10 Best Thanksgiving Songs

by Pamela Rose Williams on September 16, 2011 · Print Print · Email Email

Autumn is my most favorite time of the year, especially when we lived up in the mid-west of the USA and we could enjoy all the colors of the trees as they began the process of shedding leaves for the winter season. It reminds me that it is soon to be Thanksgiving holiday. Truly, for the Christian, every day should be a time for thanksgiving and praises to God for all He has done for us.  Along with this time of year we bring out special songs of thanksgiving that we have been singing for years and years. In this article I list what I count as the ten best Thanksgiving songs. See if it takes you back to a special memory or if it causes you to think of our loving Heavenly Father and His great mercy, grace and love.

Over The River and Through the Woods (Lydia Maria Child) This is a joyful little song based upon the poem that was written in 1844 by Lydia Maria Child.  I remember singing it as a child, although we always had Thanksgiving holiday at home with the immediate family and not at Grandma’s house!  I was born and raised in a big city and Grandma lived in the city too.  As a child I wondered what it would be like to travel over the river and through the wood instead of over the highway and through the neighborhoods laden with concrete and many, many houses — all close together.  I would imagine what it must have been like to travel by horse and carriage or even on a sleigh in the snow.  When we did go see Grandma we would get in the station wagon and travel by automobile about fifteen minutes to the part of the city where my Daddy lived as a boy. I sang this traditional children’s Thanksgiving song with my own children and Lord willing, will teach it to my grandbabies too.  Enjoy the video, with lyrics in the upper right of this page.  Don’t be afraid to sing along!

Come Ye Thankful People Come (Henry Alford & George J. Elvey)

Sample Lyrics:

Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest
home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.

God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God’s own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.

Listen to MIDI of the music for this beloved hymn here: Come Ye Thankful People Come

Count Your Blessings (Johnson Oatman, Jr. & Edwin Othelo Excell)

Sample Lyrics:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Refrain

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Listen to a MIDI of this Hymn Here: Count Your Blessings

For the Beauty of the Earth (Folliot S. Pierpoint & Conrad Kocher)

Sample Lyrics:

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth,
Over and around us lies:
Christ our God, to Thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.”

Listen to this hymn on video in its entirety here:  For the Beauty of the Earth

I Love to Praise (Natalie Grant)

Sample Lyrics:

Holy One,
Father of the Earth
Create in me a pure heart,
So I can come in Spirit and in Truth
To worship You,
That’s what I long to do.

I love to Praise,
I love to lift Your Holy Name!
From the rising of the sun,
And going down of the same!
Your name is great!
I will bless You all my days!
Cause I love to Praise!

Listen to a quick sound bite of this song here: I Love to Praise

If You’re Thankful and You Know it

This is another popular children’s song that is sung to the original, repetitive tune to “If You’re Happy and You Know it”.  This song is listed as public domain, although some attribute it to the late “Mr. Singspiration”, Alfred B. Smith.

Sample Lyrics:

If you’re thankful and you know it, clap your hands. <clap clap>
If you’re thankful and you know it, clap your hands. <clap clap>
If you’re thankful and you know it,
Then your face will surely show it.
If you’re thankful and you know it, clap your hands.

If you’re thankful and you know it, stomp your feet …

If you’re thankful and you know it, shout “AMEN!” …

If you’re thankful and you know it, do all three. …

Listen to a MIDI of the music for this tune here: If You’re Thankful and You Know it

Life of Praise (Casting Crowns)

Sample Lyrics:

I will love You, Lord always
Not just for the things You’ve done for me
And I will praise You all my days
Not just for the change You’ve made in me
But I’ll praise You for You are holy,Lord
And I’ll lift my hands, but You are worthy of so much more

CHORUS

For You are awesome, God of the Nations,
Lion of Judah, Rock of the Ages, Alpha, Omega
You’re worthy of all praise
More than these hands I’ll raise
I’ll live a life of praise
I’ll live a life of praise

I will serve You, Lord always, for You are my strength
When I am weak
I will never be afraid for You are my rock and You protect me
But I’ll praise You for You are holy, Lord
And I’ll lift my hands, but You are worthy of so much more

Listen to a quick sound bite of this song here: Life of Praise

Thanksgiving Song (Mary Chapin Carpenter)

Sample Lyrics:

Grateful for each hand we hold
Gathered round this table.
From far and near we travel home,
Blessed that we are able.

Grateful for this sheltered place
With light in every window, Saying “welcome, welcome,
share this feast Come in away from sorrow.”

Listen to this song on video in its entirety here: Thanksgiving Song

We Gather Together (Nederlandtsch Gedencklanck; translated. by Theodore Baker and Edward Kremser)

This great hymn of faith is a traditional Dutch Thanksgiving sacred hymn that dates all the way back to 1629. The lyrics were translated to English by Theodore Baker although the original author’s name is unknown. Edward Kremser set it to the folk melody as we know it today.

Listen to a MIDI of the music for this hymn and view lyrics here: We Gather Together

Wonderful, Merciful Savior (Eric Wyse & Dawn Rodgers)

Sample Lyrics:

Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend
Who would have thought that a Lamb Could
rescue the souls of men
Oh you rescue the souls of men

Chorus:

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace Our
hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Listen to a quick sound bite of this song here: Wonderful, Merciful Savior

What’s Your Favorite Thanksgiving Song?

Share your favorite song in the comments below. We love to hear from our readers! You might also find the links listed under “Related Posts” below helpful.

Resource:

youtube.com “Over the River and Through the Woods”



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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jerry November 10, 2012 at 5:59 am
Pamela Rose Williams November 10, 2012 at 10:18 am

Cute!

Reply

jeanpaul November 14, 2012 at 7:35 am

hi thank you so much it is almost thanksgiving and my uncle told me i was in charge of the music and i didnt know what to put on the play list thank you again :D

Reply

Brenda November 17, 2012 at 7:05 pm

How wonderful to reflect back on thanksgiving songs that WE USED TO SING IN SCHOOL many years ago. a beautiful reflection. Thanks so much!!!

Reply

Carson November 21, 2012 at 10:06 am

This is my favorite Thanksgiving Song!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSBq8geuJk0

Reply

ije agunwani May 13, 2013 at 6:56 pm
Patrick Bain November 27, 2013 at 10:27 am

In the Grace Rocks song concordance, there are a number of ways to find songs of thanksgiving by Contemporary Christian artists. Here’s a link to some:
http://www.gracerockmedia.com/DisplaySongsByPhrase1.php?txtKeyPhrase=thank

I created the site with the idea that there’s lot of times when preparing a Bible study or other activity that I would like a good Christian song to go with the topic. Thanksgiving is a great example!

Reply

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