The Heat Beat: The Music of Phoenix Radio and Beyond
Songs about being thankful
By Jess Szabo, Arts Writer
November in the social media age has brought us some new traditions, including a challenge to write a novel in a single month for National Novel Writing Month, as well as posting something you’re thankful for on your facebook or Twitter page every day thisNovember. Here at The Heat Beat, we also turn our focus to being thankful for our blessings, with our top five songs for those times when you’re feeling grateful….or when you need to remember to find the blessing to be thankful for in any situation.
What a wonderful world: Louis Armstrong
This song has been covered by several musicians since it was first written in 1967, but Louis Armstrong’s version, recorded that same year, will always be the classic. The lyrics speak to anyone feeling grateful (or needing to remember to be grateful) for all the little blessings in life. Even if “trees of green,” red roses, babies, skies and rainbows aren’t your personal favorite details of the world, listening to this song will bring to mind everything that does make you think the world is in fact wonderful, despite all the problems we face every day.
I just called to say ‘I love you’: Stevie Wonder
All songs about gratitude and blessing don’t have to directly thank someone. This song, written in 1984, is the quintessential tune about celebrating the person that you love, for no other reason than because you love them. There is no special occasion, the person addressed in the song is simply loved.
And while the narrator does not directly thank the person they love for being in their life in this song, between the happy, upbeat tempo and the lyrics that focus on reaching out for no reason other than wanting their love to know how much they are adored, it is clear that the character in the song feels gratitude for their one and only. This makes it an ideal “thank you just for being you” song.
Thanks for the memory: Ella Fitzgerald
Gratitude isn’t just for those situations that worked out well. Sometimes, we may feel sad, wistful, or at least disappointed that something didn’t work out the way we had hoped. But we can still look back and feel grateful for lessons learned and the good memories.
The soft, sweet tone of this song, combined with the line, “We did have fun, and no harm done..” brings to mind all those people we left behind, not with anger or resentment, but with a combination of the realization that we couldn’t be in each others’ lives anymore, but we will always remember them fondly and wish them well.
Thanks for the ride: Sarah Vaughn
Like the previous song, Thanks for the Ride’s narrator looks back on a relationship that did not work out. But unlike Thanks for the Memory, the relationship in this song didn’t end on such a good note.
“I’d tell these tears in my eyes, that it’s too late to be wise,” lets us know the narrator is crying over the relationship, and since they have “an empty feeling inside” things aren’t going quite so well for them at the present moment either. But still, in the end, they appreciate “the thrill your lips gave to me..”
Thanks for the Ride is the classic song for anyone looking back and admitting that a relationship was actually pretty awful, but still feeling gratitude for the good times they had.
Thank you: Estelle
Sometimes, all you can be grateful for is the lessons you learned, or the ways you changed because of something that happened.
Thank You tells the story of a woman finding a way to acknowledge that little bit of blessing in the midst of what is otherwise clearly a terrible end to the relationship. The one she sings about has left her for another woman, but the narrator still loves them. Still, they wish to thank them for toughening them up and making them “a woman.”
Nobody likes emotional pain that lingers on, but this is a great “silver lining” song for those going through it.
During this month devoted to giving thanks, let’s all remember to be thankful for all the good in the world, including the blessing that is music to get us through the good times and the bad.