Thanksgiving Playlist Quick Five

Hi all!

Thanksgiving is next week here in the states and we’ve already started planning the big feast.  Company will be coming and I thought I’d put together a playlist of Thanksgiving songs for a little background music while we’re eating.

The problem is…there are no Thanksgiving songs.  Well, not very many that are purely devoted to Thanksgiving.  Heck, even the song I most associate with Thanksgiving – “Over the River and Through the Woods” (Originally written by Lydia Maria Child in 1844 titled “A Boy’s Thanksgiving Day”) has been rewritten to eliminate all mention of Thanksgiving.  

Thanksgiving-turkey-2Adam Sandler recorded a song “The Thanksgiving Song” which I really dislike.  I dislike his voice and the lyrics (it comes with a parental guidance warning) and the lack of a real tune.  It won’t be on my playlist.

I’d forgotten that Alice’s Restaurant Massacre by Arlo Guthrie is set around Thanksgiving.  Love the song but it’s way, way long and doesn’t have a lot of tune to it.  Plus it just doesn’t say “I’m thankful for small blessings,” you know?

So help me out.  Here’s my five downloads for my playlist but I need more.  The song doesn’t have to be about Thanksgiving, just a love-of-family, love-of-life, feel-good songs.

1.  Over the River and Through the Woods because it does say Thanksgiving to me.  I like this version.

2.  You’ve Got a Friend by James Taylor

3.  We Gather Together – the hymn.  This version is by Celtic Women

4.  We Are Family by Sister Sledge     I’ll be dancing around and singing the lyrics while cooking when this one plays.

5.  Eat it by “Weird Al” Yankovic  because – you’ve got to have a sense of humor 🙂

So what do you think?  Any recommendations?  I send someone leaving a comment “Death in a Turkey Town” by Melanie Jackson.  It seems holiday appropriate 🙂

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  • Helen says:

    Is he staying with me

    Have fun

    • Helen –

      I think the GR likes to steer clear of the States this time of year. He’s not a turkey – at least, not in the biological sense – but he just doesn’t want anyone getting the wrong idea.

  • Helen says:


    I think Thanksgiving is such a great thing to celebrate it is a shame we don’t here in Oz

    What about What The World Needs Now is Love and Its a Wonderful World

    If I can think of anymore I will put them up

    Have fun

    The GR must be enjoying the humid stormy rainy weather we are having it maybe it is the Tim tams 🙂

    • Helen – I think Thanksgiving should be a worldwide holiday especially as it’s not tied to a specific religion. Everyone has something for which to give thanks.

      Love those two songs. Great suggestions! I’d forgotten about What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s a wonderful world is just perfect. Thank you.

  • Jane says:

    Hello Donna,
    I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving. My cousin is flying in and she’ll be doing all the cooking. I like “We Are Family” and think it’ll be perfect for Thanksgiving.

    • LOL – Love that she flies in and you put her to work 🙂 . Actually, that’s one of the things I enjoy about the holiday – all the relatives, at least the female ones, adding their expertise in the kitchen. The guys are usually parked in front of the TV watching football.

  • flchen1 says:

    I don’t think there are many traditional Thanksgiving songs except possibly hymns. Maybe Simple Gifts? I also really like Count Your Blessings 🙂

    • I know – why is that? Is it because it’s an American holiday and thus doesn’t have global appeal and marketing?

      Love the suggestion of Count Your Blessings by Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney ironically from the movie White Christmas. 🙂

      Forgot about Simple Gifts – great suggestion. Here’s the Judy Collins version (saw her in concert earlier this year so very apropos)

  • Amy Conley says:

    What about I’D LIKE TO TAEVH THE WORLD TO SING, the orignal version not the Coke Christmas version. To me it says a lot about being thankful. My first thought was WE GATHER TOGETHER though.

    • Amy Conley says:

      I just remembef I saw a cassette at my in-law'”s called A WALTON THANKSGIVING. If you are a Walton’s fan this should be great.

      • Is that a video cassette, Amy? I did a google on A Walton Thanksgiving and could only find references to a Thanksgiving reunion show. I remember the Waltons on tv. Good show. Goodnight Amy 🙂

        • Amy Conley says:

          No it was a cassette. Msybe you can get it from the Waltons home page

          • Amy Conley says:

            Donna I believe I have your email address and I’ll take a picture of the cassette for you since we can’t post pictures here.

    • Good Suggestion! It’s hard to hear it without thinking of Coca Cola though – such is the power of marketing. Still, as a diet coke fan, I can live with it. With all the bourbon I use in various recipes, the Coke is a welcome addition in the kitchen 🙂

  • Maureen says:

    That is a tough one to figure. I never thought of the lack of Thanksgiving songs. My pick would be “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.

  • Becke Turner says:

    Love Celtic Women. I’ve never thought about a TKG song. Long ago in our household it was the ND fight song!

    That said, I don’t do sports unless it’s the grandkids and their version of sports, which is more like group move!

