Thanksgiving songs: A guide
A guide to Thanksgiving songs culled from the archives of rock, pop and hip-hop.
Tue, Nov 16, 2010 at 04:59 PM
Adam Sandler's 'Thanksgiving Song' has become a popular choice for the holiday. (Photo: ZUMA Press)
There are very few songs about Thanksgiving per se, so building a list of Thanksgiving songs isn't easy.
But, if we expand the search to include songs that express gratitude or simply say "thank you" for this or for that, then we’ve got ourselves a list of songs for Thanksgiving. We threw in a few surprises at the end just to keep things lively.
Here you go:
"Happy Thanksgiving" by Adam Sandler.
Sandler made a name for himself on "Saturday Night Live" in the early 1990s by performing several amusing songs such as this one, which is about (what else?) Thanksgiving and eating turkey out of a big brown shoe. You’ll have to listen to the song to get it.
"Thanksgiving Prayer" by Johnny Cash
Cash played this one on an episode of "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman," a show that aired on CBS in the 1990s and stared Jane Seymour. Cash made a few appearances on "Dr. Quinn" over the years, and so did his wife, June Carter Cash. In this song, Cash calls for everyone to gather round and express their gratitude: "We've come to the time in the season, When family and friends gather near, To offer a prayer of Thanksgiving, For blessings we've known through the year."
"Thanksgiving Day" by Ray Davies.
The former Kinks lead singer came out with his "Thanksgiving Day" EP in 2005. The song’s lyrics are a bit sad and talk about estrangement, but there’s redemption in the end with a call for the family to come back together for the holiday.
"Thank U" by Alanis Morissette
This song is from Morissette’s 1998 album, "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie." Morissette apparently wrote it after a trip to India and wanted to give thanks for all the good things that had happened to her throughout the years. Perhaps, but the lyrics also express gratitude for terror and frailty. The song garnered the Canadian pop singer a Grammy nomination in 2000.
"Thankful" by Kelly Clarkson
Clarkson, the winner of the first season of "American Idol," released this song in 2003 as part of her debut album of the same name. Indeed, Miss Independent has much to be thankful for. The "Thankful" album went double platinum with more than 2.74 million copies sold in the United States.
"Thank You (The J.G. Interlude)" by New Edition
This song appeared on New Edition’s sixth album, "Home Again." It’s got a gospel twist and we’re assuming the “J.G.” in the title refers to Johnny Gill, who’s known for his romantic ballads and smooth harmony. In this song, Gill thanks his father for watching over him: "Here I am, Standing here father, I just wanna take out a little time, A little time to say thank you, Oh thank you."
"Thank You Girl" by The Beatles
A classic Beatles tune that appeared as a B-side for “From Me to You” in 1963. Paul McCartney and John Lennon apparently wrote the song very quickly and intended for it to be nice little thank you message for the Beatles’ female fans.
"Thank You" by Led Zeppelin
Speaking of thanking female fans, Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant is said to have written this song for his then-wife, Maureen. The band released the song as part of its 1969 album, "Led Zeppelin II," and features John Paul Jones playing the Hammond organ in addition to his usual bass guitar.
"What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong
This was one of Armstrong’s most beloved songs and while it’s not about Thanksgiving specifically, it certainly gives the listener food for thought about all the great things the world has to offer. As Pops says in the song: "I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom, for me and you. And I think to myself, What a Wonderful World."
"Eat It" by Weird Al Yankovic
We couldn’t help not throwing in Weird Al’s classic homage to stuffing one’s face. What fun would Thanksgiving be without letting loose and enjoying a little gluttony? Hey, Weird Al doesn’t care what you had for lunch: "You better listen better do what you’re told, you haven’t even touched your tuna casserole! You better chow down or it’s gonna get cold, so eat it!"
Did we miss any other Thanksgiving songs? Please leave us a note in the comments below.