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Looking for a Thanksgiving playlist that mixes gratitude and a feeling of home? We've got you covered.

Family photos of Infrogmation

For many people, getting ready for Thanksgiving can be stressful. There are turkeys to bake, potatoes to mash, and, more often than not, difficult family or friends to entertain. That’s why WYSO’s Music Department wants to make sure there’s one thing you won’t have to worry about if you have big Thanksgiving plans -- the music. For this year’s Thanksgiving playlist, I’ve selected some of my favorite songs that engage with two themes of the Thanksgiving holiday: gratitude and home.

Some of the songs are overtly about appreciation, such as William DeVaughn’s “Be Thankful for What You Got,” Koffee’s “Toast,” and Bonnie Raitt’s “Thank You.” Richard and Linda Thompson’s “We Sing Hallelujah” expresses a more agnostic assessment of the passing years, with the song’s joyous melody and refrain “we sing hallelujah” juxtaposing the dark lyrical consent of the verses. Many of the songs don’t deal explicitly with the theme of thanks, but express feelings of deep devotion to a place or person. “Compton,” “Georgia on my Mind,” “Hickory Wind,” “Omaha,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Where I’m From,” and “Come on Home” are all songs about home -- more specifically, the longing for a home that one has left behind.

Marcel Proust wrote that “the only true paradise is paradise lost.” In other words, it is only in hindsight that one’s life seems to have been beautiful. But Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate the gifts–especially the people and places–we enjoy in life, before they exist only in memory.

Peter Day writes and produces stories for WYSO’s music department. His works include a feature about Dayton's premiere Silent Disco and a profile of British rapper Little Simz. He also assists with station operations and serves as fill-in host for Behind the Groove. Peter began interning at WYSO in 2019 and, in his spare time while earning his anthropology degree, he served as program director for Yale University’s student radio station, WYBC.