What are some songs that remind us to be thankful for our good fortune?
September 30, 2005 8:44 AM   Subscribe

What are some songs that remind us to be thankful for our good fortune? Just the fact that you are sitting at a computer reading this probably puts you in the top 10% of wealthy people in the world. I'd like to make a CD of songs that have a positive message about appreciating and being thankful for what we've got. I remember singing as a child: "Be thankful for the good things that you've got. The good things that you've got are for many just a dream, So be thankful for the good things that we've got." That's the jist I'm going for, but not children's songs.
posted by gfroese to Media & Arts (43 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
On the obvious side: "What a Wonderful World" (Louis Armstrong or one of the many covers)

How about "Blue Skies" by Willie Nelson? One of my favorites since about, oh, birth.
posted by justonegirl at 8:47 AM on September 30, 2005


"Jupiter" by 311
posted by Steve Simpson at 8:48 AM on September 30, 2005


somewhat related thread
posted by matildaben at 8:48 AM on September 30, 2005


Sam Bush, Howlin' at the Moon.
("Take a little time for sunshine, take a whole lotta time for love / Take some time to praise and thank heaven up above / Take your life as it may come, 'cause boy, it'll be gone soon / Take a little time for howlin' at the moon.")
posted by Wolfdog at 8:55 AM on September 30, 2005


"Love This Life" by Crowded House

"Love this life --
Don't wait until the next one comes"
posted by Makebusy7 at 8:58 AM on September 30, 2005


Massive Attack - "Be Thankful for What You Got"
posted by josh at 9:09 AM on September 30, 2005


"Hymn of the big wheel" by Massive Attack. Not that good IMO, but what you're looking for.
posted by springload at 9:10 AM on September 30, 2005


"The Night I Heard Caruso Sing" by Everything But the Girl, back before they were techno. When the world feels like it's crashing down around me, this song reminds me to be happy for the little things.

Actually, I have an entire CD mix of the sort you're making, but I don't have a playlist handy...
posted by jdroth at 9:12 AM on September 30, 2005


William DeVaughn - "Be Thankful for What You Got", also check out the cover by Yo La Tengo

Camper Van Beethoven - "Life is Grand"
posted by hydrophonic at 9:17 AM on September 30, 2005


Pulp "Glory Days"
posted by Sara Anne at 9:24 AM on September 30, 2005


"Be Thankful for What You Got" and "Hymn of the big wheel" are the same song. josh beat me to it.
posted by springload at 9:28 AM on September 30, 2005


"days of grace" by tanya donelly.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:35 AM on September 30, 2005


Bevis Frond: "Long Journey into Light"

Out of the machine of cooled air
Into freedom's populated furnace
I can't describe how good it felt
To feel my shirtsleeves stick to my arms
To breathe the familiar exhaust fumes
To walk in fear of my personal safety...
posted by flabdablet at 9:35 AM on September 30, 2005


"Accentuate the Positive"
posted by box at 9:38 AM on September 30, 2005


Also, "Ackee 1 2 3" by The English Beat
posted by Sara Anne at 9:39 AM on September 30, 2005


I think Cat Stevens' Moonshadow fits the bill, but in a sort of opposite / yin-yang way.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:43 AM on September 30, 2005


GoatBoy -- Great Life
posted by KirTakat at 9:47 AM on September 30, 2005


"Ain't No Woman Like the One I Got," by the Four Tops, and, with a similar theme, "Sabbra Cadabra," by Black Sabbath.

If you think about it, there aren't a whole lot of pop or rock songs that are about how great everything is.
posted by scratch at 9:53 AM on September 30, 2005


"Born at the Right Time," Paul Simon.
posted by enrevanche at 9:55 AM on September 30, 2005


"time and love" by laura nyro
"ooh-ooh child" by the 5 stairsteps
posted by pyramid termite at 10:09 AM on September 30, 2005


Loudon Wainwright's "Pretty Good Day So Far", although it can be taken either way...
posted by Gortuk at 10:27 AM on September 30, 2005


oh, and Mr E's Blues ("goddamn right, it's a beautiful day") and PS You rock my world by the eels.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:29 AM on September 30, 2005


Damn hydrophonic, you said it. Not only does William de Vaughan deliver the message, it's a song you can really get on down to. Josh: the Massive Attack version is a cover of it.

Aretha Franklin 'How I Got Over' and 'The Only Way is Up' by Otis Clay.

They start of a little grumpy, but I'd also add Pulp's 'I Love Life' and Cat Stevens's 'I Think I See the Light'.
posted by methylsalicylate at 10:31 AM on September 30, 2005


I just love Dido's "Thank You."
posted by Lynsey at 10:32 AM on September 30, 2005


Thanks for all the suggestions, I'll be sure to check most of them out.

I didn't even think of Dido's Thank You myself, even though she is one of my favourite artists. Goes to show how you can keep hearing something and somehow the lyrics still don't come to mind out of the context of that particular song.
posted by gfroese at 10:47 AM on September 30, 2005


In White Christmas, Bing Crosby signs Count My Blessings:

COUNT MY BLESSINGS INSTEAD OF SHEEP
(Irving Berlin)
« © '57 Irving Berlin Music, ASCAP »

When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings

When my bankroll's gettin' small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings
[ ... ]
So if you're worried and you can't sleep...
posted by theora55 at 10:51 AM on September 30, 2005


REM's "You Are the Everything" was a favorite of mine, because it describes a fairly ordinary moment of contentment.

Violent Femmes' "Good Feeling" might qualify.

