Taylor Swift meets Hanukkah in this a capella group’s video adaptation

Six13’s Hanukkah video “Era-lution of Taylor Swift (Hanukkah’s version)” includes 14 Swift tracks with a Jewish spin on the lyrics.
Jewish a capella group Six13 sings, "We may never, ever, ever, know the proper letters," referring to the spelling of Hanukkah in their lastest parody video set to Taylor Swift tunes. (YouTube Screenshot)

The haters thought Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s relationship wouldn’t even last eight games, but the music superstar and the Kansas City Chiefs tight-end have defied expectations, making big headlines.

Inspired by Swift’s recent media attention, Six13’s Hanukkah video “Era-lution of Taylor Swift (Hanukkah’s version)” includes 14 Swift tracks with a spin where a similar title and new lyrics mark the happy holiday.

The New York-based Jewish a cappella group’s most humorous take is “We May Never Ever Know The Proper Letters,” taking Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and poking fun at the fact that Hanukkah is spelled numerous different ways.

“Are there one of two k’s, does it start with h or c?” sings group member Mordy Weinstein.

“Bad Blood” transforms into “Bad Luck,” expressing the disappointment of landing on a nun instead of gimmel when spinning the dreidel.

“I’m Proud To Be A Jew” takes the place of “Look What You Made Me Do,” and “Cruel Summer” becomes “Judah and His Brothers.” 

Throughout the video, Six13 members wear cowboy gear or are dressed in black, adding to the fun. The video even caught the attention of People Magazine.

It’s fitting for Six13 to pay tribute to Swift because one of their biggest viral parodies of “Shake It Off” in 2014 now has 3.3 million views. 

(I am a founding member of the group and performed until 2012.)

Six13 gained popularity with other releases like “Bohemian Hanukkah (A Queen adaptation),” which has garnered over 3 million views on YouTube since its debut in 2018.

While they’re known for their fun parodies, the group boasts a majority of original tunes, including “Al Hanissim” and others featuring original English lyrics. 

Six13 has won numerous awards and had the honor of performing for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at The White House, as well as at Citi Field and Madison Square Garden. The group performs at many synagogues and for bar or bat mitzvahs.

Founding member Mike Boxer, who is the group’s music director, told Unpacked that it was difficult to decide which of Swift’s hits to pick.

Swift’s first appearance at one of Kelce’s games was on September 24 against the Bears and it ignited a firestorm of curiosity. 

Swift, a multiple Grammy Award winner, recently produced “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” a film documenting her latest concert tour. The film is now available for streaming in the U.S. and Canada. With 278 million Instagram followers, she is one of the most famous celebrities in the world.

For over a decade, Jewish a cappella groups have been making videos for popular songs, adapting the lyrics to relate to Jewish holidays.

The Maccabeats’ “Candlelight,” to the tune of “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz, went viral on YouTube in 2010 and now has 17 million views. 

The Y-Studs — who, like the Maccabeats, were originally founded by Yeshiva University students — have also created parody videos. Many college-level Jewish a cappella groups now cover songs popularized by these three groups.

After the October 7 attacks by Hamas, Six13, The Maccabeats and The Y-Studs collaborated on the song and video “Avinu,” which is a prayer for the welfare of the Jewish state.

Read more Hanukkah stories at Unpacked

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