Welcome to November, the month of gratitude! With our country in upheaval and bad news streaming in by the moment, it might not feel like it. But Thanksgiving is not just about food (or smug “blessed” hashtags). It provides a real reminder to look inward and count our blessings. At this moment, I know I’m personally grateful for fall weather, Stranger Things, leftover Halloween candy, and the fact that in a week, I’ll be on a plane heading home to Illinois, where I’ll see my parents for the first time in almost a year.
I’m also always grateful for music, a gratitude that finds a regular outlet in my playlists for ProF. This month, I’ve assembled a quirky “Attitude of Gratitude” playlist – dominated by indie rock, with a few throwback surprises (like the smooth sounds of Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway’s take on Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend”). Compiling this list, I was surprised by how rare the sentiment of gratitude is in songwriting – it’s hinted at, not often bluntly expressed. So I got creative, and in the process realized just how many ways there are to be grateful, whether it’s celebrating life with a night of dancing (The Magnetic Fields, “The Sun Goes Down and the World Goes Dancing”), raising a glass and toasting your friends (Rilo Kiley, “Draggin’ Around”; Big Star, “Thank You Friends”), or penning a song-as-valentine to your partner (The Julie Ruin, “Just My Kind”). While I’ve steered away from the obvious choices (Dido, anyone?), these songs all have their own way of embracing the gifts that life has to offer.
So if you feel at your wit’s end with pre-holiday craziness or political turmoil, carve out some time to crank up this oh-so-positive playlist and lose yourself in thankful thoughts.