Cool Songs For Thanksgiving

13 Nov


There are a million songs about Christmas, and a million about Halloween. There are not so many songs about Thanksgiving floating around out there. Do you know how hard it is to find a rocking version of “Over The Mountain And Through The Woods“? It’s pretty hard actually. Too many people skip right over Thanksgiving and go straight to Christmas. It’s not even mid November as I write this and I’ve already seen Christmas trees set up in people’s windows! Listen up, It’s turkey first THEN Santa for cryin’ out loud! Now that we’ve established that, I’ve dug up some tunes to get you through the turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls, pecan and/or pumpkin pies. Happy Thanksgiving everyone and I’d be so thankful if you slid on over to checked it out and signed up and declared it awesome.

William Burroughs- “A Thanksgiving Prayer”

Author, poet Burroughs starts us out with a snarky and freaky spoken word track that will give your holiday the shake up it needs.

Arlo Guthrie- “Alice’s Restaurant”

Probably the quintessential Thanksgiving song. You may want to go and make yourself a tasty sandwich because its a patience tester at 18 minutes in length.

Bad Brains- “Give Thanks and Praises”

D.C. hardcore punk legends the Bad Brains lay it down right. The sound of Bad Brains hitting your ear drums is very good thing.

Mount Eerie-“Thanksgiving”

Indie band/project of Phil Elverum  toss out a gently acoustic and somewhat harsh tune.

Johnny Cash- “I Am A Pilgrim”

Johnny’s not so much singing about the Pilgrim’s of the early days but laying down more of a spiritual wanderer’s tale.

Drive By Truckers-“The Thanksgiving Filter”

One of America’s best band’s with another of their great songs.

Adam Sandler- “The Thanksgiving Song”

And of course its Adam Sandler’s comedy novelty song about the holiday.

The Dead Milkmen- “Best Thanksgiving Ever”

Live cut from the great Dead Milkmen. They tell a tale of little Timmy’s Thanksgiving day and how it ended well for Timmy, but not so much for anyone else.

Loudon Wainwright III- “Thanksgiving”

Wainwright is brilliant. He captures the tension of family dinners perfectly.

Dee Dee Sharp-“Gravy (For My Mashed Potatoes)”

Soulful classic using a little food innuendo.

Ohio Players-“Jive Turkey”

This song has nothing to do with Thanksgiving really. But it is right funky! And if there is one thing you need more of on Thanksgiving Day is some funk.

Spencer The Gardener- “Gobble Song”

A song about eating turkey!

MF Doom-“Thank Ya”

Short and sweet hip hop song about giving thanks. Awesome.

Bad Religion- “Lost Pilgrim”

Bad Religion have been a rebel rousing punk band fighting the good fight for many years now and show no signs of slowing down any time soon. So don’t ever give up the fight!

Prince Buster-“Thanksgiving”

I’m thankful that a Shark Sandwich reader gave me a heads up on this song and the Loudon Wainwright tune! Prince Buster breaks down the true meaning of giving thanks with a soulful ska tune.

Thelonious Monk-“Stuffy Turkey”

The mighty jazz master will jazz up your celebration nicely.

The Noid- “Black Friday

This should be the theme song for some of the early morning store openings on the Friday after Thanksgiving, because I’ve seen mosh pits that are less violent!

Ray Davies- “Thanksgiving Day”

Hey wait a minute! What’s this crazy Brit doing telling us about our holiday, and pretty much telling it like it is, and nailing it perfectly.

Bob Dylan- “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream”

Dylan’s stream of conscience rant about all kind’s of things including riding on the Mayflower and discovering America, buying some land with beads, getting thrown in jail, not finding any help and getting ripped off then passing Columbus on his way out of the bay.

Pavement-“No More Kings”

This song was Pavement’s addition to the Schoolhouse Rocks tribute album. Their cover of “No More Kings” from the old Schoolhouse Rocks cartoons that aired on Saturday mornings is one of the better tracks on the album.It actually turns into a perfect Pavement tune.

Elvin Bishop Group- “Sweet Potato”

I don’t know about you all out there but sweet potatoes are my favorite side dish on turkey day so I threw this one in.

The Porkers- “Bush Turkey

Ska punk band really like to eat turkey. Me too guys.

Brian Wilson-“Roll Plymouth Rock”

Taken from the long delayed never finished Beach Boys epic Smile that was finally released in 2004. No surprise here that Wilson sides with the Indians.

Electric Six- “Talking Turkey”

The Electric Six have a little wild side fun on Thanksgiving day and are maybe ashamed of it? Maybe not?

REO Speedwagon- “Flying Turkey Trot”

Largely instrumental track by the late 70’s early 80’s rockers.

Iron Maiden-“Run To the Hills”

Great Maiden tune about what became of the Indians after they helped the white man gain some traction and survive.

