Giving Thanks: Top 5 Country Songs about Thanksgiving

As we gear into the holiday season, it is important for us to think about our blessings and giving thanks to our friends in family. Most people value the food and parties as the most important part of the holidays, but we should take a step back and focus on what really matters, our friends and family. Now, country music discusses many topics such as drinking, tailgating, heartache, and love but what does it have to say about being thankful, here is a countdown of what I believe to be the top 5 country songs about Thanksgiving.

5. Pat Green, “Lucky” (2004)

Pat Green hopes that we win a million dollars or date a supermodel, but he also gives us the story of a regular guy. He says that the biggest victory in life fall  “beneath this red, white and big blue sky/With your job, your car, your family, your friends/The love of a girl that you know will never end.” That is what we should truly be thankful for and what aspects of life we are lucky to have.

4. Willie Nelson, “I’m Alive” (2008)

Willie Nelson sings, “As for me, I’d like to thank my lucky stars / That I’m alive and well,” He wants us to focus on the most important and little things in life that most people take for granted. Being alive and well is something we should be very thankful for, and this hit by Willie Nelson reminds us of this.

3. Blake Shelton, “God Gave Me You” (2011)

At first listen, this song sounds like it is merely a love song, but digging deeper this song is more than a story of a hopeless romantic. The song can be applied to any important person in our life. It is a song to show us that we are never alone. It is ironic that this song, for Shelton, is about his ex-wife Miranda Lambert. I wonder if he now applies this song for new girlfriend and fellow Voice coach, Gwen Stefani. Either way, this song reminds us if what were truly thankful for, friends and family.

2. Travis Tritt, “It’s a Great Day to be Alive” (2000)

“And it’s a great day to be alive / I know the sun’s still shinin’ when I close my eyes / There’s some hard times in the neighborhood / But why can’t everyday be just this good.” The chorus of this song reminds us to be thankful for everyday. Tritt also tells us that even when we are having hard days to take a step back and look at all that we have to be thankful for.

1. Martina McBride, “Blessed” (2000)

This CMA nominated hit by Martina McBride is the #1 song about Thanksgiving because she explains the little things of life we are blessed to have. The chorus states that, “At the end of every day / I have been blessed / With so much more than I deserve / To be here with the ones that love me / To love them so much it hurts / I have been blessed.” This song discusses our blessings in a humble manner and reminds us to thank God for the gifts we have been given that are “so much more than I deserve.” Martina McBride truly encompasses all aspects of Thanksgiving in this beautifully written song.

Before you dive face first in the turkey, think about what you are thankful for. Hopefully this list gets you into the Holiday spirit and makes you realize how blessed we are. Happy Thanksgiving!


Filed under Lists, Reflection, Song Analysis

10 Responses to Giving Thanks: Top 5 Country Songs about Thanksgiving

  1. Hannah Evans

    Aw! I really enjoyed reading this article. It discussed a topic I really care about…which is enjoying the little things in life and taking a step back to be thankful for what we have. I also think it’s important to remember to use Thanksgiving as a time to spend with loved ones and not to go shopping and buy a bunch of material things (but I won’t get started on that). I really liked the songs you chose and some of them I didn’t know. I think they all provided something different and important to your list. I’ll be listening to these songs in between hugging relatives this Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is a great — and timely — idea for a blog post. It’s funny that there are SO MANY Christmas songs and yet so few explicitly about other holidays like Thanksgiving.

  3. Kayla Miracle

    Claudia, this is such a good read! There’s so many country Christmas songs and even like Fourth of July songs, that it’s often forgotten that other holidays exist. I remember seeing a blog post someone posted around Halloween about country songs for that holiday and thinking it was so interesting because I had never thought of country music and Halloween going hand in hand. This post is similar and I’m shocked that I had never thought about just how many songs about giving thanks and loving your family and friends there were in country music. THERE’S A TON!! “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” is such a classic song about loving life and everything in it, no matter what gets in your way. I love it! It’s more songs like these that I wish people thought of when they think of country music because they send such a strong message. I will definitely be listening to these this Thanksgiving! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Amanda

    I really like that you decided to write something dealing with Thanksgiving, since it is so relevant to us right now, all of us rushing to get home to our families for the holiday. I think it’s important for artists to release music that deals with such an important thing to our country and culture, that is Thanksgiving. I love that you included the Travis Tritt song. It has always been one of my favorites, and is something I would consider a classic country song in my mind. I think it’s awesome that such an abundance of country music focuses on giving thanks to God and feeling blessed for the things that we have been given.

  5. Darah Welch

    Claudia I loved this!!! I always complain about their not really being any good song for thanksgiving so people get really hasty and start playing Christmas music. Even though these songs are ones you can listen to all year they all would be perfect for this week! I love the Blake Shelton song/ that’s the only title I recognized. It is really sincere which is such an important part to thanksgiving. When we go around in the family and say what we are thankful for sometimes we just say something because it sounds right. Being sincere about what you are thankful for is the heart behind thanksgiving. Each of these songs seems to express that heart.

  6. Sierra Smith

    Claudia, this was a very appropriate post given that the holidays are coming up! I really enjoyed what you had to say regarding each one of the songs you chose to talk about. I agree with you that during thanksgiving it is more important to surround yourself with family and friends, and take a step back and remind yourself of just how many things you are thankful for. I agree that these country songs do a great job of relaying that message. I would also recommend listening to “I Could Not Ask For More” by Sara Evans as it also describes how she is thankful for what God has given her. Although this song talks primarily about her love, it still encompasses the fact that we should be thankful for everything God as given us.

  7. Abby Bourland

    Claudia I absolutely loved your blog! I thought it was completely relevant because of the holiday season. I love how you categorized each song into the Thanksgiving topic. It really is so fun seeing which artists write about holidays. You hear so many songs about Christmas, but never really about being thankful. It was fun seeing which songs you picked. I have never heard of Travis Tritt and I really liked his song! This post was a great reminder to be grateful and thankful for what we have. I am thankful for this class! I hope everyone in this class has a great Thanksgiving!

  8. Alyssa Buchanan

    Claudia, great idea for a post. Works perfectly with the holiday season in full swing! I absolutely love Travis Tritt’s “It’s A Great Day to Be Alive,” and on the way to my grandparents for the big meal that was actually one of the songs my family listened to. I’ve written about it a few times, but country music does nostalgia so well. It encompasses songs about so many different things. I had never thought about any of it’s songs about thanksgiving, makes me wonder what other holidays you could find a few country songs about. Thanks for sharing! Happy holidays.

  9. Talia

    Thanks for sharing this list. I may have seen your post after Thanksgiving Day but everyday is a good day to be thankful for your life, family, friends and so on. I hadn’t heard three of these songs before actually so it was great to see something new. I liked your point about “God Gave Me You”. That song as well as multiple other love songs can be about much more than just your lover and too often people forget this. I am not an expert on Willie Nelson at all, so I was slightly surprised he had a song that fit on this list. When I think of Willie I just think of parties, having fun, and less serious topics so it was a good surprise. Hope you had a great holiday!

  10. Kelby Floerke

    What a fun article to read! I agree with Dusty, you always hear Christmas songs on country music radio, usually beginning the day after Thanksgiving, but you never really sit back to think about Thanksgiving songs. I think you chose a really good list too. I think I can sing every word to “It’s A Great Day To Be Alive”. It is one of those songs that really makes you realize how grateful I am for the things I have in life. Although I have some bumps along the way, I am still grateful for the good times and good family and friends I have to help me get through it. This was a really great read, I loved it!

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