My Thanksgiving Music Traditions

By Mike Maddaloni on Thursday, November 28, 2013 at 12:00 AM with 1 comments

For those of you in the US or abroad who honor the holiday, Happy Thanksgiving!

When people think of Thanksgiving – 4 things come to mind: family, friends, food and football. Sitting around the table with those closest to us, eating all kinds of turkey and the compliments, then parking ourselves in front of the TV to watch the traditional matchups against both Detroit and Dallas… that is what Thanksgiving is to many people. Whether you fully believe the story of the Pilgrims or not, taking time out to reflect, be thankful and celebrate a year of hard work with some relaxation is what many look forward to on the fourth Thursday every November.

I will take this opportunity to offer one more thing to the mix – music. Sorry it doesn’t begin with the letter F, but I digress. Going back to my days in college radio, where music became a big part of my life, I would always celebrate Thanksgiving with 2 particular songs. Though quirky and comical, they are the only Thanksgiving songs I know, and I have always played them every year since then to this date.

Thanksgiving Song by Adam Sandler

Originally performed as part of the Weekend Update news sketch on an episode of Saturday Night Live in 1992 by Adam Sandler, the song was recorded live a year later for his comedy album and that live version is what gets most radio airplay, as well as in my home.

Below I have embedded the original version from Saturday Night Live – watch it here or on YouTube.

Alice’s Restaurant Massacree by Arlo Guthrie

Though the formal name of the song has the word “Massacree” (note – not massacre) in the end, the album was called Alice’s Restaurant and folk singer Arlo Guthrie himself, at the beginning of the song, only refers to it as Alice’s Restaurant. There never was a restaurant named as such, though there was an Alice who lived in a former church. The song is a satirical take on a real event Guthrie was involved in on a Thanksgiving Day in the mid-1960’s. And it is over 18 minutes long!

Below I have embedded a performance of the song from Farm Aid in 2005 – watch it here or on YouTube.

I hope you have enjoyed these songs, and hopefully laughing on a full stomach didn’t hurt too much.

What untraditional Thanksgiving – or other holiday – traditions do you have? Please share them in the comments to this post.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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