    • Becke –

      I’ll be at the OSU game vs Indiana later this afternoon. It’s freezing here (thank you artic front) with probable snow showers later in the game. OSU should blow Indiana out of the stadium but we’ll stay through halftime. I’m not crazy about the game of football but I love all the hoopla that goes on around it – so my dh watches the field and I watch the mascots (grin). This is probably the last game we’ll attend. It’s way too expensive when everything is on tv these days. I wish, though, they’d show the halftime shows on TV.

      • Amy Conley says:

        you should live in Indiana and be from Ohio at that game.

        • Amy – Not a great day for Indiana. As the radio announcer said as we were heading home (we left after halftime) it’s really hard to hit put goal posts. First the right one, and then the left one. We met some friends that came up from Virginia for the game and the people that sat behind us were from North Carolina…and it snowed!!! They thought it was cool, but I doubt they stayed long.

  • Laurie G says:

    We have Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving special and there is a Thanksgiving theme song.

    Celine Dion and Andre Bocelli’s THE PRAYER

    “The Prayer”

    I pray you’ll be our eyes, and watch us where we go.
    And help us to be wise in times when we don’t know
    Let this be our prayer, when we lose our way
    Lead us to the place, guide us with your grace
    To a place where we’ll be safe

    La luce che tu hai
    I pray we’ll find your light
    nel cuore restera
    and hold it in our hearts.
    a ricordarci che
    When stars go out each night,
    eterna stella sei

    The light you have
    I pray we’ll find your light
    will be in the heart
    and hold it in our hearts.
    to remember us that
    When stars go out each night,
    you are eternal star
    Nella mia preghiera
    Let this be our prayer
    quanta fede c’e
    when shadows fill our day

    How much faith there’s
    Let this be our prayer
    in my prayer
    when shadows fill our day
    Lead us to a place, guide us with your grace
    Give us faith so we’ll be safe

    Sognamo un mondo senza piu violenza
    un mondo di giustizia e di speranza
    Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino
    Simbolo di pace, di fraternita

    We dream a world without violence
    a world of justice and faith.
    Everyone gives the hand to his neighbours
    Symbol of peace, of fraternity
    La forza che ci da
    We ask that life be kind
    e il desiderio che
    and watch us from above
    ognuno trovi amor
    We hope each soul will find
    intorno e dentro se
    another soul to love

    The force his gives us
    We ask that life be kind
    is wish that
    and watch us from above
    everyone finds love
    We hope each soul will find
    around and inside
    another soul to love
    Let this be our prayer
    Let this be our prayer, just like every child

    Need to find a place, guide us with your grace
    Give us faith so we’ll be safe
    Need to find a place, guide us with your grace
    Give us faith so we’ll be safe

    E la fede che
    hai acceso in noi,
    sento che ci salvera

    It’s the faith
    you light in us
    I feel it will save us

    I love John Lennon’s song IMAGINE.


    Imagine there’s no heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today…

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace…

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one

    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world…

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will live as one

  • Laurie G –

    I love Imagine. Hadn’t thought of putting that one on the playlist. Thank you.

    I’ve seen references to the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving but everytime I clicked on a link I got the Christmas melody (which I love). Thanks for providing the real deal.

  • Hey Donna!

    Well, my little granddaughter sang the 5 fat Turkey song for me:

    5 fat turkeys are we
    We slept all night in the tree
    When the cook came around
    We couldn’t be found
    And that’s why we’re here you see.

    5 fat turkeys are we
    We slept all night in the tree
    On Thanksgiving Day
    It sure does pay
    To sleep in the tall oak tree.

    Very cute!

  • Donna, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia – the rush toward Christmas has already started here. I just don’t know where this year has gone! Part of me still thinks it’s June – a BIG part!

    • Anna – I know you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving there – but you should. 🙂 Seriously. The world needs a holiday just to give thanks that has nothing to do with buying presents – but is all about FOOD!!! 🙂 Of course, our feasts would be substantially different – but a feast just the same.

      • Amy Conley says:

        Anna, just because it isn’t a holiday there doesn’t mean you can’t celebtate with us. I am sure everyone will gladly share their favorite receipes with you.

  • Shannon says:

    I’m thinking of the old hymn “Tis a gift to be simple…” But that may be the Simple Gifts mentioned above. Of course, I remember one year that Washington was playing Dallas and one guy saying the only song he wanted to hear was “Hail to the Redskins” when someone was putting on the Christmas music.

    • Shannon –

      Yes – that’s Simple Gifts. It pretty much a simple song. Two four line verses I believe 🙂

      LOL on the Hail to the Redskins. Do you think they’ll ever change their name to something more politically correct?

  • Kaelee says:

    I celebrated Thanksgiving last month but thought I’d give a suggestion for a song. It’s a Great Day to be Alive by Travis Tritt.

    • Kaelee –

      That’s right. You don’t have to celebrate Thanksgiving this month or ever to think of a “thankful” song. Yours is a great suggestion. I’m using it.

  • Donna, I’m so hopeless with the song thing! People have suggested great ones, and I can’t think of any to add.

  • Jacki marunycz says:

    You’ve Got A Friend – James Taylor. This one might fit into your playlist! 🙂