The Best Thanksgiving Songs
In honor of this year’s Thanksgiving, I started a list of great Thanksgiving songs. I got to my top three and the creative juices stopped; Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant,” Poi Dog Pondering’s “Thanksgiving” and Stephen Kellogg’s new “Thanksgiving” offering are all decent, but other than those three, only Adam Sandler’s horrible “Thanksgiving” came to mind. So, I shifted my focus to the Best Songs with “Thank” in the title, and one of the aforementioned makes the list. They’re not all beautiful, and typically have nothing to do with gratitude, in fact most of them are more on the bitter side…
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So, before the tryptophan kicks in, here’s our cornucopia: the RARA’s Farm Farmer’s Dozen:
Bonus Track – “Thank You For The Music,” ABBA – I know, this is not Rock and Roll, but I have a soft spot for this one. It was released by the Swedish pop icons in 1977, and ultimately released as a single in 1983. To many, it is viewed as their swan song. It’s a fun and addictive singalong.
12. “Thank You For Sending Me An Angel,” Talking Heads – This tune kicks off the band’s second album, 1978’s More Songs About Buildings and Food. This short ditty highlights Chris Frantz’s fine drumming.
11. “Thanks A Lot,” Third Eye Blind” – This song was kind of lost in the shuffle on Third Eye Blind’s hugely successful 1997 debut release, but it is another of the many solid tunes on the album.
10. “Thank You,” The Redwalls – This little known indie outfit from outside Chicago has a great sound. This song is Beatlesesque and deserved more notoriety. If you’ve never heard them before, make sure you check this one out.
9. “Thank You Girl,” The Beatles – This tune is almost fifty years old already! It was initially released as the B-side to “From Me To You” as a personal message to their female followers. It’s a nice tribute to their fans.
8. “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs,” Fall Out Boy – The record company wanted shorter song titles from the band, and this was their response. “Thanks For the Memories” was a Top 10 hit in 2007 and is a fun tune about an old relationship with benefits from these Illinois rockers.
7. “Thanks A Lot,” Johnny Cash – This one from 1959 is a bitter tribute to a relationship gone bad. Not one of is hits, but it features his powerful deep distinctive voice.
6. “The Thanks I Get,” Coconut Records – Coconut Records, is the hip brainchild of multi-talented Jason Schwartzman who basically sings, writes and plays all the instruments. “The Thanks I Get” is off of the 2007 debut effort, Nighttiming. It’s a fun pop tune about yet another relationship gone bad.
5. “Thank You For Being A Friend,” Andrew Gold – OK, I’ll admit, I succumbed to a a bit of peer pressure on this one. To me, the song is okay, but nothing special, but all of the relatives liked it, and sadly,he recently passed away, so I gave it a special holiday bump in the ratings. The song was one of the bigger hits on this list, reaching #25 in 1978.
4. “Thank You,” Sly and the Family Stone – This funk tune was reprotedly recorded during some of Sly Stone’s deepest periods of drug use. It’s got a great funky beat, powered by the fantastic bass of Larry Graham. It’s a timeless masterpiece from the early 70’s. I love the official title “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).”
3. “I Thank You,” Sam And Dave (also covered wonderfully by ZZTop) – The Sam and Dave version was a gospel influenced song written by Isaac Hayes that peaked in the Top Ten in 1968. Ten Years later, ZZ Top released it on their 1979 album Deguello. For both artists, it became their second Top 40 hit.
2. “Thank You,” Led Zeppelin – This 1969 Plant/Page classic was actually the first song where the lyrics were penned by Robert Plant. The lyrics were a tribute to Plant’s relationship with his wife, Maureen. It wraps up the fantastic first side of Led Zeppelin II, and features beautiful keyboards from John Paul Jones. To secure it’s spot atop our list, it is truly a song about Thanks.
1. “Thanksgiving,” Stephen Kellogg – This is a masterpiece. It’s ten minutes that flies by; an epic ode to nostalgia; a musical journey that offers deep personal reflections, observations and desires. It ebbs and flows through sadness, bitterness and hope. Perhaps, something to finally supplant Alice’s Restaurant” as a Thanksgiving radio staple. It’s a fantastic track from a wonderful album (Read our review: Blunderstone Rookery) that will appeal to any music fan.
Can you think of any, I missed?
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