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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11. "Gratitude" by Earth, Wind & Fire

This track by the soul supergroup is all about free love and flower power. (It was 1975, after all, so who could blame 'em?) Funky and uplifting, "Gratitude" could set anyone's feet tapping and hips swaying, surely making Thanksgiving less of a lethargic food binge than an upbeat dance celebration. And for that, EW&F, we are eternally grateful.

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12. "Give Thanks and Praises" by Bob Marley

In 1977, Bob Marley coined the phrase "Give thanks and praise to the Lord, and I will feel alright" with his smash hit "One Love / People Get Ready," only to release "Give Thanks and Praises" just six years later. Marley's smooth voice and the track’s unbelievably mellow beat create a relaxed and even slightly euphoric vibe, which might make your obligatory post-turkey coma a bit more pleasant.

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13. "Thankful" by Jonny Lang and Michael McDonald

Discussing his fifth studio album, Turn Around, blues-rocker Jonny Lang said that his intentions were to focus on self-reflection and realization, aims that resulted, appropriately enough, in a bona fide gospel record. "Thankful,” the seventh track, is especially enchanting. Given that it features soul king Michael McDonald's smooth baritone alongside Lang's unique raspy voice, we're betting it'll put you in a gracious mood too.

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14. "I Want to Thank You" by Otis Redding

Soul legend Otis Redding made his permanent mark on the music world by frenetically shouting "Try a little tenderneness!" in 1966. On this follow-up, a melancholy farewell to a girl that our narrator has to leave, Redding proves that he practices what he preaches. Coupled with Otis’s soulful swagger, the delicate lyrics become all the more poignant as the song goes along, reaffirming Shakespeare's notion that parting is truly such sweet sorrow.

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15. "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" by Sly and the Family Stone

Some have pegged "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)," which landed the cozy No. 1 spot on the soul singles charts for a whopping five weeks, as a portrait of the transition from the '60s to the '70s. Others argue that the track is, simply put, a Walt Whitman–style celebration of the self. Whatever the case may be, the song's instantaneously recognizable slap-bass riff and playful mondegreen of a title help make it one of the most legendary funk tunes of all time. Get down with that wishbone, y'all.

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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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