By Brian Ives
Stuck between Halloween and Christmas, two holidays that have tons of great songs, Thanksgiving is a bit musically impaired. So we decided to mine through our record collections (and YouTube) to find a couple of great songs that speak to the greatness that is Thanksgiving. Here’s what we came up with. What did we miss?
Ray Davies – “Thanksgiving Day” The quintessential British singer/songwriter crooning about the quintessential American holiday may seem like a weird idea, but Davies’ observations about how different people spend Thanksgiving is both sweet and sad, and provides one of the best moments of his post-Kinks career.
The Drive-By Truckers – “The Thanksgiving Filter” Here, the quintessential American rock band takes a look at what Thanksgiving is like in many households. Check the lyrics, keeping in mind it was written a few years ago: “My aunt’s praising Palin and my niece loves Obama/My uncle came to dinner wearing his pajamas/Thank God for the filter that enables some distance/From the screaming and crying, and the needs of assistance/You wonder why I drink and curse the holidays/Blessed be my family 300 miles away.”
Adam Sandler – “Thanksgiving Song” “I eat that turkey and I take a nap!” Enough said.
George Winston – “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” Back in the day, didn’t seem like a real holiday is there wasn’t a Peanuts special. And jazz pianist George Winston’s scores were as much a character in those specials as Charlie Brown or Snoopy.
Joey Ramone – “What a Wonderful World” Yes, the Louie Armstrong cover. It’s not a Thanksgiving song, per se, but it does remind you that there’s a lot to be thankful for. This was on Joey’s solo debut, which was released months after his passing, which gives is a bit more gravitas.
Johnny Cash – “A Thanksgiving Prayer” Of course, it’s easier to poke fun at things than to be earnest. Johnny Cash was able to do both, but here he takes the latter approach to Thanksgiving, taking stock of the things that he’s thankful for. The final lines are chilling, over a decade after his death: “And when the time comes to be going/It won’t be in sorrow and tear/I’ll kiss you goodbye and I’ll go on my way/Grateful for all of the years/I thank for all that you gave me/For teaching me what love can do/Thanksgiving day for the rest of my life/I’m thanking the Lord He made you.” Your family may be a bit of a pain, but don’t forget to appreciate them.