When Autumn hits, holiday songs fall around us like the changing leaves. From Halloween to Christmas, there’s holiday music playing. Except, when it comes to Thanksgiving, festive music falls short. In fact, most of the time, Christmas music is just played in November instead. So, this got me thinking, are there really no Thanksgiving songs? No one has made some music in the last couple of centuries that didn’t fit the holiday. Really? I looked into it and to my surprise, I did locate some Thanksgiving songs. Why they never make it onto the radio could be because they don’t explicitly reference Thanksgiving. Yet, that argument (or more like excuse) doesn’t hold up since there are plenty of Christmas and Halloween songs that don’t mention the holiday directly either. So, I’ve put together some Thanksgiving songs that should be added to your playlist as you prepare to stuff your face with turkey and mashed potatoes.
“I’ve Got Plenty to be Thankful For” - Bing Crosby
With a title like that, it clearly fits the bill for a Thanksgiving song. The lyrics talk about all the things Crosby may not have, but still, he has plenty to be thankful for. So, what does he have? Well, “Ears to hear with, arms to hug with, lips to kiss with, someone to adore” among other things because he values people he loves over material things. Aside from fitting the holiday, Bing Crosby is also just a great artist to put on any holiday playlist.
“The Thanksgiving Song” - Ben Rector
There is no reason why something like “Thanksgiving Song” wouldn’t be a known and popularly played song around the holiday. With lyrics like, “So fill your plate and fill your drink and fill this house with family, the kind of love that all these years can't wash away ‘cause the older that I get, I see that life is short and bittersweet. Thank God for this Thanksgiving Day” it’s pretty clear why it fits. Maybe this is a song you can add to your playlist as you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner.
“Let’s Turkey Trot” - Little Eva
Do I really need to explain? A song about dancing the “Turkey Trot” obviously fits a holiday where Americans pretty much always eat turkey as the main course. And with a part of the song having “Gobbididly gobbididly” where you gobble like a turkey, it clearly fits. Give it a listen.
“Mashed Potato Time" - Dee Dee Sharp
This song is similar to Turkey Trot in the sense that it encourages listeners to do a dance, in this instance the “mashed potatoes.” It’s groovy, it’s fun, and I can already picture myself baking rolls while I dance along to this in the kitchen. It may not explicitly mention Thanksgiving, but given the mashed potatoes are another popular holiday dish, it fits right in.
“Kill the Turkey” - Bob’s Burgers
Bob’s Burgers is a popular animated comedy that has been running for 12 seasons. Each episode ends with a little song written specifically for the episode. While most dads in TV shows who have a fixation with a holiday tend to lean toward Christmas or Halloween, Bob Belcher, the father of the show, loves Thanksgiving. He loves it so much that, as a chef, he takes the week of Thanksgiving picking out and preparing the perfect turkey, even if his family doesn’t notice. The listed song “Kill the Turkey” is sung in season three by Bob’s wife Linda who decides that the world needs a Thanksgiving song (we agree, Linda), even if her husband Bob doesn’t agree. It has become a favorite among Bob’s Burgers fans. It’s the one song I always play on and around Thanksgiving because it’s so funny and so catchy! With lyrics like, “Pass the cranberry sauce, we’re having mashed potatoes. Ooh the turkey looks great” it’s perfect to sing on the holiday. You simply can’t listen to this song without cracking a smile.
“Gravy Boat” - Bob’s Burgers
Bob’s Burgers is the place to look for Thanksgiving songs. It’s part of what inspired me to make this post at all. While this one isn’t nearly as catchy as “Kill the Turkey”, it’s still a fun Thanksgiving song. I bet you’ll have it stuck in your head after listening to it. “Ding a ding, what’s the sound? It’s the gravy boat coming around” plays on a loop in my head this time of year.
“Little Birdie” - A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Now, this isn’t exactly about Thanksgiving, but it does play in the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special. For fans of the classic TV special, I’m sure will remind them of Thanksgiving. Plus, the song does sing of a bird, so it fits just as well for the holiday.
“Turkey Chase” - Bob Dylan
Once you hear this song, you’ll be able to picture a person chasing a turkey around a yard. That’s the kind of fast-paced, folky song it is. The title helps it fit right into this playlist, and if you’re a Bob Dylan fan, you definitely should add this rare track from the Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid Sessions. Unfortunately, the song wasn’t easily found on YouTube of good quality, so here is a Spotify link instead.
“It’s Thanksgiving” - Nicole Westbrook
Is it the greatest song? Not by any means. But it is a Thanksgiving song. For those who remember the days of Rebecca Black’s “Friday”, this artist Nicole Westbrook comes from the same label that produced Black’s music. So, you can probably guess that it’s not the most groundbreaking song out there. With lyrics that spell it out for you, “December was Christmas, January was New Year, April was Easter, and the 4th of July, but now it's Thanksgiving” the song is kind of catchy. It’s also very much about Thanksgiving, the music video showing the singer putting together corn, turkey, and mashed potatoes for dinner. It’s a silly song but still fun. Check it out.
“Turkey Lurkey Time” - Megan Sikora
Some of the lyrics relate a bit more to Christmas, but it does have the lyrics, “It’s turkey lurkey time, Tom turkey ran away but he just came home.” It also has an upbeat, fun melody, so it’s a great song to play on the holiday. Take a listen!
There you have it, folks! Now you have 10 songs to play around Thanksgiving. Which one did you like best? My favorite is “Kill the Turkey” because it’s just so catchy and fun. An honorable mention that didn’t make this list was Adam Sandler’s Thanksgiving Song, but I’m sure that’s another favorite. There aren’t that many to choose from, but did I miss any Thanksgiving songs that I should have mentioned? Let me know in the comments!
From Savage Content to all our US readers, have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving. We’re so thankful for anyone who reads our blog and shares our love for music. Thank you thank you thank you!
Written by Kristen Petronio