You know those people on Facebook who celebrate even minor holidays by posting corresponding songs? “Here’s ‘Big Yellow Taxi,’ happy Earth Day!” Maybe you’re one of those people. I won’t tell, though your entire Facebook feed already knows. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, I’m just saying: at least make sure you pick the right song if you’re going to do it. So, here are 12 solid songs that say “thank you” in various but direct ways. Tomorrow happens to be Thanksgiving. Do with these what you will.
“Thank You” — Jay Z (2009)
We all need a passive-aggressive thank you song in our arsenal, even on the national day of thanks (I don’t know your family). This is the “bye, haters” anthem for when you actually don’t want to say thank you.
“Thank You” — Swans (1983)
Maybe you want to say thanks with prurient noise and lyrics about burning flesh! Again, I don’t know your family!
“Thank U” — Alanis Morissette, 1998
Maybe you pulled an Eat Pray Love this year and you actually do want to thank India.
“Thank You” — Estelle (2011)
Estelle’s best-known hit, “American Boy,” would also work for a certain kind of Thanksgiving celebration. But her powerful 2011 R&B hit says a very specific kind of thank you: a salute to the exes who helped her grow more mature along the way. A classy, grown-ass lady move.
“Thank You” — Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, Lil Wayne, Kanye West (2013)
Q-Tip may run easy circles around Busta on his own song, but its video will make you thankful this random crew of rappers teamed up to help Rhymes mount a comeback. It’s a collection of aging rappers dancing like nerds! (Kanye, you are not cool.) The video is clearly a token of your gratitude.
“I Want To Thank You” — Alicia Myers (1981)
Myers’ signature soul-house hit has been sampled time and time again, by the likes of Queen Latifah, DMX with Patti LaBelle (yes, that’s a real team-up), Mariah Carey, 50 Cent, and the aforementioned Busta/Tip/Weezy/Yeezy jam. No further explanation for the samples needed after you’ve heard Myers’ glorious, easy-grooving original. A good song for saying thanks to your current boo, or as Myers intended it, your spiritual guide.
“Thank You” — Röyksopp (2014)
The “choose your own adventure” of thank you songs, since you kinda can’t tell what these robots are saying besides the obvious.
“Thank You” — Led Zeppelin (1969)
The “classic but rightfully so” thank you song.
“Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” — Sly & the Family Stone (1969)
My personal favorite thank you song. It doesn’t get more direct than, “Thank you for letting me be myself again.” Isn’t that what we all want in life? However, Sly & the Family Stone’s extreme funkiness keeps it from getting too mushy.
“Thank You” — Dido (1998)
Perhaps you remember Dido’s breakthrough hit, “Thank You,” as simply, “That Song Eminem Sampled in ‘Stan.'” I would not suggest putting “Stan” on your Thanksgiving playlist, unless you have incredibly strained familial relations and are trying to make a specific point. Dido’s song is still beautiful and slightly cheesy with a subtle Celtic flute solo. I would probably use Dido to thank a friend who helped me through some dark times.
“Thank You” — Boyz II Men (1995)
To be used ironically due to extreme datedness and high cheese factor, or as a Thanksgiving #TBT.
“Thank Me Now” — Drake (2010)
Maybe you’re an asshole no one bothered to thank on Thanksgiving. Maybe you need to let off some steam on Black Friday. Maybe Drake knows the ego encasing your fragile heart.