Thanksgiving is full of traditions. With a few exceptions, the food on my Thanksgiving table looks almost exactly like the food that was on my parent’s Thanksgiving table year after year. It’s tradition. When my son was 3 he made paper pilgrims and Native Americans in the shape of paper drumsticks at school. I proudly taped them onto the China cabinet. The next year, he found them and taped them back up. Voila – tradition.

One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is the music I listen to when I cook.

There are two CD’s that I listen to while preparing on the night before Thanksgiving. The first is George Winston’s "Autumn." The second, and go ahead and chuckle, is the soundtrack to "When Harry Met Sally." At some point, it became tradition for my mom and me to listen to it while doing prep work.

The greatest musical tradition comes on Thanksgiving Day around noon. That’s when I and millions of other Americans tune into local radio stations to hear Arlo Guthrie’s "Alice’s Restaurant" – all 18-plus minutes of it.

Why is this rambling song a Thanksgiving tradition? Well, as we learn in the beginning of the song “it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on – two years ago on Thanksgiving.” From there the fun really begins.

If you’ve never listened to this song on Thanksgiving, I suggest you give it a try. You’ll probably end up making it one of your Thanksgiving traditions, too.

Here are some radio stations that I found around the country that will be playing it. If you know of any others, leave them in the comments.

  • Philadelphia, Pa WMMR (93.3 FM) will play the song at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.; WXPN (88.5 FM) will play the song around noon.
  • New York City - WAXQ (104.3 FM)– sometime around noon
  • Central OregonKPOV (106.7FM) – From 9 a.m. to noon and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., KPOV will be replaying a live concert with Arlo Guthrie from 2008. Alice’s Restaurant will be in there somewhere.
  • Sirius Satellite listeners - Radio Margarittaville will play it throughout the day, interspersed between lots of Jimmy Buffet.

And hey, if you’re still looking for a stuffing recipe at this late date, you can find one from Alice herself (the song is based on a true story) on blogsNH. It’s taken from the Alice’s Restaurant Cookbook.

I hope you all have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving. If you have them, tell me about your Thanksgiving music traditions in the comments.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

'Alice's Restaurant': It's a Thanksgiving music tradition
There's not a lot of Thanksgiving music out there, but there's one song that's a can't miss while cooking Thanksgiving dinner.