The Greatest Holiday Ever Deserves The Best Music Ever
And by holiday music, I mean: Christmas music.
Here in the United States, Christmas music presents a fascinating phenomenon that I won’t delve too deeply into here.
And the reason for that is: Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving carries plenty of cultural baggage, a story about Pilgrims and Indians playing together and breaking bread over a well-stocked smorgasbord of late-autumn harvest foods.
I don’t quite know what to make of the romanticized version of Pilgrim life, but I do know that somehow, by the Grace of God, an honest-to-goodness kindhearted holiday has somehow maintained the majority of its purity all the way to us, circa 2010.
What could be better–or more needed–than an entire day dedicated wholly and completely to gratitude?
Every day actually is Thanksgiving (just ask anyone who’s ever survived a near-death experience), but one day of the year, everything in the United States halts and orbits around Gratitude.
This is a beautiful thing.
If there is one solution to carry with you through anything that transpires in your life NO MATTER WHAT, it’s gratitude.
Given the confusing nature of reality, there aren’t all that many actual, eternal foundations upon which to stand. Gratitude is always, ever, forever in order. This is a very amazing thing.
Think about how lucky you are to be alive as you read this. (If you’re feeling depressed or otherwise disconnected from feeling lucky to be alive, maybe you should start over here.)
Think about how you can read and speak and breathe and laugh. Think about how much joy you’re feeling right here, right now–because if you’re reading this, then chances are not only are you not being tortured, but you’re actually in a pretty sweet moment somewhere, somehow.
Think of all the horrible terrible no-good experiences that can befall a human being in the course of life on Earth, and recognize that right now, here, you and I have it GREAT.
So, that’s the beginning of gratitude.
But take it further–think about how kind people have been to you across your life–most of them people you have never even met and will never even know. Think of all the kind acts that led you to be able to read these words on a computer screen as you sip your warm beverage of choice.
It’s always time for gratitude. There’s always room for more gratitude.
And one day a year (at least, here in the United States), we actually stop and celebrate gratitude. Thanksgiving.
I dream of a world where Thanksgiving looses its nationalistic overtones and becomes, instead, a universal human holiday. A day of total celebration across the Earth in honor of—Gratitude.
One day where the human race sets aside the confusions and stops to remember something True: our lives are a gift. This life that courses through our veins–it is the most precious gift of all, and we all share it as human beings alive at the same time on this tiny blue planet.
The thing that perplexes me about Thanksgiving, though, is why there isn’t any Thanksgiving music.
What gives? Why do we have to listen to Christmas and secular winter-fetishizing holiday music for virtually two months on end (whenever we’re in public shopping dispensaries, anyway) and yet I can’t even name a single song that immediately evokes the Thanksgiving Spirit?
As a musician who has devoted the bulk of my music efforts toward creating music about Love and Gratitude, I am in a position to do something about this.
And so, I would like to humbly commemorate this year’s Thanksgiving holiday with an offering: two songs that hone in on gratitude and celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving beyond any single country’s coming of age story.
The first is called The Thank You Song. Check it out here or take a listen to it in the sidebar jukebox.
And the second is called Round and Round. You can read the lyrics for Round and Round here or also have a listen in the sidebar jukebox.
I don’t know why Christmas songs outnumber Thanksgiving songs 1000 to 1 just like I don’t really know why songs of despair and broken heartedness outnumber songs of gratitude 1,000,000 to one (though I haven’t exactly conducted any kind of scientific study to determine the actual ratio of these things to each other).
What I know is more gratitude is in order, and artists across the planet are in a position to do something to increase global human awareness of feeling thankful for the precious gift of being alive.
Last month, I went down to Florida to visit some friends, and at the place I was staying, there was a book by Masoru Emoto on the coffee table. He’s written far more books than I’d realized, but the one that I found where I was staying was called Messages from Water and the Universe.
I’d previously encountered Emoto’s photographs of water crystals, but this book totally came out of nowhere–I had no idea that, in addition to his direct work with water, Emoto had crafted a comprehensive, elegant and incisive approach to living derived from lessons revealed through his intense study of water.
The primary teaching of his book originated out of his most favorite water crystal photograph out of all the photos he and his team have taken over water over the past decade-plus.
The crystal that he names most beautiful is a crystal taken from a sample of water that had been in a glass with the words “Love” and “Gratitude” on the outside.
And so, Emoto targets Love and Gratitude as the most fundamental and important qualities for human beings to feel and cultivate in order to awaken and align ourselves with the natural design of the universe.
Maybe I felt so drawn to this book because it confirmed what I’ve felt deep in my bones for years: this life is all about Love and Gratitude. Everything else is either a distraction or a nice addition to the core message of Love and Gratitude that is the source and purpose of all Life.
One of my greatest sources of gratitude this year comes from having the love of my partner, Claudia, in my life. We have been sharing some of our love lessons at a new site we recently started.
This year, on Thanksgiving, let’s remember how lucky we are, and let’s envision a world where our entire species comes together on at least one day a year and gives thanks for the unbelievable gift of life that we each enjoy.