Ben Rector has done what very few artists, if any, have done before: written a heartwarming song about Thanksgiving. The singer-songwriter wrote “The Thanksgiving Song,” including it on his A Ben Rector Christmas album, which is out now.
“My manager, Gregg [Latterman] was like, ‘You should do some original Christmas songs,” Ben recalled to Everything Nash. “I feel like what people don’t understand about Christmas songs is that they’re actually classics because they’re really, really good … It wasn’t just that the songs are so good and I didn’t want to try to write one, but I just couldn’t really find an on-ramp to something that I thought was going to be a good and meaningful Christmas song.”
Although the Oklahoma native passed on writing a Christmas song, he did decide to write one about Thanksgiving, as a way to both stand out, and also celebrate one of his favorite holidays.
“I was like, ‘I could try to write a Thanksgiving song because there’s no Thanksgiving music that I know of,'” Ben shared. “Really it was that I was making the Christmas record. I knew that I wanted to have something original on the record, but I just had trouble writing Christmas songs. And so, the Thanksgiving one just kind of came out pretty naturally. It was in August, and I was about to go in and record the Christmas record. I was like, ‘I have to write a song for this,’ and it just randomly came out.”
The innovative video for “The Thanksgiving Song” is a nostalgic look at Thanksgiving, which seems especially poignant in 2020, when so many holiday plans have to be altered because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I thought that people would feel warm fuzzies. I’m sure it’s just kind of 2020, but a lot of the reactions to the video for the song has been people saying they’re getting emotional about it,” Ben acknowledged. “To me, it’s super touching. Maybe some of that came out that way when I wrote the song, because I was feeling those things also, I think there’s some of the nostalgia that just, as soon as you start processing holidays as an adult, there’s just a lot more wrapped up in them.”
“My wife and I just had twins at the end of June, and we have a two-year-old daughter as well,” continued the singer. “Starting to think about holidays in that light and you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s the circle of life. I used to be at the kids’ table and now me and my sisters have kids.’ Just watching all of the changes take place, it was kind of the perfect storm timing-wise because with three kids, I feel like that’s as officially adult as anything can be.”
All of Ben’s music, including “The Thanksgiving Song,” can be found at BenRectorMusic.com.