SingingPages: Three Thanksgiving Songs

Nov 19, 2012

Did you know Thanksgiving is this Thursday? I don't know if it's because it's as early in the month as it can possibly be or what, but it seems to have arrived very quickly this year. So prepare yourself for an onslaught of Thanksgiving-themed posts this week.

First up, a few Thanksgiving songs. Last week, it was my turn to teach our little music class. (Remember the music class of my recent rant? I think a few moms purposely avoided it last week for fear of breathing too loudly.) Along with some of our frequently-sung songs, I wanted to teach a few new ones with a Thanksgiving flavor, so I scoured the internet for ideas, and I found some really fun ones:

1.  Did You Ever See a Turkey?

I got this idea from Read It Again! If you go to the link, you'll see how super creative I am since I copied her turkey exactly. That's what you have to do if you have zero artistic talent - rely on other people's. Um, but I did make mine out of felt, and I used smaller googly eyes, so, you know, I took a few creative liberties. :-)

To the tune of "Did You Ever See a Lassie?"

Did you ever see a turkey, a turkey, a turkey,
Who struts around the farm yard with feathers so bright?
There are red ones and brown ones and orange ones and yellow ones.
Did you ever see a turkey with feathers so bright?

I had ten different colors of feathers, so each child got a chance to choose one to go behind Turkey Tom. We only did four at a time (so it would fit with the song), so we had some really unique color combinations! Also, one of my friends had a great song that was able to use all ten of the feathers. I can't remember it, but if I get the lyrics to that one, I'll add them here.

Turkey Tom with all ten feathers

2. Yummy Pies

I had to do this one. Mike is a pie-maniac around this time of year; he literally makes seven or eight (different) pies for Thanksgiving. (I think he mainly makes so many because he thinks having leftover pie for breakfast is the ultimate way to wake up in the morning.)

I got the idea for this song/flannel board from Trails and Tales. I copied it almost exactly except for swapping out the apple pie with pumpkin. I mean, it's Thanksgiving...I had to have pumpkin pie! Plus, it added another color to the mix, which I loved.

To the tune of "Three Blind Mice":

Pies, Pies, Pies
Pies, Pies, Pies.
Yummy pies,
Yummy pies.

Strawberry, blueberry, cherry, too.
Pumpkin and Key lime, to name a few.
Chocolate and lemon, how about you?
I love pie!

That's no lie!

Then we played the game suggested by Kathryn at Trails and Tales. The children closed their eyes, and I removed one of the slices of pie. Then they opened their eyes and had to try to figure out which one was missing. This game was actually a huge hit with Aaron and Max when we were practicing for music class at home.

I know these pies are made out of felt, but they kind of make my mouth water.

3. Thanks a Lot

And finally, what's any singing time without a little Raffi?I was not acquainted with this particular Raffi song, but I saw it on Storytime Secrets and loved having a song that encouraged a grateful attitude. It's from the album, "Songs of Our World," or you can hear Raffi himself singing it here.

I printed off pictures to go with the words (most of them came from the open clip art library because I have zero artistic talent, remember?). Then I laminated the pictures and attached them to craft sticks. I gave one to each child, and as we sang the words, they held up the appropriate picture (or didn't, as suited their fancy).

Thanks a lot.
Thanks for the sun in the sky.
Thanks a lot.
Thanks for the clouds so high.

 Thanks a lot.
Thanks for the whispering wind.
Thanks a lot.
Thanks for the birds in the spring.

 Thanks a lot.
Thanks for a moonlit night.
Thanks a lot.
Thanks for the stars so bright.

 Thanks a lot.
Thanks for a wondering me.
Thanks a lot.
Thanks for the way that I feel.

 Thanks for the animals.
Thanks for the land.
Thanks for the people everywhere.

Thanks a lot.
Thanks for all I've got.
Thanks for all I've got.

This has a really lilting, repetitive, almost sing-song-like tune that will put you into a hypnotic trance if you're not careful, so just beware.

I did sing one other Thanksgiving song but didn't make any visuals for it (although I brought along some paper plate pilgrims and Indians that Max made at preschool). This was a song that I grew up with, so I played it more for old time's sake (and its awesome jazzy tune) than for anything else. I'm not sure how readily available it is anymore, although it looks like the original songbook can be purchased from here. (Mine was from an old cassette that I stole from my mom.)

The words, although not entirely politically correct, go like this:

The Pilgrims and the Indians
Had a pow-wow a long time ago.
The Pilgrims and the Indians
Felt like having a party and so,
The Pilgrims and the Indians
Cooked a turkey and Indian corn.
Sat down and ate together,
And that is how Thanksgiving was born!

And now your Thanksgiving has a soundtrack! I'd love to hear if you end up singing any of them with your little ones!


  1. super cute! I loved the pilgrims and the indians as a kid!

  2. I sang the Pilgrims and the Indians with my first graders every year! I'm kicking myself now because I didn't take the sheet music with me when I left teaching. But it does exist. I'll have to keep looking for it. I didn't know about the CD. Thanks for the information! I'm linking to your site (I hope that's okay) in my Thanksgiving Books & Songs post.

    1. I guess it's more well-known than I thought! Yes, of course you can link to this post! Thanks so much for the comment!

  3. What is the name of that tape with the pilgrim and Indian song? I grew up with that tape and loved it!

    1. It's from the album, "I Have a Song for You," Vol. 2 (the one about the holidays and seasons).


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