A Bounty of Songs for Thanksgiving


By Liz Buchanan

We give special thanks for all our friends in CMN who share so many excellent songs and ideas. Ask for songs about any topic, and our members deliver!  Here are some of the many offerings for the Thanksgiving season which people have sent to our members’ email list.

Margaret Hooton sends the following ditty to the tune of Frere Jacques:

Turkey dinner, turkey dinner, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pie

Who will get the drumstick?  Yummy, yummy, yum stick!

You or I?  You or I?


Cornbread muffin, chestnut stuffin,’ pumpkin pie, one mile high

We were so much thinner, before we came to dinner.

Me oh my, me oh my!


Next, we have a poem from the lovely and talented Tina Stone:

The turkey is a silly bird

Whose head goes wobble, wobble, wobble

It only makes a single sound

And that is “Gobble, Gobble, Gobble”

Tina also recommends Raffi’s song, “Corner Grocery Store” with Thanksgiving food verses, as in, “There was turkey, turkey, looking very perky, in the store … ”

Two of our favorite people named Nancy (Schimmel and Hershatter) recommend a Bessie Jones classic, “Shoo, Turkey.” The song can be found in the book Step It Down by Jones and Bess Lomax Hawes, and on Bessie Jones’ CD, Put Your Hand on Your Hip and Let Your Backbone Slip.  Sounds like a rockin’ CD!

Mara Beckerman writes: “There is only one song I do with my classes for Thanksgiving: ‘There are
 Many Things I am Grateful For’ by Hap Palmer. I learned it from a Pre-K 
teacher and every year it is requested again by teachers and students. It 
is a wonderful zipper song that allows you to ask the children what they
 are thankful for, AND reminds us to put the thankful back in Thanksgiving.”

We received this finger-play from Susan Salidor, based on the traditional “Five Little Turkeys” rhyme.  Susan writes:  “I get a lot of mileage this time of year out of the adaptation I wrote for my vegetarian daughters.”

Five little turkeys chatting one grey day

The first one said “I think I’ll run away”

The second one said “But Thanksgiving’s almost here!”

The third one said “That’s why she’s going, dear”

The fourth one said “Why can’t we celebrate?”

The fifth one said “You’ll be eaten if you wait!”

“Oh no” said the one

“Oh no” said them all

And the five little turkeys ran away that fall.

Susan recommends: “First, do this as a finger play, then ‘supersize’ it with five children.  After the last line, all five run away as they wobble and gobble around the room or the outside of the circle.  Dedicated to vegetarians and animal rights activists everywhere.”

Brigid Finucane sends her own Thanksgiving song to the tune of “Down By the Bay.”

For sun and moon, and stars above,

For Moms and Dads, people that we love,

Teachers, friends and families, where we live and play,

Let’s all say thanks, on Thanksgiving Day


For winds that blow, for rains that fall

On the smallest flower, and the trees so tall,

For happy laughter, as we dance and play

Let’s all say thanks, on Thanksgiving Day.

For more verses, ask the children: What are some of the things YOU are thankful for?  Let’s put your ideas in the song!

Carole Stephens sends an article from another blog with some of her favorite turkey songs, while Patricia Shih sends a humorous video about the strange fate of Harvey the Turkey.

Finally, Mister Q writes: “I have a whole album of Thanksgiving songs, poems, and stories, Thanksgiving with Mister Q.  My personal favorite on the album is ‘T’was the Night of Thanksgiving.’  You can also watch my ‘Walk Like a Turkey’ video.”  In the video, Mister Q makes a song and dance out of the poem from Tina Stone above!

Happy Thanksgiving from The Children’s Music Network!

Liz Buchanan is President of CMN.


  1. Thank you!

  2. Hi Liz,
    My Thanksgiving list includes the following:
    Two Little Turkeys by Kathy Lowe (finger play that I expanded with guiros for upper grades)
    A Turkey Ran Away (learned from PIO, submitted by Sandy Byer) (movement song about Thanksgiving Dinner running away)
    As I Came Over Yonder Hill (folk song adapted by me) (song about wild turkeys)
    Hey Yunga (folk song adapted by me) (an absolute favorite with all ages……how we are all inter-connected)

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