Ever since Thanksgiving Day became an official holiday in 1863, Americans have celebrated it with gusto. Each year brings new opportunities to spend time with favorite folks. Many gather together with family and friends for a sumptuous meal. Others serve community meals, and bring entertainment for those who have none. Plenty will watch parades and football games. The day wouldn’t be complete without some wonderful Thanksgiving songs, too. Here are eight favorites:
1. Josh Groban: Thankful
This beautiful song was originally a Christmas song, but it’s message has come to be meaningful for many people for all times and places. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving. Groban studied acting and voice at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, which is located at California State University, Los Angeles. Groban first emerged in the public eye when he sang The Prayer with Celine Dion during a Grammy Awards rehearsal. Andrea Bocelli was scheduled to sing with Dion, but fell ill. Groban’s amazing singing gave him the break that launched him on his hugely successful career.
2. Mary Chapin Carpenter: Thanksgiving Song
This gentle ballad features the rich, warm voice of Carpenter. It’s part of her “Come Darkness, Come Light: Twelve Songs of Christmas” album. Carpenter is the owner of five Grammy Awards, and has sold 12 million records, and more, around the world. She is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
3. Johnny Cash: Thanksgiving Prayer
Cash sang this song on an episode of Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman. Cash’s slightly raspy baritone was loved by many over the years he performed. Everyone loved his songs about difficult times and overcoming adversity.
4. Adam Sandler: Thanksgiving Song
Who doesn’t love this funny Sandler classic? For anyone who’s looking for some comic relief, Sandler provides plenty. This one will bring out smiles everywhere. It’s vintage SNL at its Thanksgiving best.
5. Louis Armstrong: What a Wonderful World
For many, this classic piece is a favorite that’s become a holiday tradition. Only Louis Armstrong can sing it the way he does, and that’s the reason for it’s lasting popularity.
6. Bing Crosby: I’ve Got Plenty to Be Thankful For
Just listening to this big band piece from the movie Holiday Inn, with Bing Crosby singing, will keep vintage movie buff’s toe’s tapping. The 1942 movie tells the story of an entertainment venue which opens on public holidays. Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and Virginia Dale create themed performances throughout the year, except for Thanksgiving. The inn is closed then, and Crosby plays this new Thanksgiving song on his record player.
7. Ray Davies: Thanksgiving Day
Here’s Ray’s melancholy voice singing a slightly bluesy Thanksgiving song; with a bit of social commentary about America.
8. Perry Como: Bless This House
This wonderful song was published in 1927. Como performed it several times for Thanksgiving and Christmas specials. The lyrics were written by Helen Taylor, and Englishwoman and the music composed by her Australian friend May Brahe.