Music

Johnny Cash's 'Thanksgiving Prayer' is Exactly What We Need Right Now

Johnny Cash performs with his guitar at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Feb. 18, 1985. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)

Without question, this year's Thanksgiving will be difficult for many Americans. There is continued disagreement between both sides of the spectrum. If your family is anything like the average family, this is a recipe for disaster over the dinner table. Doesn't really kick things off in a positive note for Christmas does it?

In times of turmoil and doubt we obviously turn to Johnny Cash. An old trusty favorite in country music who gives us some perspective on being grateful with his Thanksgiving prayer lyrics.

In this obscure video, the man in black (or in this case overalls) offers up a beautiful poem followed by an otherwise unreleased (we think) song. Cash sits down at a dinner table before sharing his Thanksgiving prayer. In it, a farmer gives his thanks for the warm sun and singing birds, despite not having a turkey to put on the table.

Cash offers perhaps the most pertinent line in the whole performance with a Thanksgiving prayer. "And thank you for this country, too," he says. "We've troubles now, and pain. But with your help, Lord, we'll get back to where the road is smooth again." Take a listen.

There's not much information about the source of the video and what television show it originally aired on. And, aside from this performance, there's no documentation of this medley, or even a title for it.

But the message, just like the Thanksgiving prayer beforehand, rings true. He sings of cursing his aching feet and measly pay. But then corrects his tune, remembering that he's really doing fine despite his troubles. Giving thanks for these simple gifts is such a great example during the busy holiday season.

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Before you engage in the inevitable family discussions (or arguments) this week, maybe play this Thanksgiving song by Johnny Cash and keep it all in perspective. Inspire your whole family to be truly grateful for what you have, even if it's just the sun shining.  Cash knows best.

In addition, Cash is credited with singing a song titled "Thanksgiving Prayer" in a 1994 holiday episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, a popular series which starred Jane Seymour and sometimes featured Cash's wife, June Carter Cash. Apparently that's a newer song though, written by show producer Josef Anderson and sometimes listed as "I'm Thinking the Lord He Made You."

This story was originally published in 2016.

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Johnny Cash's 'Thanksgiving Prayer' is Exactly What We Need Right Now