‘Hava Nagila’: A Christmastime Hit?

By Aaron Greenblatt

Published December 06, 2007, issue of December 07, 2007.

In the battle for the No. 1 Christmas hit on the United Kingdom’s charts this season, rising British pop star Lauren Rose is being given an outside chance at outdoing challengers not with renditions of “Joy to the World” or “Silver Bells,” but with her own interpretation of the traditional Hebrew folk song “Hava Nagila.”

When representatives from Marble Hill Productions heard Rose’s demo, they immediately prepared to release the single “Hava Nagila (Baby Let’s Dance)” on December 17, in time for the high-profile holiday sales period. The song threw Rose, 17, into competition against the contestants from the popular television show “The X Factor,” Britain’s version of “American Idol.” The winner of that show will also release a single in time for Christmas.

Several British gambling Web sites gave Rose’s song a 1-in-66 chance of taking the top spot.

Interested in the Jewish ditty’s 100th birthday, this year, Rose initially revamped and recorded an English version of “Hava Nagila” as a Hanukkah present for her grandfather.

“I’ve grown up with my extended family celebrating both Hanukkah and Christmas, so if a Jewish song could be top of the Christmas charts, it would be a great way of bringing everyone together,” Rose said in a press release.



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