Ten More Thanksgiving Songs Nipper Loves


Last year, Jim Gilbert listed ten of his favorite Thanksgiving songs. This year, I will add to that list ten of my own. I will say, going second in something like this is a distinct disadvantage, as Jim beat me to the punch on several I otherwise would have picked. But with that being said, here are ten more Thanksgiving(ish) songs that resonate with me.

“Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” by Arlo Guthrie

Widely regard as THE quintessential Thanksgiving song. The fact that the events in the song take place in greater Nippertown has to put it on the top of the list.

“Thanksgiving” by Loudon Wainwright III

A breathtaking song, in turn beautiful, funny, and bittersweet. If you’ve never heard it, you owe it to yourself.

“Thanksgiving Theme” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio

I grew up on Peanuts. I had hundreds of Schulz’s books, read the strip every day in the paper, and watched every special every year. This music transports me directly back to my childhood.

“Ode to My Family” by the Cranberries

I’m not sure there’s a song that better captures wistfulness for one’s childhood. Which is a feeling that surfaces often at Thanksgiving. For me, it makes a good paring with the above one.

“Thank You Friends” by Big Star

Of the friends front, this is just a straight-ahead, feel-good nod to the value of good friends. Plus, it’s freakin’ Alex Chilton.

“My Hometown” by Bruce Springsteen

Thanksgiving is all about going home. I have a lot of family in Utica and spent a lot of holidays there. Utica is the poster boy for cities whose glory days are behind them and have fallen on hard times. But I loved going to Utica – I still do. This song captures that dichotomy perfectly.

“Harvest Moon” by Neil Young

Thanksgiving isn’t just a holiday, it’s a time of year. “Harvest Moon” captures the wonderful “feel” of this time of year, as well as celebrates the permanence of important relationships. Very, very Thanksgiving.

“Black Friday” by Steely Dan

Yes, I know that’s not what this song is about. But it works for me anyway. “When Black Friday comes / I’m gonna dig myself a hole / Gonna lay down in it / Til I satisfy my soul.” That’s how I feel about today’s Black Friday…like crawling into a hole.

“Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Another “coming home” themed song. This one is just rollicking good fun, though, with the exchanged verses between Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos, and the whistling. My god, the whistling. Good stuff.

“Biscuits” by Kacey Musgraves

Another central tenet of Thanksgiving is the importance of biting your lip and keeping your mouth shut, especially round the dinner table. This song helps me achieve that.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in Nippertown. And remember, mind your biscuits.

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