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42 Hits That Surprisingly Make Great Thanksgiving Songs

Serve that turkey and stuffing with a side of Ariana Grande.

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Courtesy / Design by Jennifer Algoo

For better or worse, Thanksgiving likely means you’re going to see everyone in your family—which means pleasing more than just one generation of eager dinner attendees. So while the menu might be taken care of, we’ve gone one step further and pulled together the best Thanksgiving songs, from new hit makers like Ariana Grande and Travis Scott, to classics from The Beatles and Johnny Cash.

If you’re trying to set the vibes as a host, or if you can’t cook but don’t want to show up empty-handed, here’s our Thanksgiving playlist picks to make everyone happy.

“The Thanksgiving Song” by Adam Sandler

The lesser-known cousin to his iconic Hanukkah song, Adam Sandler’s “The Thanksgiving Song” is a beautiful, goofy ode to turkey and pop culture.

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“Wild Honey Pie” by The Beatles

Clocking in at a brief 53 seconds and flooded with deranged guitar plucks and chant-like renditions of the words “Wild Honey Pie,” this Beatles track will likely be the second most unhinged thing you’ll hear at the Thanksgiving table (leaving room for family arguments, obviously).

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“Macy’s Day Parade” by Green Day

The irony of the incredibly corporate, capitalistic New York Macy’s Day Parade becoming a part of the being-thankful-for-what-you-have holiday is certainly not lost on Green Day.

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“Thanksgiving Prayer” by Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash’s “Thanksgiving Prayer” is an on-brand, delightfully calming and stripped-back take on the holiday.

“Thursday Girl” by Mitski

Channeling the drama and ethereal sound of something close to an Enya track, Mitski’s “Thursday Girl” is a gorgeous, incredibly literal take on everyone’s favorite Thursday holiday.

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“Young Pilgrims” by The Shins

“Young Pilgrims” has less to do with the colonialists in its title, and more to do with the way that an especially bitter autumn day can feel a little lonely.

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“(Do The) Mashed Potatoes, Part 1” by James Brown and The Swans

James Brown wasn’t referring to the fan-favorite side dish on “Mashed Potatoes,” but the sentiment still stands. This one might even get some of the later generations to stand up for a little groove.

“I Want To Thank You” by Otis Redding

“I Want To Thank You” is a perfectly fitting, soulful cut where Otis Redding expresses his gratitude.

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“Cooking Up Something Good” by Mac DeMarco

For all of the kids eating the cheese board as the grown-ups actually make dinner, bump this easy breezy Mac DeMarco cut. “Mama’s in the kitchen, cooking up something good,” he playfully pronounces on its opening line.

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“We Are Family” by Sister Sledge

Food is one huge, flirty distraction from the core of Thanksgiving’s true meaning, but “We Are Family” celebrates the holiday’s heartwarming bottom-line.

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“thank u, next” by Ariana Grande

Ari taught us to choose gratitude over pettiness, so that’s exactly what we’ll do when surrounded by our extended families at Thanksgiving dinner.

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“Together” by Kaytranada feat. AlunaGeorge and GoldLink

Kaytranada, AlunaGeorge, and GoldLink serve upbeat vibes that’ll have the whole reunited clan up and dancing.

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“Eat” by Nav feat. Gunna

Take it from these two rising rap stars: “It’s our time to eat.” Nav and Gunna indulge in riches in this collab, but we’ll adopt the same attitude with our dinner servings.

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“Dinner” by Kacy Hill

Hill slows it down and gets us in our feels with this ethereal indie pop song, which may have us tearing up over our turkey.

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“Hunger” by Florence + The Machine

On this chilling High As Hope single, frontwoman Florence Welch belts that “we all have a hunger,” which is especially true on Thanksgiving.

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“Hungry Hippo” By Tierra Whack

This minute-long cut from Tierra Whack’s new project, Whack World, is as short as an appetizer but as satisfying as an entrée.

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“Bubblin” by Anderson .Paak feat. Busta Rhymes

Busta’s rhymes are so quick, he’ll get through a whole verse faster than you can say “stuffing.”

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“Sauce” by Ella Mai

Ella Mai is dripping unapologetically with swagger, confirming what we already suspected: she’s got too much sauce.

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“Sweetener” by Ariana Grande

The title track to Grande’s 2018 album is so sugary, you won’t even need dessert.

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“Sicko Mode” by Travis Scott feat. Drake

That feeling when you’ve eaten too much too fast.

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“Potato Salad” by Tyler, the Creator and A$AP Rocky

This perfect hip-hop pair delivers both a casually fresh freestyle and an unexpected tribute to a dinner menu mainstay.

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“Stir Fry” by Migos

Why wait for dinnertime to whip out the tunes? This Culture II cut is a fitting soundtrack while you’re actually wrist-twistin’ in the kitchen.

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“Cherry” by Rina Sawayama

Literally speaking, Rina Sawayama’s indulgent pop is the cherry on top to any party playlist.

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“I Got the Juice” by Janelle Monáe feat. Pharrell Williams

This upbeat Dirty Computer track is more than a party starter; it’s also a sassy (and at times, cheeky) empowering anthem for women.

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“Keep the Family Close” by Drake

Despite the somber jam, the bottom line is clear: surround yourself with the ones you love most.

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“Dinner” by Blood Orange

Dev Hynes serves otherwise negative lyrics with his signature spin on ‘80s pop.

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“The Food” by Common

Common teams up with fellow Chicago native Kanye West, who offers a feature and his soulful imprint on the production.

“One Beer” by MF Doom

If you, like Doom, get no kick from champagne, wash down your Thanksgiving dinner with a brew (or a few) with this chill jam.

“Eat That Up, It’s Good for You” by Two Door Cinema Club

The famed Irish indie pop band feeds you a catchy melody over a whimsical, synth-filled beat.

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“Family Affair” by Mary J. Blige

Avoid hateration and holleration at the dinner table with the perfectly nostalgic ‘00s R&B.

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“Collard Greens” by ScHoolboy Q and Kendrick Lamar

Leave it to these TDE frontrunners to remind you to eat your veggies.

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“Veggies” by Amine feat. Ty Dolla $ign

This Portland-bred rapper wants your Thanksgiving dinner to be healthy, too.

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“Blessings” by Chance the Rapper, Ty Dolla $ign, Anderson .Paak, and BJ the Chicago Kid

Chano’s infectious, gospel-inspired track will have you giving thanks till the end of the week.

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“Family Business” by Kanye West

Ye gets bittersweet and captures your holiday get-togethers in a nutshell.

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“Cake” by Toro y Moi

This singer-producer has the perfect indie tune about commitment to the person (or pastry) you love.

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“Turkey Dog Coma” by Flying Lotus

The title perfectly sums up that third-serving-food-baby feeling.

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“Chunky” by Bruno Mars

Another telling title, but this time set to an uptempo retro beat.

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“Pound Cake / Paris Morton Music 2” by Drake and JAY-Z

Drizzy and Hov’s atmospheric collab really is made for after-hours at Il Mulino—or your parents’ dining room.

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“How Many Drinks?” by Miguel

R&B crooner Miguel turns your pre-dinner query into the hottest falsetto serenade session.

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“Forbidden Fruit” by J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar

This rap dream duo teams up for tempting collab you can’t resist.

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“Fried Chicken” by Nas and Busta Rhymes

This ‘90s power duo includes all of the dinner essentials in perhaps the most committed extended metaphor about poultry you’ve ever heard.

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“Passionfruit” by Drake

Something fun and juicy for dessert.

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Listen to the whole playlist below, and follow Harper's BAZAAR on Spotify here. Follow

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