Thanksgiving playlist


Sure, we could pretend like Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for friends, family and life in general (whether it be good or not as bad as it could be), but we all know the real reason we all find our way home for this heart-warming holiday: stuffing our faces with absurd amounts of food. Here’s some songs about some of our favorite foods for you to enjoy while you eat yourself into a coma.

The Shins – Know Your Onion!

I never quite know what the meaning is behind The Shins songs. When James Mercer writes songs, his primary focus is writing words whose rhythms work well with the rhythms of the song. Regardless, it’s important that when you are cooking Thanksgiving dinner that you “Know Your Onion!” (Written by Joe Winner)

Bob Dylan – Country Pie

A country pie certainly sounds like something you’d want to find on the table on this evening. Yeah, it sounds good now, but every year I find it increasingly difficult to leave much room for dessert after I’ve had three helpings of everything from the main course. But that’s just me being stupid, so don’t worry about that and just enjoy this track from Dylan’s underrated Nashville Skyline. (Written by Luke Ray)

Kings Of Leon – Milk

While milk isn’t exactly a food, I think we all can agree that it holds a very important place in every Thanksgiving meal. From the classic turkey main course to the savory pumpkin pie dessert, milk is always welcome (unless you have a lactose intolerance, if you do maybe skip to the next song). To celebrate Thanksgiving’s most important beverage is Kings of Leon’s ultimate offbeat song “Milk.” This song was never a hit, nor does it sound like anything they typically produce, but that’s what makes it absolutely wonderful. “Milk” is a mellow song filled with seep soul, thick bass, and playful riffs that will stuff your ears with happiness as you stuff your face with food. (Written by Mandy Rodio)

The Beach Boys – Vegetables

Every year at Thanksgiving dinner, we have so many opportunities to consume vegetables: green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, bland steamed carrots. Yet, every year I some how find a way to “accidentally” not have enough room on my plate for them. This beautiful harmonic song about vegetables by the Beach Boys (featuring Paul McCartney eating celery) is how I pay homage to those poor veggies left cold and lonely. So why not try to eat a little this year? And no, mashed potatoes don’t count. (Written by Emma Kelley)

Hot Cheetos & Takis – Y.N.Richkids

We all know that Thanksgiving is about spending time with family and our love of food. Here is a song all about how much this group of kids love Hot Cheetos and Takis (which taste like lime-chili Fritos). It was put together by a group of kids in a Minneapolis after-school program. I wish I was this articulate in expressing my love for food. (Written by Joe Winner)

The Beatles – Savoy Truffle

George Harrison, guitarist for the Beatles, was very close friends to fellow famed 60’s guitar player Eric Clapton. George wrote this little diddy to make fun of Eric’s chocolate addiction. The verses have George singing about different chocolate flavors over some sweet grooves, but the song goes sour during the chorus when the biting guitars replace the brass section and George warns listeners about rotting teeth. Remember to eat healthy kids! (Written by Mateo Muro)

The Flaming Lips – She Don’t Use Jelly

In “She Don’t Use Jelly”, Wayne Coyne hilariously describes several eccentric made-up characters. From the descriptions of the girl who “uses Vaseline” instead of jelly toast to the guy who uses a magazine to blow his nose, these nonsensical lyrics may remind you of some of the strange relatives you’ll have to awkwardly deal with during Thanksgiving. Coyne’s faltering voice and the loose, distorted guitar make this quirky song somewhat atonal but also very fun. (Written by Ellen Chen)

Dawes – A Little Bit of Everything

Take a little bit of everything this thanksgiving and enjoy your time with your loved ones. Despite the lyrics of mashed potatoes, biscuits and chicken wings, Dawes sings a song that is much more than that. It’s about getting married and the joys of having a little of all of what you need to have the perfect evening. So take the holidays slow this season and soak in a little of everything you’ll want to remember in the years coming. (Written by Alleya Weibel)

Beck – Nicotine & Gravy

What Thanksgiving feast would be complete without gravy and a good buzz? Beck delivers it all in this song: a big sexy hook, high Prince-esque belting, and a set of lyrics that resemble a fridge covered in those mix and match poetry magnets after eight or twelve beers. So in between bumping elbows with your left-handed cousin and wishing your grandma would stop telling that damn mashed potatoes joke every year, find some time to get down with a little Nicotine and Gravy. (Written by Justin Peters)

A Great Big Pile of Leaves – Pizzanomics

I always think of what I would serve in a low-brow, friends-only, we-can’t-cook Thanksgiving dinner when I watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Snoopy and Woodstock serve their friends popcorn, toast, and jellybeans, but I would go with something much better: Pizza (obviously), which is the best food in the world. It’s only fair that this amazing song was written about the nectar of the gods, and while I’m helping my mom prepare a turkey, I’ll be listening to this song, thinking about what could have been. (Written by Emma Goodwin)

Dee Dee Sharp – Mashed Potato Time

I have a history of crawling away from Thanksgiving meals feeling like a peep in the microwave, ready to burst. I love all the traditional Thanksgiving foods, so I cannot help but overeat every year. This song is good for people like me who are sure to need a boost in spirits right after the big meal. Dee Dee Sharp offers a glimpse into the past, when there was apparently a dance called “the Mashed Potato.” The song breaks apart any associations between mashed potatoes and the feeling of being stuffed, tempting its listeners to dance instead of taking a nap. (Written by Claire Schroeder)

J Dilla – Last Donut of the Night

This one is for the end of the feast. When you’ve begrudgingly loosened your belt as far as possible, when the buttons on your shirt are hanging on for dear life, when your gut is at capacity, pleading with you to stop eating but you grab another helping anyway, listen to this and feel thankful for the people in you life as well as the five pounds of food you just gobbled up. (Written by Eric Holmes)

Gregory and the Hawk – Kill the Turkey

The lure of Meredith Godreau’s music is definitely her lullaby voice; each song she writes is made into something chilling with her vocals. Grainy, quiet, and a gloomy metaphor, this track finds a way to make you feel conflicted about your Thanksgiving dinner. Go ahead and get real sad. Eat your goddamn turkey. (Written by Diana Czarny)

Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant

One of my favorite family traditions is listening to the song on WXRT on thanksgiving morning. This 19 minute song begins with a story about eating Thanksgiving dinner, and ends somewhere completely different. Be careful where you take out your trash after dinner this year, you might have trouble joining the army. (Written by Joe Winner)

Common – The Food (feat. Kanye West)

Once upon a time, Chicago’s two (arguably) best emcees teamed up on the Dave Chappelle Show to deliver “The Food,” a track that would later be added to one of Common’s best projects, Be. The track is a humble reminder of not just literal food (on Chappelle’s Show, it was performed in a kitchen), but also the importance of food for survival, and how many, even though we live in a developed country, still scrape by just to live a day-to-day life. Oh yeah, and this is before Kanye became a massive egotistical maniac. So that’s kinda cool. Happy Thanksgiving. (Written by Boswell Hutson)

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