My Thanksgiving Top 40

Guitar turkey

In the States, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a day set aside for families to get together, eat and enjoy each other. Tomorrow, my mom, stepdad, aunt, both boys, a daughter-in-law and my wife and I will be here at the Keller abode. In addition to eating, we will probably play board games and cards, listen to my boys make fun of me (I taught them well!) and just plain enjoy each other. Then, on Saturday, we will repeat everything with my wife’s side of the family where upwards of 20+ people will be there including my dad and stepmother. And although her family no longer has her mom around to hold the family together, my wife has stepped up beautifully to fill her mom’s shoes as the matriarch of her family, as well as mine. I sure married well.


Now, there are really not many songs about this American holiday of Thanksgiving. Most are actually religious hymns. Lately, some artists have been releasing songs about the holiday to varying success. I have created a list of songs for a Thanksgiving playlist that includes those few specific songs, as well as songs of thanks and brotherhood, of harvest celebration and of family. By the way, the playlist does include the 18-minute 1967 classic Thanksgiving song that chronicles a murder, sung by Arlo Guthrie, “Alice’s Restaurant”.

gene simmons serving thanksgiving

Here’s my playlist, in alphabetical order of the artist. Warning: there are two versions of the same song” “Harvest for the World”. I have the original, recorded by the Isley Brothers, which is terrific. And, then, I included a cover version by the Christians in 2002, which is a fantastic cover in its own right. Finally, I hope you will recognize some of the other songs on the list.

  1. Adam Sandler – “Thanksgiving Song” (1993)
  2. Alanis Morissette – “Thank U” (1998)
  3. Arlo Guthrie – “Alice’s Restaurant” (1967)
  4. Ben Harper & the Blind Boys of Alabama – “Mother Pray” (2004)
  5. Big Country – “Harvest Home” (1983)
  6. Big Star – “Thank You Friends” (1975)
  7. Bill Withers – “Family Table” (1975)
  8. Boz Scaggs – “Thanks to You” (2001)
  9. Brave Combo – “Thanksgiving” (2005)
  10. Drive-By Truckers – “The Thanksgiving Filter” (2011)
  11. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes – “Home” (2009)
  12. Graham Parker – “Almost Thanksgiving” (2004)
  13. Greg Kihn Band – “Family” (1982)
  14. Jellyfish – “Family Tree” (1992)
  15. John Mellencamp – “Check It Out” (1987)
  16. Johnny Cash – “I Am a Pilgrim” (2003)
  17. Kacey Musgraves – “Family Is Family” (2015)
  18. Lady Gaga – “Orange Colored Sky” (2011)
  19. Led Zeppelin – “Thank You”
  20. Loudon Wainwright III – “Thanksgiving (live)” (1993)
  21. Louis Armstrong – “What a Wonderful World” (1967)
  22. Mary Chapin Carpenter – “Thanksgiving Song” (2008)
  23. My Morning Jacket – “Thank You Too!” (2008)
  24. Nate Rateliff & the Night Sweats – “Thank You” (2015)
  25. Neil Young – “Harvest” (1972)
  26. Neil Young – “Harvest” (1972)
  27. Paul Simon – “Mother and Child Reunion” (1972)
  28. Phillip Phillips – “Home” (2012)
  29. Phish – “Farmhouse” (2000)
  30. Poi Dog Pondering – “Thanksgiving” (1990)
  31. REO Speedwagon – “Flying Turkey Trot (live)” (1976)
  32. Rumer – “Thankful” (2010)
  33. Shonna Tucker & Eye Candy – “A Family Dinner” (2013)
  34. Simon & Garfunkel – “Homeward Bound” (1966)
  35. Sly & the Family Stone – “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” (1970)
  36. The Band – “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)” (1969)
  37. The Christians – “Harvest for Home” (2002)
  38. The Hollies – “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” (1970)
  39. The Isley Brothers – “Harvest for the World” (1976)
  40. XTC – “Harvest Festival” (1999)

Let’s give thanks for rock ‘n’ roll! Have a great weekend! See you next week!

thanksgiving stones logo

Author: ifmyalbumscouldtalk

I am just a long-time music fan who used to be a high school science teacher and a varsity coach of several high school athletic teams. Before that, I worked as a medical technologist at three hospitals in their labs, mainly as a microbiologist. I am retired/disabled (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome), and this is my attempt to remain a human. Additionally, I am a serious vinyl aficionado, with a CD addiction and a love of reading about rock history. Finally, I am a fan of Prince, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Hall & Oates, Springsteen, Paul Weller & his bands and Power Pop music.

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