Best Thanksgiving Songs – 20 Favourite Songs for Thanksgiving Day

As people around the country gather at their tables with family and friends to celebrate the harvest and prepare for the coming winter, music is a part of the festivities. These best Thanksgiving songs create the background for family gatherings. Plus they shape the lives of those who attend in ways they may not even notice.

Sounds and smells are often the strongest connections to memory. And even years later they can bring back the feelings of home, big meals, and giving thanks together.

Best Thanksgiving Songs – It’s About the Food

Many Thanksgiving festivities revolve around the food that is shared. And there is no reason for the music to not fit that theme as well.

“Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” by Jay & The Techniques brings a little pop and some R&B to any Thanksgiving meal.

If you like a little instrumental while you eat, Bob Dylan has supplied his “Turkey Chase” for your enjoyment.

Add some jazz to the mix. And remind everyone what you have gathered for with “Everybody Eats When They Come to My House” with Cab Calloway & His Orchestra.

Holidays are always a great time for Ray Charles and his classics, with “Sweet Potato Pie” bringing feasts together every year.

“Let’s Turkey Trot” from Little Eva will bring back memories of fun gatherings. And might be the one to get everyone dancing.

Once you get everyone up and dancing you can keep them going with James Brown and “Do the Mashed Potatoes”

Thanksgiving Songs – Singing Thanks

While some people share their feelings through the written word or during face to face conversations, others are best at singing about things that matter the most to them.

“Thanks a Million” with Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra takes you back in time. And reminds everyone that some things don’t change as the years march by.

Another classic that brings generations together comes from Bing Crosby with his “I’ve Got Plenty to be Thankful For”. Almost every family will have a favourite Bing Crosby song. His music makes it way through families and has sat with them through many meals over the decades.

Nat King Cole is close behind these as some of the most well known singers of their time. And “Autumn Leaves” uses jazz to share the feelings that come with fall and the harvest gatherings.

Newer artists have followed in the steps of those who came before, in sharing the appreciation for what they have and those that they love through song.

Kelly Clarkson and her strong pop voice brings “Thankful” to the dinner table for your meal.

Sam & Dave mix soul, R&B, and a little rock to bring “I Thank You” to gatherings around the country.

“I Want to Thank You” from Otis Redding will help your older family feel welcome and comfortable, and it shares a different point of view to some of the others on this list.

Johnny Cash is not to be forgotten with the top Thanksgiving songs, as he shares all of the things that he is thankful for in his “Thanksgiving Prayer” and Dido is close behind with “Thank You”.

It’s That Time of Year

Every year there is a shift in not only the weather and the activities people enjoy, the clothing they wear, and the length of the days, but also in the emotions and moods that come with it.

As Thanksgiving leads into Christmas preparations, the “Thanksgiving Song” with Mary Chapin Carpenter is sure to bring back a flood of memories and the love that was shared with family and friends. 

Big Star addresses the value that friends have to your life and theirs, with their song “Thank You Friends”. Many have been known to pull their favourite lines from the song as quotes about friendship.

Not to be left behind, “Thanksgiving Day” from Ray Davies addresses all the things that people catch up on over the holidays and how much is missed from the lives of loved ones when time is spent apart.

If you are looking to spice up the gathering a little, or bring some laughter to the day, Adam Sandler and “The Thanksgiving Song” is sure to have some of his favourite Thanksgiving Jokes in it.

Round out the evening by counteracting this with Loudon Wainwright III and “Thanksgiving” where he shares the most valuable things to his holiday with the family.

Best Thanksgiving Songs – Final Note

Perhaps no holiday, and particularly Thanksgiving, that is spent with friends in appreciation for all that life has to offer without Andrew Gold and Cynthia Fee with “Thank You for Being a Friend”. This classic theme song is not just a theme song but shares the truth of how many people feel about their friends, as they create a larger family around us.

When you are choosing your music for the holidays, you are sure to find some that are ideal for background sounds during a meal, others to get everyone laughing and joking, and still others to speed the cleaning process as they increase the energy in the room. You can change a lot of how something feels with the soundtrack that runs behind everything. And there are certainly some great Thanksgiving songs for the whole day. Play your favourites and ask others to bring their favourites for a variety of music, and to learn about them and their preferences. The songs that people select will share a lot about their own feelings. These songs can bring people together, and help to create new memories. Or to recall some of the best memories of times gone by.

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