Thursday, November 22, 2007


This song doesn't reflect my experience (at least not for this particular holiday). But there's a lot of truth here. As he usually does, Loudon cuts through the schmaltz to find the bittersweet core. For anyone out there who understands the sense of something lost, it's my hope and prayer that this Thanksgiving you will find something -- or somethings -- for which to be grateful.

Lord, every year we gather here

To eat around this table
Give us the strength to stomach as much
As fast as we are able
Bless this food to our use
Though communication's useless
Don't let me drink too much wine
Lord, you know how I get ruthless

Let us somehow get through this meal
Without that bad old feeling
With history and memory
And homecooking redeeming
Remind us that we're all grown up
Adults no longer children
Now it's our kids who spill the milk
And our turn to want to kill them

I look around and recognize
A sister and a brother
We rarely see our parents now
We barely see each other
On this auspicious occasion
This special family dinner
If I argue with a loved one, Lord
Please make me the winner

All this food looks and smells so good
But I can hardly taste it
The sense of something has been lost
There's no way to replace it
After the meal switch on the game
There's just a few more seconds
But after the meal I need a nap
The guest bedroom beckons

I fall asleep, I have a dream
In it is the family
Nothing bad has happened yet
And everyone is happy
Mother and father both still young
And naturally they love us
We're all lying on the lawn at night
Watching the stars above us

Lord, every year we gather here
To eat around this table
Give us the strength to stomach as much
As fast as we are able
-- Loudon Wainwright III, "Thanksgiving"


John McCollum said...

Wow. Don't know that song, but it's a kick in the gut. I guess the Wainwrights know something about dysfunctional.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, Kate, Rachel, Katryn and Prosty.

just scott said...

ah...Loudon describes something closer to mine :)

Michael N. said...

Hi Andy,
Michael Neno here; Jeremy and I hung out with you a few months ago. I just came across your blog.

I don't know if your health problems are better or worse now, but I'm praying for you. I'm also diabetic, and not far behind you in years. I'm hoping you still have much to be thankful for.