The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

12 Songs for Thanksgiving Dinner


As the holiday season rapidly approaches, I know many of you are probably already rotating through some classic Christmas songs, but what about Thanksgiving? Here are some of my favorite tracks dealing in family, togetherness and giving thanks to play while basting the turkey.

“Thank You” – Dido

Maybe most notable for being the sole sample in Eminem’s storytelling opus “Stan,” Dido’s “Thank You” is easily worth a listen on its own. This track sees Dido appreciating the little things in her relationship and how her life has improved as a result of this person just being there for her no matter the circumstance. Dido’s soothing voice comes off grateful as she continues to thank her partner throughout the song,“but your picture on my wall, it reminds me that it’s not so bad.”


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“Ode to My Family” – The Cranberries

The Cranberries have begun to feel like a universally beloved band and I can definitely see why. Dolores O’Riordan’s signature voice and sentimental lyrics shine through especially well on “Ode to My Family,” detailing her upbringing and how it shaped her as an adult. A great track to linger on.


“The Thanksgiving Song” – Adam Sandler

“Let’s eat turkey in a big brown shoe” is probably the epitome of my love for SNL over the years. I don’t think you could ever go wrong with an Adam Sandler song and this is one of the best. Its lighthearted and comedic nature is enough to make anyone smile.


“(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano” – Sampha

“No one knows me like the piano in my mother’s home,” Sampha yearns over this sweeping piano melody. As an ode to his mother, Sampha uses this track to cherish his past while simultaneously looking toward his future. This song is truly heartfelt and has even made me teary-eyed at times. A very moving composition.


“Autumn Leaves” – Nat King Cole

The beloved “Christmas Song” singer has more hits than people may think. “Autumn Leaves” reads as a true blue love song. Though with vivid descriptions and specific memories, Cole really helps you picture this relationship gone awry along with the crisp fall air.   



Hip-hop boy band BROCKHAMPTON’s breakup record is chock-full of emotions, but no song does it better to me than the title track “The Family.” This song sees leader Kevin Abstract air grievances, take accountability and most of all say how he misses the spark the group once had. Abstract is able to lay all of this out on the table atop some great sample flips and boom-bap style production. The track’s final moments are taken away by fellow member Bearface as he sings, “you tried to keep it alive, but I’ll be fine.”


“Apple Pie” – Travis Scott

This song could come off silly at first but underneath the facade is actually a really beautiful sentiment. The closer to Scott’s debut album “Rodeo” sees him fully embrace the challenge of becoming a superstar. His mother’s apple pie acts as a metaphor of him trying to pursue his dreams on his own and in his own way. “I don’t want your apple pie mama, I need my own recipe.”


“Macy’s Day Parade” – Green Day

Named after the iconic, annual televised event, this beloved Green Day deepcut actually tackles capitalism and consumerism in a very nonchalant way. It makes you appreciate what you have and not feel the need to spend time or money on anything other than the ones you love. I’ve always loved the way they describe Black Friday too. “The night of the living dead is on its way.” 


“Where You Lead” – Carole King

Soundtracking one of the most autumn centric TV shows of all time, Gilmore Girls, this uplifting Carole King track about sticking with the people you love through thick and thin rings especially true during this time of year. You can never go wrong with this one.


“Sweet Potato Pie” – Ray Charles & James Taylor

Ray Charles and James Taylor team up for an ecstatic pop-soul banger with twinges of jazz and blues. While the sweet potato pie in question is probably the nickname of a potential lover, it’s fun to think that they’re actually singing about the Thanksgiving side dish staple.


“This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” – Talking Heads

“Home is where I want to be, pick me up and turn me around,” David Byrne sings over the playful, introspective instrumental of the classic Talking Heads closer. One of the most direct and personal songs the band may have ever written yet it’s still very much them. This is one you just have to listen to for yourself to fully experience its tenderness.


“Next to Me” – Dissonance A Cappella

Lastly, I want to shout out Millikin’s own Dissonance A Cappella with their rendition of Imagine Dragons’ song “Next to Me.” I will say I’ve never really been a fan of the original track but what Dissonance was able to accomplish here feels completely different. The song’s sentiment of loving someone despite their misgivings and mistakes is still very much intact and maybe even more so with the shift in tone. Instead of remaining this alt-rock crooner, arranger Matt Goldstein has slowed the piece down and given it some gospel flair. As the voices build and build to this climactic finish, you can’t help but feel fulfillment and admiration for the performers as well as the heartfelt story their singing about. No notes.

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About the Contributor
Eli Bland
Eli Bland, Arts Editor
Eli Bland is a Multimedia Communications major with a minor in English. Eli has had a passion for music and the arts since a young age and writing has always been his favorite way to express that. Being the Arts Editor at the Decaturian, his main focus has been on new album reviews, listicles and keeping up with Millikin's many art programs. He hopes to continue his journalism journey after graduation.

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    Pam O.Nov 27, 2023 at 6:50 pm

    “A great track to linger on.” I see what you did there!