Traditionally a day for getting the gang together to spend quality time with family (as well as extended family), good friends, good food and good times. A time for being thankful for what you have, for many, also a religious time to reflect upon your many blessings and to attend mass or church services. Others see it as a day of parades and football games on the tube, along with a nice spread of chips and dip, deli munchies and cold beer or cider followed by an incredible feast. Still some will go out to the movies or enjoy outdoor sports and activities. Maybe you’ll spend the day helping prepare and serve a Thanksgiving meal to the needy, homeless or lonely at a local church, center or homeless shelter. And some will use it for a head start on Christmas ultra-bargain shopping at Kmart, getting a jump-start on the Black Friday hordes that will hit the stores before sun-up the next morning. With that being said, it would be nice to have a playlist of music, that’s appropriate for the company you’re with, so I present to you a nice variety of songs dealing with thanks, family and a little crazy fun songs thrown in for good measure, as this is one of the tougher holiday themes to come up with songs for as there are very few commercialized songs out there that are truly written for or about Thanksgiving Day. Towards the bottom of this post I’ve also included a handful of traditional and religious songs and hymns, simply to “cover all the bases”, so to speak. Enjoy
- A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving – George Winston
- Alice’s Restaurant – Arlo Guthrie
- American Land – Bruce Springsteen
- Back Home Again – John Denver
- Be Our Guest – Beauty & The Beast
- Be Thankful – Natalie Cole
- Be Thankful For What You Got – William DeVaughn
- Eat It – Weird Al Yankovic
- Family Affair – Sly & The Family Stone
- Food Glorious Food – Oliver soundtrack
- Give Peace A Chance – John Lennon
- Give Thanks & Praise – Bob Marley
- God’s Been Good To Me – Keith Urban
- I Am A Pilgrim – Johnny Cash
- I Can Only Imagine – Mercy Me
- I’m Gonna Eat On Thanksgiving Day – Laurie Berkner
- I’ve Got Plenty To Be Thankful For – Bing Crosby
- I’ve Got So Much Love To Give – Barry White
- In My Life – Beatles
- Kind & Generous – Natalie Merchant
- November Rain – Guns N’ Roses
- Oh Happy Day – Lauren Hill
- Thank God For Kids – Oak Ridge Boys
- Thank God For Kids – Kenney Chesney
- Thank God I Found You – Mariah Carey
- Thank You – Alanis Morissette
- Thank You – Dido
- Thank You – Led Zeppelin
- Thank You For Being A Friend – Andrew Gold
- Thank You For Loving Me – Bon Jovi
- Thank You For The Music – Abba
- Thank You Lord – Bob Marley
- Thank You Lord – Shaggy
- Thankful – Kelly Clarkson
- Thanks For The Memory – Bob Hope
- Thanksgiving Song – Adam Sandler
- There’s No Place Like Home For The Holidays
- This Land Is Your Land – Woody Guthrie
- Travelin’ Prayer – Billy Joel
- We Are Family – Sister Sledge
- What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
- Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
Did I leave any favorites of yours off the list that you think should be on here with a similar Thanksgiving theme? – Let Me know :)
Church/Religious Hymns of Thanks and Praise
Just for the sake of those that may be thinking that I’ve completely left out any of the legendary and/or traditional religious hymns revolving around Thanksgiving, I’m including a few classic ones here with a small amount of history about them. Now I’m aware that there are a number of Christian hymns and other church/religious denomination songs about praising and thanking God for what you’re blessed with (such as family, food, wellbeing, etc) but I wanted to focus just on a few major ones here.
- Come Ye Thankful People Come
“Come ye thankful people come” is a harvest hymn written in 1844 – music by George Elvey with lyrics by Henry Alford. This is one of the more distinguished musical hymns sung in churches all over the world during the seasonal harvest and Thanksgiving period.
“Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home!
All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin;
God, our Maker, doth provide
For our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come;
Raise the song of harvest home!”…..
- Count Your Blessings
“Count your blessings. Name them one by one;
Count your many blessings See what God hath done.”…..
“Count your Blessings” has always been a best-loved thanksgiving song. It was written in 1897 by Johnson Oatman, Jr., and composed by Edwin Excell who created the tune for the hymn. It’s been sung all over the world but has been exceptionally well received in Great Britain.
- Now Thank We All Our God
“Now Thank We All Our God” is another prolific Christian hymn written in German by Martin Rinkart, circa 1636, and translated into English in the 19th century by Catherine Winkworth. It is often used in Christian weddings and other joyous religious ceremonies, and in Germany it is sung on occasions of national thanksgiving.
“Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.”…..
- We Gather Together
“We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing; he hastens and chastens his will to make known…”
“We Gather Together” is a Christian hymn that originated in The Netherlands (Holland) that was written in 1597 by Adrianus Valerius to celebrate the Dutch victory over Spanish forces in the Battle of Turnhout. Originally, it was set to a Dutch folk song before it became translated to German and Latin. The modern English text/translation was written by Theodore Baker in 1894. In America, the hymn steadily gained popularity and is now associated with Thanksgiving Day and is often sung at family meals and at religious services.
More religious/church hymns can be found [HERE]…….
Age Old Favorite – A Timeless Classic
Finally I saved the most timeless, well-known, Thanksgiving classic for last…..
“Over the River and Through the Woods” is a Thanksgiving song by Lydia Maria Child. Originally, it was written as a poem that appeared in her book, “Flowers for Children – Volume 2″ in 1844. The title of this poem was called, “A Boy’s Thanksgiving Day”. It celebrated her cherished childhood memories of visiting her Grandfather’s House. Lydia Maria Child was a novelist, journalist, teacher, and wrote extensively about the need to eliminate slavery.
Sometimes, it is presented with lines about Christmas, rather than Thanksgiving. For instance, the line “Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!” becomes “Hurrah for Christmas Day!”. As a Christmas song, it has been recorded as “A Merry Christmas At Grandmother’s”.
and now here are the lyrics for this classic…..
“Over the river, and through the wood,
To Grandfather’s house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.
Over the river, and through the wood—
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose
As over the ground we go.
Over the river, and through the wood,
To have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring, “Ting-a-ling-ding”,
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!
Over the river, and through the wood
Trot fast, my dapple-gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting-hound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day.
Over the river, and through the wood—
And straight through the barnyard gate,
We seem to go extremely slow,
It is so hard to wait!
Over the river, and through the wood—
Now Grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!”
Filed under: Holidays & Celebrations, Song Lists Tagged: | Christian songs, church songs, over the river and through the woods, religious songs, songs about family, songs for Thanksgiving, songs of praise, songs of thanks, Thanksgiving hymns, Thanksgiving songs, traditional Thanksgiving