The Ultimate Thanksgiving Playlist | Features | MN2S

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Playlist:


10 Perfect Songs for Gratitude, Grandmas & Gravy


With Thanksgiving fast approaching, there’s a lot to prepare for: if you’re hosting friends and family, there’s food to think about, presents to buy, and arrangements to make. The last thing on your mind is what to stick on the stereo when your Grandma arrives. With that in mind, we’ve rustled up a list of some of the more appropriate musical selections for your Thanksgiving meal. Unlike Christmas, there’s not an abundance of specifically holiday-themed music, so we’ve expanded our sights to include tunes that address Thanksgiving-related themes: family, gratitude, and – perhaps most important of all – gravy. Happy Thanksgiving!


Vince Guaraldi Trio – Thanksgiving Theme

A classic of the (somewhat limited) Thanksgiving canon, Vince Guaraldi’s playful theme to the 1965 Peanuts movie “A Charlie Brown Christmas” sets a jazzy and festive tone.


Quincy Jones – Groovy Gravy

Before Quincy became one of the 20th Century’s finest record producers, known for working with Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra, he was active in the jazz scene. This gravy-inspired cut is lifted from Jones’ album “The Original Jam Sessions 1969”, a loose, free-spirited set of studio jams recorded alongside a varied cast of big-name jazz players.


The JB’s – Pass The Peas

Released on People Records in 1972, “Pass The Peas” was recorded by James Brown’s backing band, The JB’s. Apparently an ode to the passing of that Thanksgiving staple, the humble pea, it’s unclear whether the title is a euphemism for something less wholesome. Either way – this is one funked-up slice of turkey.


Kendrick Lamar – Thanksgiving (Feat. Big Pooh)

Way before he was dominating the global hip-hop scene and winning Pulitzer Prizes, ya boy Kendrick was recording songs inspired by Thanksgiving. This one’s off a self-titled EP from 2009.


Ray Charles & James Taylor – Sweet Potato Pie

Lifted from Ray Charles’ Grammy Award-winning final studio album, posthumously released in 2004, this version of James Taylor’s 1988 classic “Sweet Potato Pie” sees the legendary pianist provide joyful harmonies to lyrics that speak of love, gratitude and sweet, sweet potato pie.


Ohio Players – Jive Turkey

No thanksgiving playlist would be complete without a reference to the holiday’s centrepiece, the turkey. Recorded by the Ohio Players in 1974, “Jive Turkey” was one of two singles from their classic album Skin Tight. Its polished, irresistibly funky sound caught the ears of the American public, helping them become Platinum-selling artists in the late 70’s.


Loudon Wainwright – Thanksgiving

Prolific American songwriter Loudon Wainwright offers up a bleak vision of Thanksgiving dinner in a song that subverts the traditionally celebratory mood of the festive oeuvre. Painting a dark picture of a deeply dysfunctional family, this one’s probably not one to put on for your loved ones: “Now it’s our kids that spill the milk, and our turn to want to kill them.”


Bing Crosby – I’ve Got Plenty to Be Thankful For

Bing Crosby undoubtedly had plenty to be thankful for: as one of the 20th century’s most popular and influential musical icons, he dominated the entertainment world for decades. Though his recording of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” remains the bestselling single of all time, he never released a song specific to Thanksgiving – the closest he came was “I’ve Got Plenty to Be Thankful For”, a cheerful number written for the 1942 musical film Holiday Inn.Sly & The Family Stone – “Thankful N’ Thoughtful”

This ode to gratitude from funk pioneers Sly & The Family Stone will get feet moving and hips shaking, bringing an uplifting air of thankfulness to your Thanksgiving celebrations.


Adam Sandler – Thanksgiving Song

This one speaks for itself.


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