Purim: Homotaschen!

Happy Purim! I want to share a hilarious punk rock song about Purim: “Homotaschen.” Click here to listen to the song, and click here (scroll down) to read the lyrics.

The transgender Jewish punk band Schmekel made songs about most Jewish holidays, and the band’s 2013 Purim song, “Homotaschen,” was a masterpiece. The title is a pun on “homo-” (as in “homosexual”) and hamantaschen (triangular cookies eaten on Purim). “Homotaschen” did more than just tell a fun story about a wild Purim escapade in which the narrator had sex with Haman, among other Purim references. “Homotaschen” took the model of typical Purim celebration, drinking to the point of confusion, and applied that spirit to the lyrics.

In Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, Schmekel singer/guitarist Lucian Kahn explained:

All throughout the song, there are things that are slightly wrong or upside-down or on their head. . . . It says that they’re at the court of King Antiochus, who’s actually the king in the Hanukkah story. There’s just a confused conglomeration of views on Israel/Palestine, where everyone’s confused, and then the narrator decides to just go sleep with the biggest enemy imaginable. Like, “We’re going to avoid this moral debate and, just, like, go have sex with Haman!” Haman turns out to be also pretty gender-ambiguous, where you get “he” and “she” pronouns for Haman at different points in the song. . . . During the song, you’re supposed to be really confused about what everyone’s identity is and what’s happening and why.

It tickles my funny bone that Schmekel deliberately said the king from the Hanukkah story instead of the Purim story in order to follow a Purim model of topsy-turviness. Schmekel took Purim music to the next level.

 

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