Thanksgiving playlist: Top 20 songs of gratitude

Nothing says muchas gracias like a song. For Turkey Day, we count down our 20 favorite thank-you tunes, plus, hear them with our Spotify Thanksgiving playlist.

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We all know that Thanksgiving nowadays is more like an eating contest than anything else. Between stuffing your face with turkey, gravy, and pumpkin pie, and slyly trying to unbutton your pants under the dining room table, giving thanks for your loved ones somehow seems to be the last thing on people’s minds.

RECOMMENDED: NYC Thanksgiving guide

The Time Out Music staff has a solution: a list of tracks that will make you feel, well, thankful during this year's turkey-eating festivities. The tunes below give thanks to the artists' friends, lovers, fans and—in the case of David Byrne—even to themselves. Whatever the case may be, our mission is to bring back the true spirit of Thanksgiving, and maybe even shake off some of that pie fat in the process. But we need your attentive, music-buzzing ears to succeed. Without further ado, the Time Out Thanksgiving playlist awaits.

1. "Thank You for Being a Friend" by Andrew Gold

If you were around in the late '80s and early '90s, Miami's quirkiest broads, the Golden Girls, were no doubt a fixture on your TV screen. The celebrated sitcom's theme song—Andrew Gold's "Thank You for Being a Friend," as sung by Cynthia Fee—is just as memorable as Blanche, Rose, Dorothy and Sophia are. Whether the song inspires you to love your friends that much more, or merely makes you want to embark on a Golden Girls marathon, it's bound to get stuck in your head. Fortunately, no one ever seems to mind.

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2. "Thank You for Being You" by The Pastels

Ready-made for a teen-melodrama soundtrack, this 1993 hit by Glasgow new-wave rockers the Pastels is a love poem for the modern age. The timid guitar strumming and frontman Stephen McRobbie's soothing mewl result in a dreamy anthem for an adolescent love affair: "It may be winter time, but baby, it's super fine / Baby, you know you are getting close to my heart," sings McRobbie. Listen closely, and you can hear a thousand girls swooning.

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3. "Thank U" by Alanis Morissette

Upon her return from a six-week "goddess trip" to India with her mother and friends in 1996, Canadian pop-rocker Alanis Morissette wrote this Grammy-nominated single. A reflection of the gratitude she felt during her journey, the track conveys dreaminess and extreme vulnerability; the blend of thoughtful chord progressions and Morissette's grungy, emotive voice makes for a synth-laden treat.

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4. "Thank You" by Dido

English songstress Dido allegedly wrote the 2000 hit single "Thank You" as a tribute to her then-beau, entertainment lawyer Bob Page. Although the couple split a little while later, it's doubtful that the song did them in. Dido's languid voice and potent lyrics create a substantial, fully realized pop track, and let's be honest: That's something we should all be thankful for.

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5. "Thank You for Sending Me an Angel" by Talking Heads

It's no secret that Talking Heads frontman David Byrne is one of pop's most lovable eccentrics. On the off chance that you need a reminder, the NYC new-wave group's 1978 track "Thank You for Sending Me an Angel" ought to do the trick. It turns out that it's Byrne's ode to none other than…himself. A hyper march rhythm and Byrne's shrill yelps contribute to the track's jovially narcissistic bent. But hey, we all need some self-lovin' sometimes, and Thanksgiving just might be the perfect occasion.

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  1. 1–5
  2. 6–10
  3. 11–15
  4. 16–20

Users say

1 comments
Bob Mac
Bob Mac

OK list, but how could you omit the only song written for Thanksgiving, Bing Crosby's "I've Got Plenty To Be Thankful For"? It was written by Irving Berlin for the 1942 film, "Holiday Inn".

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