Thanksgiving is an underrated holiday when it comes to music. There’s no genre dedicated to it like there is with Christmas and Halloween, yet it’s a day when everyone’s under one roof and can jam out together as a family unit.
Thanksgiving is the time for family, fun, friends and good times, the time to give thanks and celebrate. Any songs that play into these ideas can be considered Thanksgiving tunes.
Need some music to get you into the mood to chow down on comfort foods? Here’s the perfect playlist for your Turkey day.
“Lovely Day” by Bill Withers
“Then I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day”
Bill Withers delivered the truest emotions in the simplest way. From “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lean on Me” to “Lovely Day,” Withers captured love in song form. “Lovely Day” is a joyful and soulful song to start off your Thanksgiving.
“Everyday People” by Sly & the Family Stone
“And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo-bee
I am everyday people”
After such a tumultuous election season, it’s important to remember we’re all in this together. “Everyday People” is a feel-good song about inclusion, equality and peace.
“The 59th Street Bridge Song” by Simon & Garfunkel
“Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last”
“The 59th Street Bridge Song” is a groovy folk classic that’s perfect for preparing Thanksgiving dinner. It’s an upbeat song to stuff your turkey to.
“Everybody Eats When They Come to My House” by Cab Calloway
“Try a tomato, Plato
Here’s cacciatore, Dory
Taste the bologna, Tony
Everybody eats when they come to my house”
Jazz scat singing legend Cab Calloway makes us hungry with this tune. The wordplay in this song will help whet your appetite.
“Hold On, I’m Comin’” by Sam & Dave
“Just hold on, I’m coming
Hold on, I’m coming”
This is the song to play as you approach the dinner table. With anticipation for the glorious meal soon to come, don’t forget to remind your family not to start without you.
“Can I Kick It?” by A Tribe Called Quest
“If you feel the urge to
freak, do the jitterbug
Come and spread your arms if you really need a hug”
Thanksgiving is a day of relaxation, a day to kick it. This jazzy song samples Lou Reed and has the smooth mix of Phife Dawg and Q-Tip. With friends and family, it’s good to kick back and enjoy some tunes.
“Feeling Good” by Nina Simone
“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me
And I’m feelin’ good”
Between feel-good food and feel-good music, the combo is delicious.
“You Send Me” by Sam Cooke
“Darling, you send me
I know you send me”
Every holiday playlist has a love song, and for good reason. This sets the mood for the Christmas music that follows soon after Thanksgiving.
“Love Train” by The O’Jays
“People all over the world
Start a love train, love train”
For every guilty-pleasure dessert consumed on Thanksgiving, there has to be a guilty-pleasure dance song. The O’Jay’s disco-infused “Love Train” is a good way to bond with the fam and start burning off those calories.
“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
“Hallelujah” is the perfect way to end Thanksgiving. It’s a beautiful, soulful tune that reminds you about the beauty of the world – a song to listen to while giving thanks. Once the tryptophan from the turkey kicks in all the way, you’ll be sent off into your dreamy sleep world. This song is the perfect track to carry you there.