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The High Note with Shaun Smith: every Saturday on The High Note with Shaun Smith: every Saturday on

With the arrival of Thanksgiving each year comes a wonderful assortment of turkey and football. Not far behind is the beginning of seasonal music, which brews slowly like a pot of turkey soup.

Just in time for the first appearance of Christmas decorations, so too will there be the lingering sound of familiar songs about silent nights, snow and halls decked with holly. But before the sleigh bells start a-jingling let's take a musical moment to reflect on this fall holiday.

Like many on Thursday, Nov. 22, I will gather with friends and family around the warm glow of the television for Thanksgiving football. This is of course after I attend the annual high school football game between Holy Spirit and Atlantic City high schools which should be highly entertaining with doses of high school bands energizing the crowd. When it’s time to turn on professional football, I wait for the annual appearance of that ever elusive John Madden turducken. I couldn't find the clip for this blog, but I have distinct memories of Madden's inability to work an electric carving knife that led to him giving it a solid karate chop and then using his hands to rip open his homemade creation.

I’m never had a turducken, but I’m a big fan of turkey and so is Adam Sandler.

Sandler was a phenomenon when I was growing up - he was the funniest man alive, at least in the opinions of my friends and me. "The Thanksgiving Song" is no exception. Sandler performed it on "Saturday Night Live," in the early 90s and is hilarious, especially now with its references to Mike Tyson and Darryl Strawberry.

But who doesn't love to eat turkey and I'm happy that he found it as a source of inspiration.

Sandler performed a few different versions of the song including the live recording released on his 1993 album “They're All Gonna Laugh At You!" which includes a few blue references that the NBC censors would not allow.


After watching professional football for awhile, I like to tune in to see if Charlie Brown will ever kick the football. Vince Guaraldi is the composer responsible for the music that accompanied the animated films featuring the "Peanuts" comic strip characters. In addition to the famous song "Linus and Lucy" and the tures featured on "A Charlie Brown Christmas," Guaraldi and his trio recorded "Thanksgiving Theme," for the "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving."

Guaraldi's style of jazz is one of my absolute favorites: a stripped down trio featuring brushed drums, heavy bass and cool piano.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday and absolutely one of my favorites, but I am not nearly as excited for the fall feast as Nicole Westbrook in her YouTube video for "It's Thanksgiving." The auto-tuned preteen cooks a Thanksgiving dinner like a Rachel Ray mini-me and the catchy hook stuck with me cold. It's written and produced by Patrice Wilson, the same guy who brought us "Friday," and “Rebecca Black.” The video has received 7.85 million views and a good share of dislikes. 

I can't say the song gives me the urge to sing into a drumstick like it was a microphone, but it does make me thankful that there is a lot of new music out now that is good. The latest album by Fun. "Some Nights" is upbeat and exciting. It reminds me of an indie reboot of Queen and has really lightened my mood after the storm. Green Day also has released its second album in a three part series, "¡Dos!" if for no other reason than to amaze me at its ability to consistently produce music.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

What song gets you into the Thanksgiving spirit? Comment on Twitter @DBCurrent and #TheHighNote

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