10 Essential Thankful Songs

November 27, 2014 by Scott Heisel

10 Essential Thankful Songs

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not the time when you get a bunch of candy just for putting on a costume or the time when you get a bunch of presents from relatives who otherwise never communicate with you. It’s time for Thanksgiving, the one day of the year when, hopefully, we can all gather with friends and loved ones, set aside our egos and desire to be cool all the time, and just be honest about how much those folks mean to us. Consider these 10 songs talking points.
THE DAMNED - “Thanks For The Night”
While it’s not probably considered very punk to be thankful, legendary U.K. punks the Damned found a workaround when they wrote “Thanks For The Night” in 1984—it’s a thank-you note to their local scene, from namechecking their friends (“Old Bill and Ben will be there”) to insulting those poseurs who didn’t show up to the show (“Join us or be a fool”). (Damned But Not Forgotten; Sanctuary, 2001)


The greatest thing about Decendents’ “Thank You” is how there are probably a billion bands who could’ve written the same song about them. The track is a simple, direct acknowledgement of the music that shaped them, with frontman Milo Aukerman perfectly intoning, “Did you know you’re why I go/And waste my time at a rock and roll show?/You let me know I’m not alone.” Band-on-band hugs commence! (Everything Sucks; Epitaph, 1996)


FALL OUT BOY - “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs”

At this point, we all know Pete Wentz can be a little dramatic sometimes. So it’s actually surprising that in this 2007 single, he actually took minimal shots at an ex, instead writing, “One night and one more time/Thanks for the memories/Even though they weren’t so great.” To the woman he wrote this about: Hey, at least you got him to say thanks. (Infinity On High; Island, 2007)



James Dewees has always been a hopeless romantic, so it’s no surprise he wrote this love song to make sure his special ladyfriend knew that he will always support her because she’s always supported him: “I won’t give up on you/You know that’s what I’m sayin’/Tell me you know it’s true/Thank you for always stayin’.” Of course, Dewees wrote another song called “Thanks For The Misery” a few Reggie albums later, so maybe it didn’t work out… (Promotional Copy; Vagrant/Heroes & Villains, 2000)


THE STARTING LINE - “Thanks, You’re The Best”

When most pop-punk bands write songs about their ex-girlfriends, they’re usually a tad bit negative. Not so for the perpetually posi Kenny Vasoli. He admits his faults and pleads his case for wanting her back, but if she’s not interested, that’s cool, too: “Since we’re on good terms, thanks for everything.” If only more relationships could end so respectfully! (The Early Years/We The People Sessions; Drive-Thru, 2012)


THE STEREO - “Dear Fans Of The Stereo”

The first track on the Stereo’s third and final album is a peppy, low-fi, 37-second number where frontman Jamie Woolford straight-up thanks his fans profusely saying, “I can’t go on thinking it’s all because of me… These crazy things I get to do/It’s all because of you.” Pop-rock has never been more polite (and sidenote, you need to listen to this band immediately). (Rewind + Record; Fueled By Ramen, 2002)


THE SWELLERS - “Running Out Of Places To Go”

This slow-burning title track that closes the Swellers’ 2012 self-released EP (later reissued by No Sleep) starts off on a melancholy note, with frontman Nick Diener using suicide as a metaphor. But it’s worth hanging on for the final 75 seconds, where a goose bump-inducing gang chant plays on loop, “Thank you for letting me into your home/I was running out of places to go.” (Running Out Of Places To Go EP; No Sleep, 2013)


FRANK TURNER - “If Ever I Stray”

Frank Turner has made an impressive career on his honest lyrics, so when he expresses his sorrow for letting down his friends and loved ones, you can tell his appreciation for their loyalty is real. “I’m sorry, baby, for the times I’ve hurt you/Sorry, friends, for the times I desert you/Most days I feel like I don’t deserve you/And I wonder that you’re all still around,” he emotes, before exploding into yet another massive chorus. Don’t worry, Frank: We’re not going anywhere. (England Keep My Bones; Epitaph, 2011)



Primarily known as one of the few songs in AP’s universe that both features ukulele and doesn’t suck, “Hey Thanks” is also a great example of frontman Dan Campbell’s knack to accurately describe a strong relationship, warts and all. “And you think I’m angry/But I think you’re sad/We know it’s not so bad here living the life we have/So hey, thanks.” (The Upsides; Hopeless, 2010)



Sometimes the bands with the longest names can say it in the shortest time. “Thanks” consists of the same four lines repeated three times over 1:47; its appreciative lyrics are directed to those who listen to and support the World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, with the last line finding frontman Greg Horbal proclaiming with simple sincerity, “Life will always be weird.” (Between Bodies EP; Broken World, 2014)


fall out boy the wonder years frank turner the swellers the starting line reggie and the full effect descendents the stereo the world is a beautiful place and i am no longer afraid to die 10 essential