MUSIC ASSOCIATED WITH THANKSGIVING
Thanksgiving is the time of the year that we join together with family and friends and give thanks for our blessings but we should be giving thanks daily to our Savior.
Autumn is the favorite time of the year for many people especially if you live in an area of the United States where you could enjoy all the colors of the trees as they began the process of shedding leaves for the winter season. It also can put you in the frame of that that it will soon be Thanksgiving. Truly, for the Christian, every day should be a time for thanksgiving and praises to God for all He has done for us. Along with this time of year we bring out special songs of thanksgiving that we have been singing for years and years.
Feasts, parades, and football are all well and good, but Thanksgiving Day, as the name itself suggests is a day to be thankful for all that you’ve got: family, friends, food, clothes, shelter, job, and most importantly: life and the celebration can never be complete until a heartfelt thanks is offered. And the power of offering thanks gets multiplied when it is backed by Thanksgiving music and songs that you’ve either grown up to, or have touched you deep. On Thanksgiving, when the whole family is together, make use of the Thanksgiving songs to offer thanks to the Almighty or have them play in low volume at the dinner table: right from the moment one says grace before starting the dinner to the end of the meal. Even if you are to indulge in some fun family moments, music will be one of the best of options. However, don’t worry if there aren’t many good Thanksgivings songs that you know of, I have found some soulful songs that will help you express the thankfulness that you feel but are unable to convey and am sharing them here. See if any of them bring you back to a special memory or if it causes you to think of our loving Heavenly Father and His great mercy, grace and love.
OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS – This is a joyful song based up the poem written in 1844 by Lydia Maria Child. I remember singing it when I was younger, even though we had the Thanksgiving holiday with the immediate family, not at my grandmother’s home. My brother and I were born in a medium sized town in New York State and my Grandmother lived in more of a rural/country environment upstate. When I was younger what it would be like to travel over the river and through the woods instead of going over the river and through the words instead of through neighborhoods with concrete and so many houses and less trees? I always imagined what it was like to travel by horse and carriage or even a sleigh drawn by a horse in the snow. When we did go upstate to visit our grandmother and other family members we traveled by car. It truly was an adventure to go upstate where it was always so peaceful and calm as opposed to where we lived. I always looked forward to the trips upstate. I also remember watching “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” where near the end Charlie Brown and friends are in his father’s car going to Thanksgiving Dinner at his Grandmothers when they start singing Over the River and Through the Woods. Charlie replies “there’s only one problem, My Grandmother lives in a condominium.”
From the iconic Macy’s Day Parade, to that tender turkey and perfectly seasoned batch of stuffing you’ve been pining over for hours, on over to spending quality time with loved ones; few days are better than Thanksgiving.
Music is a daily integral part of most of our lives, but for some reason it plays an even bigger role come the holiday season. Whether you throw some energetic modern music on to fuel your cooking, or play the classics softly in the background while your family enjoys dinner; Thanksgiving is full of music.
With that said I often wonder why there aren’t hundreds of classic Thanksgiving songs like there are for Christmas. Imagine Mariah Carey or Michael Buble releasing Thanksgiving/food themed albums come turkey day? It’d be phenomenally great and weird but great nonetheless.
Home Sweet Home by Motley Crue – This song is dedicated to those who may have relocated to other states and brave long road trips or airports to head back “home” to spend Thanksgiving with family.
Big Parade by The Lumineers – What’s Thanksgiving without the “Big Parade”? The holiday just wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t for the Macy’s parade and those awesomely large floating cartoon characters…and Santa Claus.
Thank You by Jay Z – Mr. Carter eloquently says, “Thank you, thank you, thank you, you’re far too kind” on this aptly titled song. Thanks for the reminder, I’ll be sure to rap this at the dinner table when I ask someone to pass the salt.
Comin’ Home Baby by Mel Torme – The first non-contemporary song on our “Songs for Thanksgiving” playlist was released in 1962 and similarly to Motley Crue’s song, encapsulates that feeling of rushing home to be with loved ones.
I’ve Got Plenty to be Thankful for by Bing Crosby – Bing says he doesn’t have the biggest yard or the fanciest things but he still has plenty to be thankful for. In the hustle and bustle of our lives we sometimes lose sight of how much we do have. It’s always good to take a step back and acknowledge that we have a lot to be thankful for.
Mashed Potato Time by Dee Dee Sharp – Turkey, stuffing and…mashed potatoes! Enough said.
Baby, it’s Cold Outside by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan – We continue in a string of more classic music from yesteryear with this classic holiday song. There’s a nip in the air by Thanksgiving assuredly, but we also all know that once that last slice of apple pie gets eaten, we set our sights on the Christmas and Hanukkah and this song perfectly captures the feeling of that season.
Stuffy Turkey by Thelonius Monk – This all instrumental track is a great song to play quietly in the background as your carve your…stuffy turkeys.
Thanksgiving Theme by Vince Guaraldi Trio – This lesser known song from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving/A Charlie Brown Christmas is another delightful accompaniment to your Thanksgiving festivities.
Wing$ by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – While this song is a celebration of Macklemore’s obsession with the Michael Jordan Nike shoe, I figured it’d be better to dedicate “Wing$” to the millions of turkey wings that will be eaten on Thanksgiving.
Eat It by Weird Al Yankovic – No Thanksgiving playlist could be complete without including one of the most iconic food songs of all time. After I struggle through my second serving of food and peer painfully at scrumptious desserts, I’ll take a page out of Weird Al’s book and say to myself, “Don’t you tell me you’re full, just eat it, eat it, eat it, eat it.” (Even if you are unfamiliar with the words, the tune is familiar; it is done to Michael Jackson’s Beat It).
I Will Wait by Mumford and Sons – For those who are surrounded by the amazing smells of pies, turkey, stuffing and other treats as they’re being prepared all day, Mumford’s “I Will Wait” is a perfect mantra to repeat. “I will wait…and not eat all the pumpkin pie before my guests come over.
Thank You by Dido – While most remember parts of this song from the sample Eminem pulled from it for “Stan” in 2000, this beautiful song is a great track to throw on towards the latter part of your night.
The Thanksgiving Song by Adam Sandler – It is quite surprising that one of the best known and flat out most iconic Thanksgiving songs come from a comedian and not even a musician. We’re definitely saving the best for last here as Sandler’s tune is both hilarious and resoundingly true as exemplified by this complex lyric: “Turkey lurkey doo and Turkey lurkey dap I eat that turkey Then I take a nap”.