It’s Thanksgiving time again, friends. Time, of course, to give thanks. And, at So Much Great Music, time to consider songs dealing with “thanks.”

But wait, we’ve done that for a while.

Starting in 2018 we featured Earth Wind & Fire’s ‘Gratitude,’ as well as mentions for some of the most famous “thank” songs of all time: ‘Thank You’ (Led Zeppelin and also Dido), ‘I Thank You’ (Bonnie Raitt and also ZZ Top…and really, Sam & Dave too); ‘Thank U’ (Alanis Morissette); ‘I Want To Thank You’ (Otis Redding); and of course, the inimitable funk – and funky spelling – of Sly & The Family Stone’s ‘Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).’ (See the EW&F link here)

In 2020 there was a jangly ‘Thank You Friends’ by Big Star, known to the music world as “the most influential band you’ve never heard of.” (Big Star link here)

(If you’re wondering about the gap, it seems we said ‘no thanks’ to the Thanksgiving-themed post in 2019)

2021 saw spiritual reflections on thanks from The King of Reggae with Bob Marley’s ‘Give Thanks and Praises’ (a hit of Marley here)

And in 2022, we welcomed William DeVaughn – if you don’t recall the name, you’ll remember the smooth soul of his vintage song ‘Be Thankful For What You’ve Got’ (link here for DeVaughn)

So…maybe enough thanks?

With our musical attention in 2023 let’s just shift to the other half of Thanks-giving, that being the “giving.” And, a fair amount of potential qualifiers exist there as well.

Supertramp didn’t suggest too much, only to ‘Give A Little Bit.’ ‘Give Me One Reason’ was all that Tracy Chapman asked of us. The Red Hot Chili Peppers insisted that we ‘Give It Away’ (though it was never clear to me exactly when). Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead shot the biggest on ‘If I Had The World To Give,’ while Pete Townshend was the most direct with ‘Give Blood.’

Some other choices come from a different perspective, for instance Bon Jovi’s pronouncement ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’ (of course, those insipid pansies give music a bad name). Rick Astley famously continues his decades-long RickRoll with ‘Never Gonna Give You Up,’ yet somehow even that seems topped by the one-and-only “Walrus of Love” Barry White who doubled that declaration on ‘Never, Never Gonna Give You Up.’

Marvin Gaye was steadfast, stating ‘Got To Give It Up.’ And in the spirit of giving, it always struck me as a bit strange for the rather well-off Lennon and McCartney to point out ‘You Never Give Me Your Money.’

But we’re going to, well, give this year’s honors to another Beatle, my favorite, George Harrison. What better choice could there be for Thanksgiving, especially in our treacherous present times, than this one, George’s now-50-year-old classic ‘Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth).’ It’s simply a beautiful song from a beautiful man, one he later described as “a prayer and personal statement between me, the Lord, and whoever likes it.”

Give me hope / Help me cope with this heavy load

With George’s love, and maybe some much-needed hope, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

(And with it, my heartfelt thanks to all of you who read and subscribe to this site)

I give thanks that we also have this lovely live version of George performing it.