Turkey and tasty side dishes are part of what makes Thanksgiving so special but the day is also a time to show gratitude. Why not do so with a little bit of music?
Thanksgiving is more than just a time to gobble turkey and watch endless amounts of football — it’s an opportunity for people to give thanks for everything they have.
And sometimes music is the best way to show a person’s gratitude.
Here are 10 songs about giving thanks to rock out to this holiday:
1. “Thank You for a Being a Friend” — Andrew Gold
It has been famously said, “Friends are the family you choose” — so sharing this song with your buddies is the perfect way to express gratitude.
“Thank you for being a friend…your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant,” Gold sings in the 1978 hit.
Musician Andrew Gold is the mastermind behind this song, though covered most famously by Cynthia Fee for classic sitcom “The Golden Girls.”
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2. “Thank You for the Music” — ABBA
This ABBA hit — about a timid young woman finding her life’s calling in song and performing — is suited for music lovers.
“What would life be? Without a song or a dance?” the lyrics ask.
“So I say thank you for the music — for giving it to me.”
3. “What a Wonderful World” — Louis Armstrong
Hearing bluesy baritone Louis Armstrong sing about life’s underrated delights is ideal for the holiday.
“I see skies of blue and clouds of white,” Armstrong famously sings.
“…And I think to myself – what a wonderful world.”
4. “My Favorite Things” — “The Sound of Music”
In the 1965 film adaptation of “The Sound of Music,” Maria (Julie Andrews) sings to the von Trapp children about what prompts her happy thoughts when times get tough.
“Silver white winters that melt into springs, these are a few of my favorite things,” the character sings.
“When I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad.”
Positive thinking is something everyone can keep in mind during the holidays and year round.
5. “Be Thankful for What You Got” — William DeVaughn
The song’s title says it all.
The soulful song by William DeVaughn says material possessions aren’t the only things in life to be celebrated.
“Though you may not drive a great big Cadillac,” DeVaughn says.
“Just remember, you can still stand tall. Just be thankful for what you’ve got.”
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6. “Shelter from the Storm” — Bob Dylan
“‘Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood,” Dylan croons in the opening of this classic.
“’Come in,’ she said, ‘I’ll give ya shelter from the storm.'”
Debates on whether the female figure in the song is meant to be an actual woman or a metaphor for religion may continue, but ultimately, the song is about appreciating what you have while it’s still there.
7. “We are Family” — Sister Sledge
The 1970s R&B anthem is the ultimate family-friendly song to pump up a Thanksgiving Day meal.
“We are family, I’ve got all my sisters with me,” the band sings.
“Get up everybody and sing!”
This song is all about having a good time with those closest to you and getting your “share of the world’s delights.”
8. “Thanksgiving Prayer” — Johnny Cash
Cash sings this sentimental ballad to TV wife Ruth (played by his real-life spouse, June Carter Cash), on an episode of “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.”
Children’s laughter and the sun top the singer’s thankful list but his most poignant appreciation is made to Ruth:
“This year when I count my blessings,” Cash sings to his beloved.
“I’m thanking the Lord He made you.”
9. “I’ll Be There for You” — The Rembrandts
A toast to friendship even in the most dire of struggles resonates throughout the “Friends” opening theme.
“So no one told you life was gonna be this way,” the band sings.
“…But I’ll be there for you — cause you’re there for me too.”
This turkey day, you can give thanks to your buddies and let them know they’ve got a friend in you, too.
10. “Landslide” — Fleetwood Mac
This easy listen provides a subdued, tender way to wrap up a Thanksgiving playlist.
“Well I’ve been afraid of changing cause I built my life around you,” Stevie Nicks sings.
“But time makes you bolder, children get older and I’m getting older too.”
The holidays remind us that another year will soon end and, though “Landslide” has differing interpretations, it ultimately is a song of growth and embracing life’s ever-changing journey.