Let’s dig into songs with “thanks” or “giving” in their titles to learn some lessons this Thanksgiving.
In honor of Thanksgiving tomorrow, I compiled this list of songs about thanks and/or giving — and crucial lessons we can learn from them — for two reasons. One, in case you want to make a mix tape for dinner tomorrow night. Two, this is the time of year for introspection, so it’s the perfect time to learn lessons from the real heroes (pop stars). So let’s put our tongue in our cheek and dive right in…
1 | Thank You For Being a Friend – Golden Girls theme by Andrew Gold
What Gold/en Girls is/are thankful for: Being a friend, pal and confidant. Having a true heart. Your propensity to throw large parties.
The Thanksgiving lesson to be learned: Friendship is quantifiable based on present size. Therefore, a Rolex is less of a gesture of friendship than a used refrigerator.
2 | Gimme More – Britney Spears
What Britney is giving: Me (me more). Me more. Me (me more). Also, at other points in the song, display of affection, a crazy position, permission.
The Thanksgiving lesson to be learned: If you give enough of yourself, a crazy Internet guy will upload a video telling people to leave you alone and it will get 35 million views. That’s a shitload of theoretical dollars.
3 | Thank You – Dido
What Dido is thankful for: You giving her the best days of her life.
The Thanksgiving lesson to be learned: No matter how sweetly sentimental you get in life, Eminem can find a way to turn it into a song about murder.
4 | Giving Up the Gun – Vampire Weekend
What Vampire Weekend are giving: Up the gun.
The Thanksgiving lesson to be learned: None. I just wanted to try to avoid having the comments section turn into a “You forgot Vampire Weekend” fest.
5 | Thank U – Alanis Morissette
What Alanis is thankful for: India, terror, disillusionment, frailty, consequence, silence.
The Thanksgiving lesson to be learned: No matter how serious you think you are, using “U” instead of “You” in the title of the song undermines your ability to have others take you seriously.
6 | Thnks Fr Th Mmrs – Fall Out Boy
What Fall Out Boy is thnkfl 4: The memories (even though they weren’t so gr8).
The Thanksgiving lesson to be learned: Despite what was written in the previous point, if given the choice between taking Thank U and Thnks Fr The Mmrs seriously, Alanis wins in Boise State-style blowout.
7 | Giving Him Something He Can Feel – En Vogue
What En Vogue are giving: Him something he can feel (spoiler alert: all their lovin’).
The Thanksgiving lesson to be learned: If you’re going to cover a song by Aretha Franklin, add “Giving Him” to the title and 18-and-a-half years later you, and not her, will make a sort-of contrived list on a semi-popular blog.
8 | Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) – Sly & The Family Stone
What Sly & The Family Stone are thankful for: You letting me by myself (again).
The Thanksgiving lesson to be learned: Just because you’re a funk band that doesn’t preclude you from subtitling a song after an awkwardly-named Dutch guy.
9 | Gimme Dat Nut – Eazy E
What Eazy E is giving: Dat, dat nut.
The Thanksgiving lesson to be learned: If you’re baking a pecan pie, walnut brownies or peanut brittle and you’re running low on supplies, try knocking on a neighbor’s door and singing this song to explain your current dilemma. They’ll understand and give you all the nuts you could ever need.
10 | Thank God I’m a Country Boy – John Denver
What John Denver is thankful for: Being a country boy and all of the folksy endeavors therein, such as wakin’ up early, fiddlin’, raisin’ a family, fiddles, griddles, riddles, not havin’ money, and, once again, the mere existence of the fiddle.
The Thanksgiving lesson to be learned: If you like fiddling — and think that singing about the simple country life and the fiddling therein will make you enough money that you can hire a monkey butler to do all of your fiddling for you — then fiddle away.
11 | Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
What Rick Astley is (not) giving: You up.
The Thanksgiving lesson to be learned: Trust your fellow man. Trust that when he puts up a link like this one, he’s not Rickrolling you.