In making the perfect Thanksgiving holiday mix, I have realized one very important thing: there are no Thanksgiving songs. How is it possible in the most capitalistic country in the world that the mass marketing propaganda machine never exploited the Thanksgiving holiday (which is America’s own unique holiday) with tunes to celebrate the day? There are more songs celebrating Festivus (which is a fictional holiday created by George Costanza) than there are songs about Thanksgiving. Today, that changes.
Websites have attempted to make Thanksgiving playlists in the past, but there are always glaring issues with them. Because of the lack of overt Thanksgiving songs, songs that potentially encompass the Thanksgiving theme are selected even though they have nothing to do with the mood or feeling of this day. Playlists tend to pick songs with Thanksgiving food in the title but songs like Dee Dee Sharp’s “Mashed Potato” is not about the dinner staple but about a dance. Ray Charles’ “Sweet Potato Pie” is about a girl not a dessert. Also, just because a song has “Thanks” or “thank you” in the title doesn’t instantly make it Thanksgiving worthy. Andrew Gold’s “Thank You for Being a Friend” or Dido’s “Thank You” are nice gratious songs but only borderline set the right mood. Or even Drive-By Truckers “Thanksgiving Filter” is dead-on accurate but not appropriate for a family setting. Some songs have major religious themes but ultimately Thanksgiving isn’t a religious holiday. Too many of them feel out of place. And lastly, some of the Thanksgiving-esque songs just plain suck.
So I have challenged myself to make the best Thanksgiving playlist ever. In making the list, I wanted to encompass what is truly at the core of the holiday. Having gratitude is a major component, but I believe more than anything, Thanksgiving is about family. Thanksgiving is about bringing together the family and celebrating our differences as much as our simularities. And being thankful for having them in our lives.
I have scoured the internet and my personal library to create a playlist that is as ecclectic as a Thanksgiving meal and as diverse as the dinner guests. Enjoy and have a happy Thanksgiving.
Here are the songs from the list and enjoy the mix below:
- Thanksgiving Theme – Vince Guarandi Trio
- Let’s Turkey Trot – Little Eva
- Family Affair – Sly & The Family Stone
- Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie – Jay & The Techniques
- Tday – Jo D. Jonz
- I’ve Got Plenty To Be Thankful For – Bing Crosby
- Home – Jack Johnson
- Kind & Generous – Natalie Merchant
- Be Thankful – Natalie Cole
- Family Time – Ziggy Marley
- Family Man – Fleetwood Mac
- Family Tree – Gerry Rafferty
- Thanksgiving Song – Mary Chapin Carpenter
- Cats in the Cradle – Harry Chapin
- Thank You Too! – My Morning Jacket
- Family Reunion – The O’Jays
- Thanksgiving Prayer – Johnny Cash
- Nothing Beats A Family – Ricky Skaggs
- Home For The Holidays – Perry Como
- Thanksgiving – George Winston
- The Thanksgiving Song – Adam Sandler
Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving song?