is here
Good friends and happiness to share
Sweets with honey for us to eat
Candles to light and friends to greet

One little candle . . . (etc.)  8 little candles . . . For me

Hanukah lindo sta aki (beautiful Hanukkah is here)
ocho candelas para mi (eight candles for me)
Una kandelika, dos kandelikas,
tres kandelikas, kuatro kandelikas,
sintju kandelikas, sysh kandelikas,
sieto kandelikas, ocho kandelikas para mi

Muchas fiestas vo fazar, (There will be lots of celebrations)
con alergrias i plazar (With happiness and pleasure)
Una kandelika (etc.)

Los pastelikas vo kumer, (We will eat the sweets)
con almendrikas i la miel (With almonds and honey)
Una kandelika (etc.)

Links and Resources

Add this song to your Spotify Playlist:  https://open.spotify.com/album/7Jl8awV8rWHIZzJbcudDaa

Add this song to your Apple Music Playlist: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/celebrate-season-multicultural/id344193347

Free Lyric Pagehttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ocho-Kandelikas-Hanukkah-Song-Lyric-Sheet-2239295

Sing a Song In The Ladino Language With Sarah Aroeste http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/sing-a-song-in-the-ladino-language/


The Little Dreidel Song And Game

dreidel screensnap 2Love this song?  Add it to your Spotify, Apple Music playlist at the links below.

The winter months bring lots of exciting holiday preparations to almost every home. If you celebrate Hanukkah, it’s time to think about gathering with friends and family, making delicious foods such as latkes, lighting the menorah, and playing a game with a little spinning top. Even if your children are small, the sights, smells and sounds of this holiday will surely fill them with wonder and joy!

One of my favorite Hanukkah songs is heard all over the world. It starts with the words:

I have a little dreydl (or driedel),
I made it out of clay
And when it’s dry and ready
A dreydl I will play

The word dreydl (or dreidel) comes from the Yiddish word – dreyen – meaning to spin. It’s spelled several different ways because many Hebrew letters and sounds are not the same as in English, so people have attempted to write out words that capture the sounds in different ways. For that reason, you may see the word Hanukkah written as Chanukah, Chanukkah or Chanuka as well.

So, what about this pretty little top? The next verse of the song tells you how it is decorated:

dreidel screensnapMy dreydl has four corners
And a letter on each face
To remind us if the miracle
That long ago took place

Each one of the dreydl’s sides has a special letter.  More or less, they can be translated as:

Sham (or Shin)        There, (meaning it happened there in Israel)
Haya –(or Hay)          Happened
Gadol –(or Gimel)          Great
Nes- (or Nun)          Miracle

And what happens when you song and the top lands on one of the sides?  The song has a verse to explain that as well:

The letters also tell us
Who will lose or win
I have a pile of goodies (walnuts)
I’m ready, let’s begin

All players start with goodies such as candies, nuts or special money called Hanukkah gelt.  Then as they spin, each letter shows if you’ve won, lost or passed your turn.  Here’s what each letter means:

Nes- (or Nun)        Do nothing, pass your turn
Sham (or Shin)        Add one treat to the pot
Haya –(or Hay)          Get half the pot
Gadol –(or Gimel)        Get everything in the pot

Although this is a simple song, it really does conjure up holiday magic for young and old alike.  Whether you’re spinning tops or preparing a family feast, singing even the simplest of holiday songs is a beautiful way to celebrate a holiday like this with those you love!

Links And Resources

Listen to DARIA’s version free on Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/album/7Jl8awV8rWHIZzJbcudDaa
On Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/ocho-candelikas/id344193347?i=344193424&ign-mpt=uo%3D6On Amazon mp3: http://amzn.com/B00302OL1E

Dreidel Song – Free Lyric Sheet – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dreydl-Dreidel-Song-Lyric-Sheet-2214444

Free Dreydl Coloring Page – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dreidel-Coloring-Page-985694