There are many happy Passover songs that are sung in joyous reminder of having been released from bondage. Passover music spans the gamut from universal traditional melodies to exotic-sounding tunes that are customary for Jewish people of a specific community.
Popular Passover Songs / Pesach Songs
In a nutshell, the most popular and universally known Passover songs are as follows:
Popular Passover Songs / Pesach Songs #1: Dayenu
Popular Passover Songs / Pesach Songs #2: Chad Gadya
Popular Passover Songs / Pesach Songs #3: Adir Hu
Popular Passover Songs / Pesach Songs #4: Echad Mi Yodea
Popular Passover Songs / Pesach Songs #5: Ma Nishtana
The most famous Passover song known universally among Jewish people is one of many Passover Seder songs that are sung at the Passover Seder table. This song is the melody "Dayenu" (also often transliterated as: "Dayeinu", "Daienu", or "Dayenu"). The words in Dayenu list the many ways that G-d sided with the Hebrews. At the end of each mention of G-d's favours, the word "Dayenu" - a Hebrew word that is pronounced: "die-ay-new" - is sung, meaning: "It would have been sufficient (or enough)". "It", in the Passover story, represents each favor that G-d created to help free the Hebrews from slavery. This song is essentially a song of thanks and gratitude to G-d, where its message is saying: "If G-d did a simple favor for us and didn't do anything else, it would have been sufficient", even if granting more favors would have helped the Hebrews to escape slavery sooner, or helped contribute to less suffering. The main point of the song is to recognize and be grateful for even the simplest of favors from another.
Another popular Passover song is "Chad Gadya" or "Chad Gadyo", a Hebrew phrase meaning: "One Kid", where "kid" in this case means a baby goat. This Passover song chronologically describes all the empires throughout Jewish history that have occupied the Land of Israel who, one by one, have been destroyed by successive empires, with the Jewish nation at the bottom, symbolized by the baby goat. The purpose of this song is to teach that every evil-doer, no matter how strong, will eventually suffer the consequences of their actions at the hands of G-d. This song inspires a firm and mature faith and belief in the power of G-d.
Yet another Passover song is "Adir Hu" (also transliterated as: "Adeer Hoo", "Adir Hoo", or "Adeer Hu"), a Hebrew phrase meaning either "He (G-d) is Powerful", or "Mighty is He (G-d)". As one might imagine from the title, this is a Passover song praising G-d in all His virtues, with hope that He will re-build the ancient temple that stood in Jerusalem in biblical times.
Still another Passover song is: "Echad Mi Yodea" (also transliterated as: "Echad Me Yodea", "Ehad Mi Yodea", "Ehad Me Yodea", "Echod Mi Yodea", "Echod Me Yodea", "Ehod Mi Yodea", and "Ehod Me Yodea", in addition to adding an "h" at the end of "Yodea" I.E. "Yodeah", for all the aforementioned variations). "Echad Mi Yodea" is a Hebrew phrase meaning: "Who Knows One?". The start of each of the 13 verses is as follows:
Verse 1: Who Knows One? I know One: One is our G-d, in Heaven and on Earth.
Verse 2: Who Knows Two? I know Two: Two are the Two Tablets of the Covenant. One is our G-d, in Heaven and on Earth.
Verse 3: Who Knows Three? I know Three: Three is...and so on, until Verse 13 is completed.
As you might have guessed, the verses of this Passover song are similar in structure to the popular Christmas song: "The Twelve Days of Christmas"! The purpose of the Passover song "Who Knows One?" is to describe the meaning of each number from one to thirteen as they relate to Jewish life and thought. Another purpose of this song is to demonstrate that G-d is one, undivided omnipresent entity that is at the beginning and end of Hebraism/Judaism as demonstrated by G-d appearing at the beginning of this song and at the end of this song, with important events in Jewish history in the middle. In fact, since G-d is at the beginning and end of all things in Judaism, this Passover song in geometric form symbolizes a circular shape, with no real beginning and no real end since G-d creates and appears at both positions.
Finally, another Passover song is Ma Nishtana (also transliterated as: "Ma Nishtanah", "Mah Nishtanah", and "Mah Nishtana"). "Ma Nishtana" is a Hebrew phrase which means "Why is this night different from all other nights?". This is a Passover song that is meant to convey and symbolize the differences between slavery and freedom, a mind-broadening theme which is ever-present and interwoven throughout the 15 steps that are followed in order to properly conduct the Passover Seder meal.
There are many other Passover songs, and most are concerned with praising G-ds' glory, but the above-mentioned are usually the songs that are most often sung at the Passover Seder festive meals in the United States and Canada, in addition to other Jewish communities worldwide.
There are also Passover songs / Pesach songs that focus on Elijah the Prophet, who in Judaism is the forerunner to the appearance of Moshiach (the "Messiah" in Hebrew) on earth.
What Is The Purpose Or Significance Of Singing Passover Songs ?
Passover songs are plentiful, and help create and reinforce the many themes or meanings of Passover/Pesach [physical freedom or redemption, season of rebirth I.E. spring, festival of unleavened bread (matzo), and the festival of the paschal offering (lamb)], especially to the children for which they are mostly (but not completely) intended in order to fulfill the biblical commandment from G-d in Shemot or Shmot ("Exodus" in Hebrew, referring to the biblical Book of Exodus) to teach (and re-teach) "in every generation" the story of Passover. In fact, to emphasize the importance of telling and re-telling the story of Passover, one "Song" (with the "S" purposely capitalized) that describes events near the end of the Passover/Pesach story is the "Song of the Sea", sung after the Hebrews realized that they were saved by G-d after the Egyptian army drowned in the "Sea of Reeds" or the "Red Sea" after crossing into the "parted" "Sea of Reeds" or the "Red Sea" in pursuit of the Hebrews. The importance of this Passover song is reflected in the fact that "The Song of the Sea" is one of the "Ten Shirot" or "Ten Songs" that are above all other songs that have ever been created in the world. To read about the "10 Shirot", just click on the following link: The Ten Shirot.