thanksgiving song

Thanksgiving Song

I love Thanksgiving. But it seems like Christmas and its songs get all the attention. We need a Thanksgiving song – like the one below!

Christmas’s War on Thanksgiving

I resent the fact that Thanksgiving gets smooshed together with Christmas. Or elided into some amorphous thing called “the holidays.” Or overlooked altogether when Christmas lights and Santas go up as soon as Halloween witches and skeletons come down. While Halloween has expanded practically into its own season, Thanksgiving has withered into an obligatory family get-together, televised football game, and preamble to Black Friday.

A Human Rite and a Human Right

It’s a sacred primordial impulse to give thanks. A harvest festival is a ritual that we disregard at our own peril. Gratitude is the proper attitude to take to acknowledge our lucky break. The miracle of edible things popping out of the ground. Thanks to the people who grow our food. Thanks to the bountiful earth. Gratitude for the great good fortune of just being alive.

Brilliantly our American harvest festival is completely secular and inclusive. Anyone can participate. New to town? Come on over for Thanksgiving. You can bring God into it if you like, but you don’t have to. This is a holiday that deserve its due. Its praises need to be be sung.

But Christmas Has All the Good Music

It’s hard to compete with Christmas music. We hear those same few dozen “holiday” songs over and over again every year until we puke them all out with New Year’s Eve’s champagne. But as tiresome as they always become, they evoke something. Besides all the Jesus and Santa and winter solstice huddling together for light and warmth, the songs give us a communal way to experience the cyclical nature of time. They make us feel, “Ah, this again.” The contentment of the familiar and the reassurance of continuity.

Our Thanksgiving Song

If only there were a similar body of Thanksgiving songs to put us in the distinct mood of that holiday. I mean, besides “Over the River and Through the Woods.”

This is the predicament that my wife Elma set out to solve many years ago, when she suggested we write a Thanksgiving song together. It took us a couple of years to figure out how to cook that bird, but eventually it got cooked. I recorded it with Rob Shapiro for the Town & Country record we made back in 2011. And I always bring it out every year for Thanksgiving.

Of course it’s just one measly Thanksgiving song, and I wish I knew dozens more.
But here it is:

Pass it Down (Thanksgiving Song) – Watch the music video:

Written by Brian Woodbury & Elma Mayer
Performed by Town and Country
Rob Shapiro, lead vocals

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1 thought on “Thanksgiving Song”

  1. Brian!! Gawd, I love this song!! SO damn GREAT!! Wish I had remembered to share it this Thanksgiving! Next year! (ps:I like to sing “Bless the Family ” by Stormy, that time o’ year. Do you know it?)
    Happy Holiday, and I sure hope to see you for caroling this year!! Love, Suzy

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