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At Thanksgiving, Manhattan Music Lessons Go Beyond the Turkey Trot

November 13, 2012 - Holidays

Feast on music and all the trimmings with Manhattan music lessons

“Give thanks, all ye people, give thanks to the Lord,
Alleluias of freedom, with joyful accord,
Let the east and the west, north and south roll along,
Sea, mountain and prairie, one thanksgiving song.”

If you don’t recognize this tune, don’t worry – most people of our generation do not. It has, however, a historic significance, which is all the more relevant and meaningful with the approach of Thanksgiving.
Called “The President’s Hymn,” the song was written in 1863 to commemorate Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation issued that year that National Day of Thanksgiving be celebrated every last Thursday of November.

Politicians’ promises are notoriously fickle, but this particular tradition has survived to this day: Thanksgiving is still celebrated in homes across America as a time to be grateful for all the blessings we have in our lives.

We at Hey Joe Guitar are thankful for so many blessings – people, events and experiences that fill our lives each day. And, needless to say, music and our wonderful customers are among the joys that we are always grateful for.

Songs of gratitude

Thanksgiving’s origin pre-dates Lincoln’s proclamation by over 200 years. It goes back to December 11, 1620, when 102 Pilgrims – English and Dutch separatists sailing on the Mayflower – landed at Plymouth Rock.

As history books tell us, the first winter in the New World was harsh, and many newcomers did not survive. But by the following autumn, with the help of native Indians, the Pilgrims learned to hunt, fish, and grow crops. The feast to celebrate their good fortune marked the first, though unofficial, Thanksgiving.

As they established their colony in Plymouth, MA, these early settlers expressed their thanks though hymns, proving that even back then, music played an important part in people’s lives.
At that time, Baroque music was gaining popularity in Europe, but the Pilgrims who sailed to the New World were not – as far as we know – Bach aficionados.

According to historical accounts, they may have brought with them instruments such as wooden flutes, oboes, and virginals (very small keyboard instruments). And their songs of choice included the 16th century Dutch hymn, “We Gather Together,” as well as the ones from The Book of Psalms, written by Henry Ainsworth in 1612.

Sing, sing a song

Today, many families have Thanksgiving rituals of their own – and we don’t mean just turkey and football. We are referring to the “thanks giving” part of the holiday – taking note of and appreciating all the good things that had happened to us, and great people in our lives.
If you don’t have favorite Thanksgiving tunes of your own, these are some of the songs that will bring the true spirit of Thanksgiving to your celebration:

  • “Thanksgiving Song,” Mary Chapin Carpenter
  • “Be Thankful,” Natalie Cole
  • “Give Thanks and Praises,” Bob Marley
  • “Gratitude,” Paul McCartney

…and let’s not forget this beautiful classic,

  • “What a Wonderful World,” by the great Louis Armstrong.

Let’s talk turkey!

Would you like to be able to express your gratitude, as well as all the other emotions, through music? Our Manhattan music lessons offer a wide range of instruments to choose from

Once you decide which instrument is best for you, we will come to your Manhattan home or office and give you lessons.

As we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving, let’s remember this quote by the 16th century scientist, Konrad von Gesner:

“Let there be for every pulse a Thanksgiving, and for every breath a song.”

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