Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: Spinning top

Hanukkah this year began at sundown on Sunday, Dec. 18, and lasts until sundown on Monday, Dec. 26.

To review, a dreidel is a spinning top, with four sides, each marked with a different Hebrew letter (nungimmelhey and shin). The custom of playing dreidel on Hanukkah is based on a legend that, during the time of the Maccabees, when Jewish children were forbidden from studying Torah, they would defy the decree and study anyway. When a Greek official would come close they would put away their books and take out spinning tops, claiming they were just playing games.

—From My Jewish Learning

Don McLean recorded the following in 1972 that peaked at #21. From bloggerhythms:

The single’s tempo is one of the keys to its message. To give the listener the impression that a top is spinning while listening to the song McLean varies its speed drastically. It starts out briskly, slows down as the tune progresses, then picks up in intensity again before wearing itself out completely at the end.

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