20 Songs About Giving Thanks

Juli Thanki | November 2nd, 2009

Thankfulness in country music can often be sarcastic, as in “Thanks A Lot,” or humorous, like “Thank God and Greyhound.” But with this month’s playlist we’re going to be serious, and check out some songs on which artists count their various blessings.

  • the-flatlanders-thank-god-for-the-road20. “Thank God For The Road” – The Flatlanders
    “When you’re trying to save your own soul/Thank God for the road.” Spoken like a group of true road warriors.
  • kris-kristofferson-thank-you-for-a-life19. “Thank You For A Life” – Kris Kristofferson
    After the life he’s led, Kristofferson is probably thankful just to be alive at all.
  • lucky-stars18. “Lucky Stars” – JP McDermott & Western Bop
    DC’s red-hot rockabilly man JP McDermott tackles this Buddy Holly-meets-The-Mavericks song written by Western Bop guitarist Bob Newscaster.
  • pat-green-lucky17. “Lucky” – Pat Green
    Sure, having millions of dollars and a supermodel on your arm might be nice, but if you’ve got a job, car, family, and friends, Green says you’ve got it made.
  • todd-snider-happy-to-be-here16. “Happy To Be Here” – Todd Snider
    “I can’t pray for some guy to fall/I say let all the people do what people do/I’m just happy to be here at all.” Damn hippies and their positive thinking.
  • chatham-county-line-thanks15. “Thanks” – Chatham County Line
    This song is from the North Carolina group’s most recent album IV. Frontman Dave Wilson sings “thanks for making me crazy.” But, you know, in the good way. Some more good advice from the boys of CCL: “you can’t thank somebody with the words you carve on their headstone.”
  • grant-langston-damn-good-day14. “Damn Good Day” – Grant Langston
    You know what I’m thankful for? The alt-country album this song is on, Stand Up Man is available for free dollars on Langston’s website. Damn good day, indeed.
  • josh-turner-everything-is-fine13. “Everything Is Fine” – Josh Turner
    The title track from his third album is all about counting one’s blessings: a steady job, a happy home, and a good dog. What else could a person ask for?
  • keith-urban-but-for-the-grace-of-god12. “But For The Grace of God” – Keith Urban
    This song was co-written by Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Caffey; it was also their first #1. Who isn’t thankful for the infectious sounds of The Go-Go’s?
  • the-statler-brothers-thank-you-god11. “Thank You World” – The Statler Brothers
    They may never be important historical figures like Stonewall Jackson; however, they are grateful to be sharing a stage with one another and singing all about the world’s praises and faults. This peppy song, written by bandmembers Don Reid and the late Lew DeWitt, features those trademark Statler harmonies—who can resist ‘em.
  • martina-mcbride-blessed10. “Blessed” – Martina McBride
    Going from selling Garth Brooks concert t-shirts to having a platoon of your own merch minions? Sounds pretty blessed to me. Bonus blessing: there are no kids dressed as bags of leaves in this song. Also, the music video is pretty dang sweet.
  • roy-rogers-these-are-the-good-old-days9. “These Are The Good Old Days” – Roy Rogers
    No misty-colored memories for Roy Rogers: he much prefers the present. And who wouldn’t if you had a wife like Dale Evans and a horse like Trigger? Not to mention a chain of fast food restaurants that bears your name.
  • jean-shepherd-ill-thank-you-all-my-life8. “I’ll Thank You All My Life” – Jean Shepard
    Love conquers a troubled past here as Jean Shepard thanks her fella for “overlooking what [she's] been” and “looking right into [her] heart.”
  • merle-haggard-thanking-the-good-lord7. “Thanking The Good Lord” – Merle Haggard
    The Hag thanks the Lord for you in this honkytonker, and while he’s got the almighty on the line, also asks for the ability to prosper and be fair.

