Idina Menzel’s Christmas album features a Ladino Hanukkah song

Ariana Grande, Billy Porter, and Menzel's fellow Frozen co-star Josh Gad are all featured on the album.

Idina Menzel performs during the Christmas tree lighting show at Rockefeller Center in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., December 4, 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS/JEENAH MOON)
Idina Menzel performs during the Christmas tree lighting show at Rockefeller Center in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., December 4, 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS/JEENAH MOON)
Idina Menzel, a Jewish singer and actress whose new movie Frozen 2 was released in November, has just come out with a Christmas album called Christmas: A Season of Love. Singing with Menzel are Ariana Grande, Billy Porter, and her fellow Frozen co-star Josh Gad.
The album, which has Christmas classics, such as The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Sleigh Ride and I’ll Be Home for Christmas, has a few surprises including two Hanukkah songs and a rendition of Seasons of Love.
The first Hanukkah song on the album is called  “Walker’s 3rd Hanukkah,” which is a recording of Menzel singing the Hanukkah blessings and her son, Walker, imitating her.
“Ocho Kandelikas,” the second Hanukkah song on the album, is a Ladino song. The song was written in 1983 by Flory Jagoda, a Sephardic composer, and its title translates to “Eight Little Candles,” according to Kveller.
Unlike Jagoda’s version of the song, which is entirely in Ladino, Menzel sings in both Ladino and English.
Menzel and her husband Aaron Lohr preformed Ocho Kandelikas at her Carnegie Hall concert last week. When one patron praised the two on Twitter, to which Menzel replied  “Now that’s a sexy Hanukkah song!!!”
This is Menzel’s second holiday album, her first, Holiday Wishes, came out in 2014.
“I know I’m Jewish. But a lot of famous Jewish people have written Christmas songs, so I’m going to try out some of their songs on the album. I’m glad I’m not singing about Jesus,” Menzel told Kveller when her first album was released.
In addition to playing Elsa in the Frozen movies, Menzel has starred in Wicked on Broadway as Elphaba and played Maureen in RENT on Broadway and in the motion picture.