Thanksgiving Blues

by John Riggio

We're sure many of us have had the experience of "overdoing it" at Thanksgiving. We might even start out with the best intentions, but wind up eating our weight in mashed potatoes. This song pokes fun at human nature.

The tune is a fairly straightforward blues, but it does need to swing, which means the eighth notes have a triplet feel rather than a duple feel. Listening to our performers on the recording will help yours pick it up easily.

Performing this tune will be more fun with action and props. For props: a dinner table with plates, utensils, etc., some "food," a sofa and/or recliner, a bottle of antacid. And for the action, you'll need a few actors/victims who pretend to have eaten too much.

The scene begins with a family having a nice Thanksgiving dinner, then one poor soul makes his way to the sofa (if you have one). Here are some ideas that correspond with the lines and effects in the song.

"And I can't get off the couch." - Performer huffs and puffs while trying (unsuccessfully) to get off the couch. Collapses afterwards.

"What has made me such a slouch?" - Performer on couch shrugs and says, "I give up."

"Can you say, 'Ouch!'" - Performer holds tummy and moans in pain.

"Turkey and gravy," etc. - Have a kid at the dinner table hold up a dish with the corresponding food as it's mentioned in the song.

"Too much stuffin'" - Singers point to tummies.

"from the oven." - Singers point off stage to an imaginary oven.

"I was happy... 'til now." - Singers put both hands on tummies, make sad faces.

"...if I never see food again." - Singers sweep one hand from left to right, to emphasize "never."

"Could you please pass me..." - Have a kid bring a bottle of antacid to speaker.

"I can do this!," etc. - Performer slowly stands up from the table, only to slump back down in her chair.

" now I'll roll." - Performer goes to put the bottle of antacid down on the table, the bowling strike effect corresponding with setting the bottle down, if possible. Our performer looks around, embarrassed.

"I can't bend my body," etc. - Victim starts to sit down, hears the creaking sound, says "Uh oh!" and grabs tummy as if to contain the explosion. Others look away in horror.

"Turkey and gravy," etc. - As before.

"Except for maybe Friday night pizza," etc. - Speaker suddenly brightens up and points up like "Eureka!"

"Of course, you can't go through life without," etc. - Another player brightens up to speak this line.

"Oh, who am I kidding!," etc. - Another over-stuffed victim makes this sad realization, then collapses into the recliner during the final "Yeah!"

"Yeah!" - All performers lift up their hands and shake them in a showy finish, then drop them and bow their heads on the final button, collapsing after that huge meal.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.