On Thursday, family and friends will gather to share a meal together, watch some football and remember everything there is to be thankful for. When you think about Thanksgiving, the perfect turkey probably comes to mind. Maybe a few different casseroles and some pumpkin pie, too. But we tend to overlook an important mood-setting aspect of the holidays: the background music.
We’ve selected a handful of songs about love, family, friends and giving thanks that you can listen to while you cook, while you feast and while you spend time with loved ones.
The Ultimate Yellowhammer Thanksgiving Playlist
1) Stella by Cereus Bright
Start the day off with this upbeat love song from Cereus Bright, a folk band from Knoxville, Tenn. Put down the baster for a few minutes and dance around the kitchen. You deserve it.
2) I’ve Got Plenty to be Thankful For by Bing Crosby
Let Bing Crosby help you everything you’re thankful for.
3) Home by Johnnyswim
This tune from Johnnyswim, the married folk duo from Nashville, Tenn., is a good reminder of the importance of home, a perfect sentiment for the holidays.
4) You Are The Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne
This year I’m thankful for singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne and his gravely voice and charming lyrics. Don’t forget to tell a loved one just how thankful you are for him or her this year.
5) Billie Jean by The Civil Wars
If you listen to one cover this Thanksgiving, let it be The Civil Wars’ haunting cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”
6) Alabama Pines by Jason Isbell
Because we’re all thankful for the Yellowhammer State. Jason Isbell’s love letter to Alabama is the perfect tune to accompany late November.
7) I Want to Thank You by Otis Redding
If Otis Redding doesn’t make you smile this Thanksgiving, nothing will.
8) Murder in the City by The Avett Brothers
One of the best songs out there about being thankful for family. “Always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.”
9) Live Forever by Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
Drew Holcomb, along with his wife Ellie, is one of the most exciting singer-songwriters to come out of the Americana genre in the past 10 years. And even better: he’s a Southern boy, hailing from Memphis and Nashville, Tenn. This video for “Live Forever” features Holcomb’s family and friends.
10) You and I by Ingrid Michaelson
“You and I” by Ingrid Michaelson captures the whimsical feeling of spending a crisp fall day with someone you love—and it’s just so dang catchy.
11) A Little Help From My Friends by The Beatles
Don’t forget to tell your friends that you’re thankful for them.
12) Come Away With Me by Norah Jones
This is the perfect song for Thanksgiving night, when the dishes are still piled in the sink and the kids are tucked into bed. Maybe you’ve poured a glass of wine. Maybe there’s a crackling fire in the fireplace. I’m just trying to give you some suggestions here.
13) A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving by Vince Guaraldi Trio
Question: Did Thanksgiving even happen if you didn’t listen to the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving theme at least once?
As the clock strikes midnight, Thanksgiving 2014 will fade into memory and Christmas songs will become acceptable. Here’s the perfect tune to usher in the Yuletide season…
14) All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey
You can listen to the complete playlist on Spotify below: