Music Monday: My Thanksgiving

I’m invoking author’s privilege and publishing Music Monday a couple of weeks early in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday… because I have the perfect song: Don Henley’s, My Thanksgiving.

What we like in music is such a personal choice, but, in my humble opinion, Don Henley is one of the greatest songwriters of our time. I’ve contended for years that his songs are like poetry put to music. This one is no exception.

There is much to recommend in this song, but one of my favorite parts is the bridge which says, “Have you noticed that an angry man, can only get so far, until he reconciles the way he thinks things ought to be, with the way things are?”

We all wish for so many things in our lives. It’s the substance of our dreams and aspirations; however, if we spend all of our time wishing for what we want in the future, what should be, or ought to be… we will likely feel very dissatisfied with our present. Thanksgiving is a day that reminds us that, no matter what we’ve achieved in our lives to date, there will always be someone who has attained more than us and always some with much less. Always. Gratitude for what is, right where we are, is the great leveler. It helps us to stop the comparisons and rejoice in what we have right now. The Thanksgiving holiday can allow us to feel full and satisfied in more ways than one.

So, this week, join me in appreciating and identifying with Don Henley’s lyric:

“I’ve got great expectations,
I’ve got family and friends,
I’ve got satisfying work,
I’ve got a back that bends,
For every breath, for every day of living…
This is my Thanksgiving.”

In addition to our Don Henley performance video, I’d also like to share this short but sweet perspective video, which so beautifully encapsulates this idea of true thanksgiving. Enjoy as you head into this holiday season with family and friends. All of us here at LionSpeak are wishing you a lovely Thanksgiving holiday celebrated around a table of delicious food and even more delicious loved ones.

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Don Henley – My Thanksgiving

“A lot of things have happened
Since the last time we spoke
Some of them are funny
Some of ’em ain’t no joke
And I trust you will forgive me
If I lay it on the line
I always thought you were a friend of mine

Sometimes I think about you
I wonder how you’re doing now
And what you’re going through

The last time I saw you
We were playing with fire
We were loaded with passion
And a burning desire
For every breath, for every day of living
And this is my Thanksgiving

Now the trouble with you and me, my friend
Is the trouble with this nation
Too many blessings, too little appreciation
And I know that kind of notion…well, it just ain’t cool
So send me back to Sunday school
Because I’m tired of waiting for reasons to arrive
It’s too long we’ve been living
These unexamined lives

I’ve got great expectations
I’ve got family and friends
I’ve got satisfying work
I’ve got a back that bends
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

Have you noticed that an angry man
Can only get so far
Until he reconciles the way he thinks things ought to be
With the way things are

Here in this fragmented world, I still believe
In learning how to give love, and how to receive it
And I would not be among those who abuse this privilege
Sometimes you get the best life from a burning bridge

And I don’t mind saying that I still love it all
I wallowed in the springtime
Now I’m welcoming the fall
For every moment of joy
Every hour of fear
For every winding road that brought me here
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

For everyone who helped me start
And for everything that broke my heart
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving”


“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
~ Melody Beattie

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