Playlist: Songs of Thanks… Some of ‘Em


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There are so many things to be thankful for in life, or at least I think so.  What better during Thanksgiving and the holiday season then to have a playlist filled with ten ‘songs of thanks’ to spin?  Exciting huh? The artists featured on this playlist are thankful for various things in life – some quite relatable and others maybe not so much.  Regardless, there should be something here for everybody (sorry country fans…).

1

Dido

“Thank You”

From No Angel 

Dido3-20130917-16

This may be the most obvious “thank you” song to include.  “Thank You” courtesy of Dido was an important track for a number of reasons.  Number one, it is one of the English singer’s biggest hits, peaking at no. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Number two, “Thank You” was sampled on one of Eminem’s most important singles, “Stan” from The Marshall Mathers LP.  What exactly is Dido thankful for? “I want to thank you for giving me the best days of my life / Oh Just to be with you is having the best day of my life”.  Sounds like she’s found the man of her dreams.  Aww!

2

Drake

“Thank Me Now”

From Thank Me Later 

Drake-AES-089760

Yeah I know, Drake is totally not giving thanks to anyone, but rather asking for thanks.  This is evident on the hook, where Drizzy raps “You could thank me now, go ahead / thank me later, yeah I know what I said / but later doesn’t always come so instead / it’s ok, you could thank me now.” What’s my favorite Toronto homeboy saying? Oh something to the effect to “give me my flowers while I can still smell them.” I think if you transcend beyond Drake’s confidence, you’ll see he’s really saying to take time to say thanks now because later’s not promised.

3

Jay-Z

“Thank You” 

From Blueprint 3

121005033328-jay-z-july-2012-story-top

To be such a cocky and confident dude, Jay-Z seems a bit more humble on “Thank You” from Blueprint 3: “Thank you, thank you, thank you, you’re far too kind / hold your applause, this is your song not mines / thank you, thank you, thank you, please hold your applause”.   He’s also pretty humble and thankful to God as he raps “There is no reason to treat me like I’m somehow from outta heaven / heaven knows I’ve made my mistakes, thank God, what a guy as I say my grace…”   Even with his thankful, humbling moments such as the aforementioned hook,  Jay-Z still is a baller…baby, don’t get it twisted:  “Please don’t bow in my presence, how am I a legend / I just got ten number one albums, maybe now eleven…” (yep, he’s actually got more than that now).

4

Estelle

“Thank You”

From All of Me

Estelle-20130903-16

Grammy-award winner Estelle (“American Boy” featuring Kanye West) was in contention for another grammy for R&B vocal performance on the thoughtful, emotional “Thank You”.  One of the bright spots from her third album All of Me, “Thank You” finds Estelle thanking her man “…for making me a woman”.  Sure, it may not be what we all have in mind as we gather with our family and feast on Thanksgiving, but I’m sure many can relate and attest to the same thing as Estelle does.

5

Ice Cube

“Thank God”

From Raw Footage 

Ice Cube-20130619-17

So this is one of those, ‘not your traditional thank yous by any means’.  Ice Cube is thankful, but not for traditional reasons. The background on this cut is in that mindset that “hip hop is dead”.  Because of this, the the ‘rap savior’ has come to resurrect it… I feel like I need to repent now for blasphemy.  Basically, Ice Cube is thankful for, well Ice Cube. How so? See the hook: “Thank God, the Gangsta’s back / and we don’t gotta put up with this brainless rap…” Ice Cube’s the gangsta, and both he and us apparently should be thankful for that, I guess.

6

Mariah Carey, Joe & 98º

“Thank God I Found You”

From Rainbow

Mariah Carey-JTM-064832

Nothing like a big-time number one hit to ring in the holiday season.  That is exactly what the superstar collaboration of R&B singers Mariah Carey and Joe and boy band 98º is on “Thank God I Found You”.  Even though the subject of the artists thanks is their respective relationship, they give the thanks to God for providing that relationship.  I’d do the same… if I weren’t single, LOL.

7

Angie Stone featuring Snoop Dogg

“I Wanna Thank Ya” 

From Stone Love

Angie-Stone-jb17

Angie Stone remains one of my favorites from the neo-soul era of soul (how I wish that that era in soul music would return!).  Anyways,  I’ll tell you that my gal is not singing about being thankful for God, family, or friends – at least not just any friend.  She is thankful to her man: “And I’m feelin’ everything you do / your love is gangsta, I wanna thank ya.”  Snoop Dogg is thankful for his love too: “I thank God above that you were sent to me.”

8

Sam Cooke 

“I Thank God” 

From The Wonderful World of Sam Cooke

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I believe the words speak for themselves: “This wonderful world we live in / is God’s masterpiece of art / and I live each golden moment / with his love in my heart.” Truly, if only more of us could carry this same sentiment Sam.  Those prudent words stated, Cooke goes on to sing “I thank God / for blessing me / with eyes to see / each wondrous day”.

9

DJ Holiday and Gucci Mane

“Thank You”

From Trap Back

Gucci-Mane-tt01

So with more thoughtful thank yous also come, well different calibers of thank yous.  Here on yet another simply titled “Thank You”, Gucci Mane raps “Pause the track for a second / I just wanna say thank you / all this money I made / I don’t wanna be ungrateful.”  Prior to that, ole boy also raps “Fell in love with bricks / …I love my plug / my girlfriend broke up with me / cause she said she tired of them drugs…”, but that’s beyond the point, right?

10

Kelly Clarkson

“Thankful”

From Thankful

Kelly Clarkson-20121102-116

“I’m thankful / for the blessing / and the lessons that I’ve learned with you / by my side.”  Depending on how you read into the aforementioned lyrics excerpted from the chorus of Kelly Clarkson’s titular song from her debut, you might get two reads; either she’s thankful to the most high or her boo.  I’d say she’s thankful towards her man, but the lyrics throughout are pretty open-ended.

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About Brent Faulkner

One of the most musical people I know. I have a Bachelor's and Masters Degrees in music (Music Education and Music Theory/Composition respectively). A multi-instrumentalist, I play piano, trombone, and organ among numerous other instruments. I am a music educator, composer, and aspiring producer/songwriter as well as a freelance music journalist. Music and writing are two of the most important parts of my life. A cool fact about myself? I have perfect pitch.

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