One of the best parts of the holiday season is the festive songs that can even make the Scrooges find their joyful spirit. “This is Halloween” could easily be the unspoken anthem of October, and come Christmas, the explosion of yuletide tunes seems to blast in every department store, home and restaurant in America. With other holiday-themed songs, why are there no Thanksgiving songs to be thankful for?
Story by Sarah Bloodworth
Illustrations by Jac Alford
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary suggested that we no longer have a connection to the harvest season and thus don’t feel a strong connection to the holiday. While Executive editor Jonathan Seligman of the “Never What You Think” blog connects the lack of Thanksgiving music to history. While parts of the cheery, classic Thanksgiving story are accurate, many historians emphasize the massive genocide of Native Americans that followed the harvest is not an image one can sing about.
Whatever the reason, it is widely known that we have no tunes to carve turkey to, unless you want to hear outdated harvest-time Christian hymns that modern churches don’t even play anymore. So, ORANGE asked a couple of local artists for help by challenging them to write a lyric or two that would make a great Thanksgiving song. This is what they came up with.
The cheerful, self-proclaimed “psychedelic party band” is a sextet of energy known for involving the crowd in their unique performances. In March of this year, Calliope Musicals won “Best New Band” at the Austin Music Awards and continues to impress and mesmerize audience members at ACL and beyond.
“Cover me in cranberries and let's get sauced.”
Another impactful, new band to the Austin music scene is Boys Club. This rock and roll boy band consists of Jim Hampton on vocals and bass, Bryan Rolli on vocals and guitar, Sam Limerick on guitar and Danny Farrington on drums. Hampton told ORANGE that he plans to spend this Thanksgiving at his grandfather’s mountain home in Arizona. Hampton says his lyrics are “partly about that and partly about the state of the world that he left behind.”
“Heard the news and I can’t believe
Was this the world that you left for me?
I take your ashes where there ain’t no trees
Spread them out where they used to be
Never thought that it would get this cold
I get the feeling you’ve been here before
Way before you started growing old
Did you find what you were looking for?
I won’t let it pull the world apart
Keep loving with my broken heart
I'm up climbing while the sky is dark
To be there before the sunrise starts
I stay looking for the empathy
Hold the hope I got inside of me
And every one of us is family
Every one of us is family.”
Whether the lyrics are fun and sweet or heart-felt, Thanksgiving songs have potential for greatness. This year may break the era of neglected Thanksgiving tunes with hits like “Grandma’s Thanksgiving Rap Song” and “Vegan Thanksgiving Rap” reaching the hearts and stomachs of the internet. While Thanksgiving has yet to have any noteworthy classics, this year, consider being grateful for the musicians who make every other holiday that much more special.