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The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

Six Jolly Songs for Thanksgiving



The 2022 holiday season will soon bring the return of Thanksgiving. This family-oriented occasion can be a cheerful, or chaotic, night due to the colorful personalities of friends and relatives. Whether you’re excited to have a rambunctious family reunion or looking forward to some eggnog to get through the long night, these celebratory songs will help you feel grateful for Thanksgiving.   

#1: “Thank You for the Music” by ABBA  

Released in 1977 by the Swedish pop supergroup, “Thank You for the Music” is an anthem that expresses gratitude for beloved family members who gave the band confidence. This song has the potential to be used as a perfect family greeting or send-off for Thanksgiving night. “Thank You for the Music” is a heartfelt tune that celebrates the quirks of family. 

The group reminisces about supportive parents who celebrated their childhood creativity. In addition, they sing about their goal to spread this love through their music. If you want to show your family how thankful you are this Thanksgiving, “Thank You for the Music” presents a form of love and acknowledgment that is difficult to verbalize with words alone. 

#2: “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge 

In 1979, the multi-genre musical group Sister Sledge released the disco-themed holiday track “We Are Family” on the album of the same name. This song is about the joy and confidence that comes with a supportive family. As a group entirely composed of sisters, Sister Sledge sing about the simple happiness of being surrounded by your loved ones during the holidays.  

If your family’s Thanksgiving could use a pick-me-up after a night filled with gossip and pandemonium, this is the perfect song to end the night. Small misgivings are left behind for a cheerful dance chant that evokes a house filled with laughter.   

#3: “Everybody Eats When They Come To My House” by Cab Calloway  

Calloway, an American jazz singer, is the perfect host on Thanksgiving night on the 1942 single “Everybody Eats When They Come To My House.” Calloway slides through a groovy melody as he names every family member that attends his dinner table. In addition, the sweet storyline of the song involves providing foods that every guest craves on cold winter nights. 

 “Everybody Eats When They Come To My House” is perfect if you want to give a certain family member a hint to be a better host this year. The song is also suitable for those who like some smooth jazz to help them dance the holiday night away. Calloway’s song is sure to get guests moving after they have finished everything on their dinner plates. 

#4: “I’ve Got Plenty to Be Thankful For” by Bing Cosby  

Released as part of the soundtrack for the 1942 musical film “Holiday Inn,” Crosby’s song revolves around the core theme of Thanksgiving: gratitude! Crosby’s rich tone and composer John Scott Trotter’s powerful orchestra combine in “I’ve Got Plenty to Be Thankful For,” in which Crosby sings about appreciation for the most mundane aspects of life.     

The song narrates the beauty of shopping at a corner store, possessing arms to share love, and simply having eyes and ears to take in the world. Crosby rejects desires for wealth and fame, instead showing a preference for day-to-day calmness. “I’ve Got Plenty to Be Thankful For” is a universally positive listening experience, especially for those keeping to themselves during this year’s festivities. 

#5: “Autumn in New York” by Billie Holiday  

Released in 1952 as a cover of Vernon Duke’s 1934 classic, Holiday’s “Autumn in New York” is a uniquely atmospheric rendition. Holiday’s distinct, warm voice floats over gentle piano melodies, performed by Oscar Peterson, to illustrate the beautiful changes in New York City after autumn’s arrival. From the changing sunlight to more companionship during her walks, Holiday sings about how the return of autumn always brings her joy.  

She observes that autumn can change even the saddest slums into jolly locations. However, Holiday also acknowledges that these annual celebrations can be painful for the less fortunate. Despite this, she believes that autumn rectifies any potential gloom by also bringing the promise of new beginnings. Therefore, Holiday welcomes the autumn season with open arms, excited to witness its colorful return every year.  

This mellow tune helps soothe the soul by reminding listeners of surrounding beauty. “Autumn in New York” is the perfect song to destress on Thanksgiving evening. 

#6: “Family is Family” by Kacey Musgraves  

American country singer-songwriter Musgraves highlights the intricacies of certain family dynamics during the holiday season on the 2015 album “Pageant Material.” A song dedicated to less-than-picture-perfect families, Musgraves emphasizes that you don’t necessarily have to be like family members — or like them at all — to love them. In this brutally honest and sarcastic song, she addresses messy family situations with dry humor. 

However, Musgraves also sings about the joy that spirited relatives can bring, if only for a night. This song is perfect as a humorous tune to enjoy with your family, or as an icebreaker after inevitable heated moments during Thanksgiving dinner. “Family is Family” is perfectly blunt and heartwarming. 

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Najee Manning, Senior Staff Writer
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