Thanksgiving Songs (Yes, They Exist)

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