The leftovers struggle to even qualify as Thanksgiving numbers. There are songs that hint at the theme but don't directly address it (the Beastie Boys' "Gratitude"); songs that don't even have lyrics (Thelonious Monk's "Stuffy Turkey"); and songs that are barely songs at all (Johnny Cash speak-singing an epic heartland soliloquy).
In the end the blame must fall upon our songwriters. You can't tell me I haven't tried. I was in a terrible band in college and, one fall semester, having identified this gaping void, I tried my hand at composing a Thanksgiving song of my own. As I recall, "Plymouth Rock" was played but once — on the stage of a subterranean campus bar. It was not well received.
Until the Thanksgiving hit of our dreams comes along, our best option just might be The National's new cover of a weird, jumbled ditty from the animated show Bob's Burgers. It's a comic dirge — not a sincere, joyous ode to the greatest holiday ever invented. But it'll do for now. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I hope you'll join me when I sing, "Kill, kill, kill. Kill the turkey."
Stevenson is the author of "Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World."