While there are very few songs dedicated to Thanksgiving, there are plenty that deal with the topic of appreciating what you have or spreading good will. Here are five songs that will help you realize the true meaning behind the holiday we’ll all celebrate on Thursday.

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    'Strangers' by the The Kinks

    This is one of my favorite songs of all time, and it certainly has relevance when it comes to the topic of helping others. Some important lyrics in the song include the lyrics: “Till peace we find tell you what I'll do All the things I own I will share with you If I feel tomorrow like I feel today We'll take what we want and give the rest away In this verse and in the song as a whole, the idea of extended a hand to help others in need is very clear, as well as an overall topic of unity between people. This is clearly stated in the chorus, “Strangers on this road we are on, we are not two we are one.” In this age of individualism, the idea of curbing your own personal progress for the betterment of others is often lost. As the Kinks point out, you should do your best in this holiday season to put others before yourself.

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    'Thank You' by Led Zeppelin

    True to the songs title, Robert Plant sings this tune about appreciating that special person in your life no matter the surrounding circumstances. I like the lyric “If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you. If the mountains should crumble to the sea, there would still be you and me,” it really points to the fact that however dark the world around you may seem, someone in your life will always be able to make it seem I little brighter. Looking around the world today, we see poverty, war, destruction, greed, and corruption. Despite all the negativity, give thanks for your family and the special people around you who give your life meaning and a sense of hope.

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    'Beautiful Day' by U2

    Bono once said this was a song about a man who lost everything, yet was still happy. Taking that into account, it’s easy to see how optimistic this song is, with a similar relevance to “Thank You.” This idea is easily seen in the repeated lyrics “The sky falls, you feel like it’s a beautiful day.” I think that a lot of people can relate to this, for example, say you lost your job but are still happy because, hey, you’re alive and have hope. Bono also writes in a striking biblical reference with the lyric “After the flood all the colors came out,” saying that even after all the destruction that comes with a flood, beauty and hope remained. Even though though from it’s inception this song has been played to death and often thrown away as another modern U2 pop song, it still has a deep and relevant meaning that can be useful to you this Thanksgiving.

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    'Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More' by the Allman Brothers

    Greg Allman wrote this song shortly after he lost his brother, Duane, to a motorcycle accident. While the other songs I’ve written about deal with giving thanks or helping others, this one deal with looking inside yourself and trying to change for the better. One of my favorites from the Allman Brothers, I think this is Greg realizing his own mortality and deciding to give his own life meaning in wake of his brother’s death.

    My favorite lyric is as follows:

    You don't need no gypsy to tell you why
    You can't let one precious day slip by.
    Look inside yourself, and if you don't see what you want,
    Maybe sometimes then you don't,
    Leave your mind alone and just get high.

    Greg spells out the song’s meaning and personal insights very clearly here. He basically says instead of simply getting drunk or high (aka “wasting time”) in an attempt to forget about your problems, you should deal with them head on. These are good words to live by regardless of what stage of life you find yourself in.

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    'Like a Rolling Stone' by Bob Dylan

    At face value, this song may seem like a satyrical rant about someone who fell from the top if, you will, a riches to rags story. If you look for a deeper meaning, it’s easy to see a message that we can all put to practice. Through his many metaphors and allusions, Dylan is essentially telling his listeners to appreciate what you have, because it can all be taken away from you without warning. Look what I wrote about the Allman Brothers song. This song is very similar in meaning saying “Don’t waste your time.” Again, this is very relevant around the holiday season when gifts and holiday shopping can get you away from the true purpose of Thanksgiving and Christmas.