Time to Get My Schtick Together

Hoping the song I choose is more Rock of Ages than schlock of ages

Next month, we're going to upstate New York to celebrate our nephew's bar mitzvah. It was much easier to casually drop things like that into conversation when I still used my maiden name of Steenberg — a name that is not Jewish, incidentally, but a lot closer than the Spanish "Canedo."

We are not a primarily Jewish family, but my husband's brother married a Jewish woman, so in accordance with Jewish law, their son is Jewish, too. In a related (heh) note, we were invited to a cousin's quinceanera a few years ago. Our families are nothing if not diverse.

We're very excited to go to the bar mitzvah (and more than a little verklempt because he is growing up too fast), because none of us has been to one before. And we are not just going as guests; we get to take part in the ceremony and the reception following. My sister-in-law has asked each of the family members to select a song to "play us in" during the reception, something that fits nicely into my fantasy of wishing life was more like a musical. I asked her if the song should be reverent or silly.

She replied, "Well, some other family members are coming in to 'Eye of the Tiger,' if that helps."

Oh, it did. It got us thinking about all of the songs we could possibly choose and now I'm going in so many different directions that I could just plotz. I'm like a meshugana.

We could choose a song that celebrates our diversity:

  • "Let’s Hear it for the Goy" (or Goy to the World)
  • "Shiksa Don’t Lie" by Shakira

Or select something that honors our nephew’s religion:

  • Something by Kvell-y Clarkson, Mensch at Work, Dr. Dreidel, Schmoozy and the Banshees, or perhaps just a nice Viennese schmaltz?
  • Gwen Stefani's "Challah-back Girl"
  • Anything by the Beastie Boys

We could opt for something that pays tribute to his transition from boyhood into manhood:

  • Anything by Boyz II Men
  • Time to Change by the Brady Bunch (which has the added benefit of harkening back to that innocent time before the craft of lip-syncing was perfected.)

I only wish we had been asked to select a theme song for the bris we attended a few years ago, because I had a couple of great ideas:

  • Anything by Cutting Crew
  • "I Fall to Pieces" by Patsy Cline

Because I cannot really decide which of the above songs to choose, perhaps we can just pick something by my favorite band of all time, the Ramones. Not only are half of them members of the tribe, but during my research I discovered this, which, I think, really makes them the perfect choice.  

What do you think? Should I use one of the songs I listed or do you have a better suggestion?

If you are going to go with a Ramones song you could go with "I'm Not Jesus".
hillary berman July 26, 2012 at 01:30 AM
"Challah back girl" actually made me LOL (for real, not just the queer IM or text use of the term). So proud to be a part of your Jewish education. Shabbat Shalom.
Kathleen Canedo July 26, 2012 at 10:24 AM
Lisa - good one! Christian - perfect.mand recommended by someonevnamed Christian, which kills me. Hillary - mazel tov!
Jon in Oakton July 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM
"the queer IM or text" As neither IM's or texts have gender, I don't think either one can heterosexual or homosexual.
kath July 26, 2012 at 02:30 PM
What about honoring one of our Great American Jewish Performers? Sammy Davis, Jr, Bette Midler, Gene Simmons, Randy Newman, Mel Torme?


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