Top Ten Turkey Tunes

The perfect playlist for you and your family this Thanksgiving

It's not yet December and already Christmas lights adorn porches and radio stations throughout Central New York are playing nonstop Christmas music. While the unstoppable Christmas machine may already be in motion, it's never too late to stop and remember a holliday that doesn't get many decorations or FM air time: Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving may not boast the same volume of topical music allotted to Christmas or Halloween, but here are some key songs that should be a part of everyone’s celebration:

10. Vince Guaraldi: "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Theme"

You might be a blockhead if you don’t listen to this piece on Thanksgiving. Gratitude radiates from the piano keys in this friendly jazz number. Good grief. Listen here.

9. Bob Marley: "Give Thanks and Praises"

It’s all in the title. Listen here.

8.  The Kruger Brothers: "Waterfall"

After growing up in Switzerland, Jens Kruger came to America to learn how to play bluegrass from Bill Monroe himself. Now living in North Carolina, Kruger and his brother, Uwe, tour with bassist Joel Landsberg performing Jens’s more subtle compositions, but they can still light the fire when they want to. Here’s a selection that will make you thankful to be alive. It may also make you want to run a marathon, which will help burn off the stuffing.  Listen here.

7. Jeff Tweedy: "Pecan Pie"

“Just a dollop of dream whip, and honey I’m on my way.” A song as sweet as the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert. Listen here.

6. Kronos Quartet: "Tusen Tankar (A Thousand Thoughts)"

Kronos Quartet performed this piece as part of their Nov. 9 concert at Syracuse University, completely captivating the audience with its austere beauty. Thanksgiving certainly deserves sincerity - something to contemplate while listening. Listen here.

5. Adam Sandler: "Thanksgiving Song"

In the vein of his Hanukkah Song, Sandler wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving with this song, full of arbitrary rhymes. Still, the song is warm and funny, full of humor and pop culture references. Listen here.

4.  Joe Cocker: "With a Little Help from my Friends"

If you’re thankful for your friends, call your local radio station and dedicate this song to them. Listen here.

3. Michael Gungor: "Doxology"

Guitarist Michael Gungor weaves the prelude to J.S. Bach’s first cello suite into the chords of the “Old 100th”, flexing his rock technique. One of the oldest hymns to be sung on American soil, the Doxology is a traditional Christian hymn with text from the 100th Psalm: "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost." Amen. It expresses gratitude and praise for flowing blessings. Listen here.

2. The J.B.s: "Pass the Peas"

Don’t forget the veggies! Listen here.

1. Arlo Guthrie: "Alice’s Restaurant Massacree"

Settle in for the long haul because this 1967 side-splitter lasts more than 18 minutes (word to the wise: the song is amazing, the movie by the same name is terrible). Guthrie recounts a Thanksgiving meal that legally excused him from shipping out to Vietnam, all the while weaving in hysterical details that will have you rolling on the floor laughing. If you listen to one song on this list, let it be this one. And remember: If you wanna end war and stuff, you gotta sing loud. Listen here, and be sure to click on parts 1 and 2.


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