This year, Thanksgiving is looking very different from previous years. COVID-19 cases are on the rise and many of us are unable to participate in traditions we did before the pandemic.  That being said, Zoom dinners can still be filled with family, friends, and food. Here is my Thanksgiving top five.

  1. Homeward Bound by Simon and Garfunkel

            Like many college students, I am leaving in just a few short days to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. This song represents my 15 hour trek from Nashville to New York.

  1. Autumn in New York by Billie Holiday

            This song celebrates the beauty that comes with the fall season, both in New York and across America. I have loved seeing all the leaves change colors on campus.

  1. America by Neil Diamond

            Neil Diamond wrote this song as a tribute to immigration to America. Although this article is pretty lighthearted, I thought it was important to remind everyone that we are celebrating this holiday on stolen land. This is a good article to ensure we honor the Natives while enjoying our meal. We must educate ourselves about the origins of the holiday and do our best to make reparations. If you want to know whose land you are on, look at this map.

  1. Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd

            This song, written about a man who cannot commit to a girl, is perfect for my favorite meal at Thanksgiving – the turkey. This bird is the iconic centerpiece to most Thanksgiving meals and reminds me of a tradition my family has. My dad hides a stuffed turkey named Pat somewhere in the house and, using clues, we have to find Pat who typically brings chocolates and candies on Thanksgiving morning. I am looking forward to this tradition this year and can’t wait to find Pat and all the treats he comes with.

  1. I Want to Thank You by Otis Redding

            This song follows a man thanking the love of his life for everything she has given him. I hope we all have things we are thankful for, whatever that may be.

  1. Thanksgiving Prayer by Johnny Cash

            Another of my favorite traditions is sharing the top thing everyone is thankful for around the table. I love hearing what is bringing my family joy and can’t wait for this tradition again.

  1. Cry Baby by Janis Joplin

            Janis Joplin wrote this song about a son returning home after heartbreak. Although a sentimental piece about the love of family, the name made me think of the inevitable family drama that ends in tears or passive aggressive avoidance.

  1. Cherry Pie by Warrant
  2. American Pie by Don McLeon

            These previous two songs follow the best part of any Thanksgiving meal – the dessert. I know my sisters and I are excited to make an apple crisp. I hope everyone has a yummy spread!

  1. All I Want for Christmas Is You by Mariah Carrey

            Although obviously a Christmas song, this is how my family ends each Thanksgiving. We celebrate the start of the Christmas season and play Christmas music for the first time all year!

I hope everyone has a safe and healthy Thanksgiving celebration. I am so thankful for VandyRadio and the family it has given me on campus – Happy Thanksgiving and see y’all in January!!