Listen, I’ve seen the memes. I understand that literally everyone in the world starts blasting Christmas songs and bingeing holiday movies the second Halloween is over. This is just who we are. Still, at the risk of pulling an Ebenezer Scrooge, I’m going to propose that we at least try to throw some of that energy at Thanksgiving. At the very least, it’s important to throw together a playlist that actually slaps, even if there are hardly any Turkey Day anthems. Here are a few suggestions.
“Thank u, next,” by Ariana Grande
Okay, yes, this is technically a breakup song. But you know what? It’s also what you say when there are, like, three different kinds of potatoes at the table. Right after conquering the mashed, you’re like, “Thank you, next,” and head right over to the sweet potatoes.
“Thank You,” by Dido
Forget Eminem and “Stan.” Dido made this at least a year before the bleached rapper asked her to collab. And it’s a lovely song about how things can be the worst, but if you have the right person (or people!) in your life, it can also be the best. And who doesn’t want that, especially on Thanksgiving?
“Biscuits ’n’ Gravy,” by Kelis
Internal Server Error
The server encountered an internal error and was unable to complete your request. Either the server is overloaded or there is an error in the application.Food, Kelis gave casual listeners who stanned “Milkshake” a whole new side to her. The title itself is a Thanksgiving staple, and the lyrics of the downbeat track sound kinda like a prayer? Speaking of...
“Thanksgiving Song,” by Adam Sandler
Uh...Adam Sandler’s “Thanksgiving Song” isn’t much of a banger, but it is decidedly one of the few songs that’s purely about Thanksgiving—and due to Adam’s frat-boy popularity of the ’90s, it quickly became a modern holiday classic. So let him inspire you to literally eat all of the turkey.
“You and I,” by Lady Gaga (live from A Very Gaga Thanksgiving)
Internal Server Error
The server encountered an internal error and was unable to complete your request. Either the server is overloaded or there is an error in the application.
“Thank God I Found You,” by Mariah Carey, feat. Joe and 98 Degrees
A lovely bop about gratitude? You have to stan. TBH, this was probably about Mariah being thankful for her pending divorce from Tommy Mottola and Nick Lachey being thankful for Jessica Simpson. Things we can all be thankful for.
“Thank U,” by Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morissette went to Tibet and then we got “Thank U,” which is essentially a list of stuff that she’s thankful for. But honestly, what a good practice for the holiday.
“Sweet Potato,” by Sia
Before Sia was aggressively Sia, she wrote this lovely little song in 2004 about sweet potatoes and burgeoning romance and getting to know the holes in other people. It’s wistful and perfect for swaying around while putting marshmallows on your sweet potatoes.
“Thanksgiving Theme,” by Vince Guaraldi Trio
Is it even a holiday if a Charlie Brown special isn’t mentioned? Use the Vince Guaraldi Trio to get you into the Thanksgiving spirit and give you the urge to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Also, the minute you put this on, all adult voices become that “wah wah” from Peanuts, right?
“Apple Pie à la Mode,” by Destiny’s Child
Pie (specifically apple) is a holiday staple, and so is Destiny’s Child. I know this song is not technically about eating apple pie leftovers in front of the TV the day after Thanksgiving...but it’s kind of the perfect theme music for exactly that.
“Thanksgiving in Sacramento,” by Jon Brion
While it might not scream “holiday classic,” Lady Bird really feels like a film that the whole family can gather together to watch and argue about. So this little Thanksgiving-themed interlude from the soundtrack is the perfect beginning to the end of a Thanksgiving playlist.
“Nicotine and Gravy,” by Beck
Beck’s “Nicotine and Gravy” is the song to get you over that end hump of the holiday. It’s danceable enough to make you wonder if you can push your turkey-stuffed self out the door to another location or if you’re just gonna roll into bed.
“Family Is Family,” by Kacey Musgraves
Something you’ll need to remember, at multiple points during Thanksgiving, is that your family is going to be your family no matter what. Shout-out to Kacey Musgraves for making a song to remind us of that even if we’re gritting our teeth while listening to their political opinions over cranberry sauce.