Riverboat Gamblers- “Pilgrims In an Unholy Land”

With a title like that you’d think the Gamblers were talking about how the Pilgrims struggled to make it in a foreign and hostile land. Not so much. It’s really more a more about a girl who keeps making bad choices and paying for it.

John Vanderslice- “Plymouth Rock”

Former MK Ultra member Vanderslice offers up  a slightly political tune off his album Pixel Revolt that was about the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Good meticulous and moody song.

Dumptruck- “Thanksgiving”

The same reader that gave me the info on the Price Buster tune also alerted me to this one. I even own this album! I love this old Boston area band, they made great albums back in the day. Thanks again!

Dumptruck- “Thanksgiving”

The Hotknives-“Turkey Stomp”

How about some ska infused punk rock about getting some turkey and stuffing? Song is actually a Christmas tune but for these purposes it can go both ways.

Too Much Joy- “Thanksgiving in Reno”

Song about exploits at a casino in Reno on Thanksgiving day. Great band from the late 80’s early 90’s alternative heyday.

Don Henley-“My Thanksgiving”

Henley’s song of thanksgiving and friendship and all that is given.

Megadeth-“Black Friday”

Here’s another one to mosh to when you’re out shopping at the local mall trying to get that hot deal.

Mika Miko-“Turkey Sandwich”

Great lo-fi punk from L.A. that was around from 2003 to 2009 before disbanding. They ramble through a punk anthem about really wanting a turkey sandwich!

Satan’s Pilgrim’s-“Pilgrim Stomp”

Hand’s down, one of my favorite band names ever. Instrumental surf rock tune to eat your turkey to.

Les Claypool-“Back Off Turkey”

Les Claypool makes it all freaky and weird, just like we like him to be.

Misery- “Thanksgiving Day”

Straight up punk destruction!

Turkey Dubstep

I have no idea what this is, who made it, or why they did. It is funny and it makes me laugh and it’s timely. Let me see the moves!

Uriah Heep-“Pilgrim”

Uriah Heep takes us on an epic seven minute prog rock journey.

Paul Revere & The Raiders- “The Turkey”

1971 soul infused rock tune from Paul Revere & the Raiders. You can’t hide from the turkey!

Tift Merritt- “Late Night Pilgrim”

Tift Merritt is one of the alt country scenes gems. She is a fantastic singer songwriter and should be way more famous than she already is.

Tift Merritt- Late Night Pilgrim

The Under Wear Serpents-“The Day I Ruined Thanksgiving”

Some heavy metal trivializing about the day they ruined the family gathering.

Poi Dog Pondering- “Thanksgiving”

Seems like the protagonist from this tune has burned a lot of bridges, and taken a lot of dodgy forks in the road to find some happiness. Where I come from that raises a lot of eyebrows, but to each his own I guess…

Ima Robot- “Let’s Talk Turkey”

Catchy little tune, the only connection to Thanksgiving is that it mentions turkey in the title, hey it’s close enough for me.

Mean Season- “Pilgrim”

Break out the head banging my friends. Mad Season are here to get you all jacked up. Nice dark and gloomy metal tune to put your November spirit where it needs to be. You may have to go outside for some clean crisp fresh air after listening to this.

The Damned- “The Turkey Song”

U.K. punk band have a little fun playing around.

Steely Dan- “Black Friday”

This awesome tune is not the anthem of the Friday after Thanksgiving. Otherwise known as the hottest shopping day of the year. But, it does have slinky groove! Dig in and cool out.

Frank Zappa- “Lonesome Electric Turkey”

I don’t know if its ever been mentioned here on this site but you seriously need to get yourself some Zappa in your life. But I warn you once you start it is hard to stop.

Grinspoon- “Black Friday”

Another sharp aggressive rocker to help tolerate shopping for those hot deals.

Rage Against The Machine-“Freedom”

Rage stands up against the treatment Native Americans still seem to endure after all these years.

David Cross-“Thanksgiving”

Comedian David Cross gts all hostile about going to Hooter’s on Thanksgiving.

David Cross- “Thanksgiving”

Here’s a convenient playlist for you to listen to!

Shark Sandwich’s Cool thanksgiving Tunes!

So that’s it I hope this gets you through your holiday in one piece. But wait, what’s that around the corner? Oh boy, it’s Christmas and all that music. Isn’t there any cool Christmas tunes out there? ……

2 Responses to “Cool Songs For Thanksgiving”

  1. Trini November 20, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    What a great list! Thanks. I would add several songs called “Thanksgiving” by Loudon Wainwright III, Prince Buster, Mary Gauthier and Dumptruck. As well as “Yanksgiving” by Carolyn Mark, and “Take an Indian to Lunch” by Stan Freberg.

    • November 21, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

      Thanks for the heads up on those songs! Just may add them.

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