  • mark-chessnut-thank-god-for-believers6. “Thank God For Believers” – Mark Chesnutt
    Thank the deity of your choice for traditionalist Mark Chesnutt. If you wanted to make some sort of ritual sacrifice in hopes of getting him back on country radio, that might be okay, too. This song, one of his best, was also one of his most successful, going all the way to #2.
  • john-denver-thank-god-im-a-country-boy5. “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” – John Denver
    Don’t even pretend you don’t know all the words. If you weren’t alive when this song came out in the mid ’70s, you probably saw Pauly Shore sing it in cinematic masterpiece Son in Law.
  • garth-brooks-unanswered-prayers4. “Unanswered Prayers” – Garth Brooks
    If God answered all prayers, 20 years ago I’d have married a New Kid on the Block. Maybe Garth (and co-writers Pat Alger and Larry Bastian) knew what they were talking about on this 1990 #1.
  • hank-williams-im-satisfied-with-you3. “I’m Satisfied With You” – Hank Williams
    Ol’ Hank loves you just the way you are. Sure, he might “do better if [he] reached for a star,” but you’re all right. You kids and your newfangled music might want to check out fiddlin’ Casey Driessen’s cover.
  • darrell-scott-its-a-great-day-to-be-alive2. “It’s a Great Day To be Alive” – Darrell Scott
    Scott wrote the song, but Travis Tritt’s version went to #2 in 2000. Rice, soup, the possibility of growing a Fu Manchu…why can’t every day be just that good?
  • portor-wagoner-a-satisfied-mind1. “A Satisfied Mind” – Porter Wagoner
    Dozens have covered this, but Wagoner’s 1955 version topped the charts. According to the lyrics of this classic, maybe one rich man in ten has a satisfied mind. The other nine just have to settle for wiping away the tears with a handful of Ben Franklins. Other excellent versions come from Jean Shepard and Vince Gill.
  1. numberonecountryfan
    November 2, 2009 at 10:03 am

    No Thank God For Kids by the Oak Ridge Boys or Thank God For The Radio by the Kendalls?

  2. Bob
    November 2, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Doug Stone’s “Nice problem, a Kim Williams – Tim Johnson song in which an encounter with a homeless man makes the narrator realize how lucky he is.

  3. Leeann Ward
    November 2, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Cheers to “Thank God I’m A Country boy”!

  4. Dan Milliken
    November 2, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I think I want to start saying “bonus blessing” in everyday life. Love the blurbs as always.

  5. Dan Milliken
    November 2, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    “Free dollars” probably also going into the personal lexicon.

  6. Chris D.
    November 2, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    I like the Rosanne Cash & Neko Case of “Satisfied Mind”. It’s awesome.

  7. Michael
    November 2, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Good job on the list Juli. The first “Thanks” song that comes to my mind is Sawyer Brown’s “Thank God For You” but that might be a little too silly for this list.

  8. Noeller
    November 2, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    bah to silliness! I just kept on scrolling, hoping that “Thank God For You” would be in the Top 5 somewhere, but no such luck. Big fan of SB!

  9. Leeann Ward
    November 2, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    I’m with Dan.

  10. Rick
    November 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    I’d have to go with Roy Clark’s “Thank God And Greyhound (You’re Gone!)”! This is a song I’ll be singing the day the Obamanation leaves office (assuming he ever does…)!

    Merle Haggard is also quite thankful in the song “I Think I’m Gonna Live Forever” off his “Big City” album. Hmm…

  11. luckyoldsun
    November 2, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Thanks for nothing!

    How can anyone leave off the number 1 song in the category: ET’s “Thanks a Lot” ??

    And if you’re going to put in “Everything Is Fine”, then why not “Everything is Beautiful” by Ray Stevens?

  12. Juli
    November 3, 2009 at 7:55 am

    I’ll grant you Stevens, though I’m not a fan of the song, but as for Ernest Tubb, have you listened to the lyrics of “Thanks A Lot?” Or read the intro to this month’s playlist?

  13. Sabrina5000
    November 3, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Can’t get more thankful than the one ” I Was Born An American” By God’s Amazing Grace by Luke Stricklin. Quite a Song.

  14. luckyoldsun
    November 3, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Juli,
    I didn’t notice the intro. Thanks for pointing it out.

    But I have to disagree that “Thanks A Lot” is sarcastic. As with a lot of songs–“I Told You So,” “Take This Job And Shove It, etc.–the lyrics of the verses contradict the chorus. But the verses are unimportant–“Thanks A Lot” was successful because it seemed completely heartfelt. The listeners heard Ernest thanking the fans for supporting him throughout his long and great career and allowing him to live out and exceed his dreams.

  15. Leeann Ward
    November 3, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Wow! I never ever got that from “Thanks A Lot.” I love the song, but I think ET could have found something better to thank his fans with than these words:

    Thanks, thanks a lot
    I got a broken heart
    That’s all I got
    You made me cry
    I cried a lot
    I lost your love
    Baby thanks a lot

  16. Steve Harvey
    November 4, 2009 at 1:17 am

    I really hate that McBride song, but otherwise, good list.

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