Beatles' "Good Day Sunshine".
posted by Miko at 10:55 AM on September 30, 2005


Joe Walsh. "Life's Been Good to Me So Far." Do you really need any others?
posted by kindall at 10:57 AM on September 30, 2005


Daylight by the Kinks:
"Feel the sunlight on my pillow and it stops my yawning.
I thank God that I'm still around to see another dawnin'.
Daylight over the valleys, daylight lighting up the trees,
Daylight over the hillside,
Smile a smile and sing a song, another night has been and gone."
posted by bricoleur at 11:01 AM on September 30, 2005


"Sunny Afternoon" by the Kinks. Even when the taxman has taken all your dough and even your yacht, you can just sit back, relax, drink a nice, cold beer, and lounge around and be happy.

(unless I've totally forgotten the lyrics)
posted by apple scruff at 11:21 AM on September 30, 2005


I'm no fan of the album, but Jets to Brazil's "All Things Good and Nice" off of Four-Cornered Night might fit:

i love my mother for all the things she's not
but mostly for who she is
i love my father for all the things he's thought
but really for the things he did
i love my piano though i wasn't ever taught
still i think i'm gonna live

all things to those who wait
take time to find your way
half the answers will come from your mistakes
even when you're wrong i think you're great

i love my brother he's always taking shit
he's just not like those other kids
i love my sister for always making things
she even made a brother out of me, sweet kid
i love this feeling like i've got something to give
you know i think i'm gonna live

all things to those who wait
take time to find your way
some will say the truth is not so plain
don't confuse the truth with your pain

you can take a line and say it isn't straight
but that ain't gonna change it's shape

i love my drummer and all the things he plays
i wrote it in half-time just to say thanks
i love my bassist represent the Western states
i think they sent me an angel from the old Salt Lake
i love my guitarist his chops from outer space
he can make my three chords sound like eight

all the things to those who wait
take time to find your way
to all the bands who mean what they say:
it's not what you sell its what you make.
i love you stranger though it might not always show
there's a lot of good in you i know

posted by safetyfork at 11:26 AM on September 30, 2005


apple scruff: sorry to hear about your yacht :)
posted by gfroese at 11:32 AM on September 30, 2005


A-ha. It's been on the tip of my tongue ever since this was posted. Exodus, Count Your Blessings.
It's kind of a strong reminder.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:57 AM on September 30, 2005


In White Christmas, Bing Crosby signs Count My Blessings

Yeah, but that version's really feeble compared to the Ray Coniff Singers', on their Christmas album, the middle of a medley with "Let It Snow3" and "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" -- one of my all-time favorite bits of music.
posted by Rash at 12:10 PM on September 30, 2005


The Big Music by the Waterboys
Alive and Kicking by Simple Minds

(I heart 80s music.)
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:12 PM on September 30, 2005


Pig - by Dave Matthews Band is one of my particularly favourite songs.

I also like Our House by CSNY because like a previous suggestion, it's about simple pleasures we should enjoy more.

And Colin Hay's Beautiful World seems to show up in a lot of my music mixes
posted by nelleish at 12:46 PM on September 30, 2005


Sorry for raining on this parade, but this post sickens me. We just had a hurricane and flood rip apart New Orleans, with the toll at 900. Should we be celebrating being better off? This just pisses me off, that we do take things for granted and we forget to reach out. I for one is not going to be proud of what I have, I am going to give until it hurts.

/ sorry, had to vent
posted by wheelieman at 1:33 PM on September 30, 2005


wheelieman, I understand your disgust... the way this post was worded makes it seem as though gfroese is asking for songs about being well-off in the capitalist sense (wealthiest 10%) but I notice that none (to my knowledge) of the songs recommended so far are about money, or bling, or what-have-you. I, and many others commenting here, have focused in on this part of the question: appreciating and being thankful for what we've got. And one thing that we all have is this: we are all alive. Mourn the dead, help the victims-- absolutely. But it also makes sense to celebrate being alive, especially after a disaster makes us realize just how short life can be.

In that spirit, here are two of the best "I'm Alive!" songs ever written:


1) I Just Want To Celebrate by Rare Earth.

I just want to celebrate another day of livin'
I just want to celebrate another day of life


2) I Got Life by Nina Simone.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 2:22 PM on September 30, 2005


wheelieman, if I may quote from the very song I linked,
...those who got it all
Fuckin' piss me off, they got a lot of balls
To sit there and complain
That affluence is a tremendous strain
Use some common sense
Take nothing for granted, not a fucking cent


But I don't think anybody's "celebrating being better off" (or complaining about what they have) in this thread. The two themes people are riffing on are simple pleasures, and gratitude for the gifts we've received. Neither one of those is anything for to get pissed about.

I think the latter is more what the gfroese was asking for, but if I could contribute a "simple pleasures" tune, it'd be Roxette's June Afternoon.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:34 PM on September 30, 2005


Pretty Good Year, Tori Amos
posted by chronic sublime at 4:55 PM on September 30, 2005


We just had a hurricane and flood rip apart New Orleans, with the toll at 900. Should we be celebrating being better off?

Should we ever celebrate anything, given that something terrible happens every day?
posted by kindall at 5:02 PM on September 30, 2005


We should celebrate each other, not ourselves. Good points yall who responded. The wording made me mad but I get it now.
posted by wheelieman at 9:53 PM on September 30, 2005


wheelieman:
Sorry to cause any confusion. I'm definately NOT talking about celebrating how rich and materialistic one can be, there is too much of that in the world.

I'm talking about the exact opposite, being grateful for what we do have and not wanting more, being satisfied and not sucked into the consumer whirlwind that has become the focus of life in North America.

I think a by-product of truly appreciating what you have results in a more generous attitude towards helping others in need.
posted by gfroese at 7:22 AM on October 3, 2005


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