Thanksgiving Table with Autumn Produce

Thanksgiving Songs

Grade Levels: Pre-K - 5

Posted: November 25, 2020 | Updated: November 25, 2020
Created by: Schoolhouse by the Sea

Every celebration is made better with song and Thanksgiving is no exception. Here are some of our favorite songs to sing, either in a gathering or on your own.

Whether you use these in a classroom, in your home, or even "Thanksgiving caroling" on Zoom, we hope you'll enjoy adding music to your annual rituals.

Come, Come Whoever You Are

This song is not specifically a Thanksgiving song, but it is a beautiful invitation to gather! Set to a text by the great poet Rumi, this song welcomes everyone. What makes you feel welcome somewhere?

When you know the song well, anyone in third grade and above might enjoy trying this as a round.

Come, come whoever you are
Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving
Ours is no caravan of despair Come, yet again, come!

Thanks a Lot by Raffi Cavoukian

Raffi's original song has many more verses than this abridged version that I use with students. This beautiful song carried my students through the year and created many great discussions. Sing it together, then look at the other verses from Raffi, then see which verses you can write yourself!

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 wondering me
Thanks a lot
Thanks for all I feel

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

Thanks a lot
Thanks for all I've got

Thank You for This Food

This meal blessing was a favorite with my third-grade class. Without being religious (and thus staying appropriate for public school), this song lets us offer thanks for all that came together to make our food!

For third graders and up, enjoy it as a round!

Thank you for this food,
This food,
This glorious, glorious food!

And the animals
And the vegetables
And the minerals
Who make it possible!

This song has been passed from teacher to teacher and we don't know its origins. If you know (of) the author, please do let us know at so that we can give credit where credit is due!

Over the River and Through the Woods

A traditional Thanksgiving song, Over the River and Through the woods is lots of fun to sing. It's even more fun to act out, especially if you have lots of people around to take on different roles. Whether everyone sits on the "sleigh" or a team of horses leads everyone to Grandmother, have fun using your imagination to set the scene.

For a modern take on this classic, try singing the words in the picture book, "Over the River & Through the Wood: A Holiday Adventure" by Lisa Ashman and Kim Smith.

Over the river and through the woods,
To grandmother's house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh,
Through (the) white and drifted snow!

Over the river and through the woods,
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the woods,
To have a first-rate play;
Oh, hear the bells ring, "Ting-a-ling-ling!"
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the woods,
Trot fast, my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground,
Like a hunting hound!
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the woods,
And straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go extremely slow
It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the woods,
Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Good Friends, When Gathered Together

Though this song isn't just for Thanksgiving, it's a great song to celebrate being together.

I love the way the voices sound when they combine into a round. If you're in 3rd grade and up, you might try it that way, too!

Good friends, when gathered together
Sing for the joy of singing
No matter what the weather
Good friends are happy together

May your Thanksgiving be filled with love, joy, gratitude and music!

Here is Ms. Sylvia singing all the songs covered above:

Come, Come Whoever You Are
Thanks A Lot
Thank You, For This Food
Over the River and Through the Woods
Good Friends When Gathered Together
Good Friends When Gathered Together (Gradual Round)