Thanksgiving transcribed

It’s Thanksgiving, though it’s hard to tell here in France. The other American language assistants in my city invited me to their kitchen earlier tonight where we expertly made three pumpkin pies in French tart tins and without standard measuring implements. Tomorrow, we will have a big dinner, during which I will eat my feelings. Those feelings are mainly homesickness and a nice variety of frustrations, stemming from the fact that for six hours a week, I teach extremely unenthusiastic 11th and 12th graders about my culture and my language, my attempts usually being met with blank stares. In a desperate effort to at least get them to laugh at how ridiculous the US can be, I showed them this terrible song about Thanksgiving, written and performed by an adolescent girl with the creative capacity of turkey (I apologize to any turkeys I may have offended by this comparison). I originally transcribed the lyrics to give to my students, and in the name of poetry – in this case, “poetry” of the blandest sort (the pre-made grocery store mashed potatoes of the literary world)  – I’ve decided to share them here. It is perhaps to the internet’s credit that they are not yet the first google hit after a search for “thanksgiving song lyrics.” (You will find them on other sites, though, by searching “it’s thanksgiving lyrics.”)

Listening to this song multiple times left me with many questions as its transcriber, such as whether or not Nicole Westbrook would agree with my punctuation choices, if I included an appropriate number of a’s in that first “yeah,” and mainly, what alternate reality Westbrook inhabited when she decided singing into a turkey drumstick was a good idea. (But in all seriousness, transcribing lyrics genuinely does bring up interesting conundrums regarding punctuation and sentence structure in addition to making me question whether written text is ever truly capable of conveying the style of spoken word.)

Oh whoaaa, yea-aaaaah, alright.
Oh oh oh, oh oh oh, oh oh oh, oh yeah
Oh oh oh, oh oh oh, alright.
Come on.

I’m wide awake, and I should take a step and say
Thank you, thank you,
For the things you’ve done and what you did.
Oooh yeah, oooo ye-ah

December was Christmas.
January was New Year’s.
April was Easter,
And the Fourth of July,
But now it’s Thanksgiving!

Oh oh oh,
It’s Thanksgiving!
We we we, we’re gonna have a good time,
Oh oh oh
It’s Thanksgiving!
We we we are gonna have a good time
With the turkey, (ayy!) mashed potatoes (ayy!)
We we we are gonna have a good time
with the turkey, (ayy!) mashed potatoes (ayy!)
It’s Thanksgiving, it’s Thanksgiving. (alright)

School is out, I can shout,
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
No matter how you do, no matter what you say,
This is my favorite.

December was Christmas.
January was New Year’s.
April was Easter,
and the Fourth of July,
but now it’s Thanksgiving.

Oh oh oh, it’s Thanksgiving
We we we, we’re gonna have a good time.
Oh oh oh, it’s Thanksgiving.
We we we are gonna have a good time,
with the turkey (ayy!), mashed potatoes (ayy!).
We we we are gonna have a good time,
with the turkey (ayy!), mashed potatoes (ayy!).
It’s Thanksgiving, it’s Thanksgiving.

Yo, it’s Thanks-giving-giving,
and I’m tryn’a be forgiving.
Nothin’ is forbidden.
She know, we gotta have –
I gotta give thanks to you and you and you.
Can’t be hateful, gotta be grateful.
Gotta be grateful, can’t be hateful.
Mashed potatoes on my–on my table.
I got ribs smelling up my neighbor’s cribs.
Can’t deny, havin’ good times,
We be laughin’ till we cry.
It’s Thanks-Thanks-Thanksgiving.
Come on.
It’s Thanks-Thanks-Thanksgiving.
Give them thanks, y’all!

Oh oh oh, it’s Thanksgiving.
We we we, we’re gonna have a good time.
Oh oh oh, it’s Thanksgiving.
We we we are gonna have a good time
with the turkey (ayy!), mashed potatoes (ayy!).
We we we are gonna have a good time
with the turkey (ayy!), mashed potatoes (ayy!).
It’s Thanksgiving, it’s Thanksgiving.

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