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10 Classic Country Songs About Gratitude — Guaranteed to Lift Your Heart

Featuring legends like Dolly Parton, John Denver, Willie Nelson and more, these songs make your spirit soar!

Few musical genres capture poignant feelings of gratitude quite like country. The down-home, reflective nature of classic country songwriting is perfectly suited to expressing thanks for things great and small. These songs, from country legends like Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and more, are ideal for your Thanksgiving playlist, but we also think they’re worth listening to all year long. After all, it’s always valuable to step back and express thanks for all the stuff that makes life worth living! Here are 10 great country songs about gratitude that are sure to have you reflecting on what you’ve got and saying thank you.

1. “Thank God” — Hank Williams (1955)

Originally recorded in the late ’40s, “Thank God” was released in 1955, two years after Hank Williams‘ death. The song, which was written as a hymn by Fred Rose, is a simple tune that gives thanks to God for the beauty of nature. The lyric “Thank God for givin’ life to you and me” takes on a haunting resonance given the songs’ posthumous release following Williams’ tragic passing at just 29.

2. “Coat of Many Colors” — Dolly Parton (1971)

Dolly Parton‘s 1971 hit “Coat of Many Colors” is undoubtedly one of her most moving songs, and it’s long been known as one of the country queen’s signature anthems. The evocative lyrics (which Parton originally wrote on a dry-cleaning receipt while traveling!) describe how Parton’s mother made her a coat out of rags, and capture feelings of gratitude for how her family managed to always provide even when they had very little money.

Related: Dolly Parton Dishes on the Best Duets From Her New Album ‘Rockstar’

3. “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” — John Denver (1975)

Get out your fiddle! “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” is a jaunty classic all about being grateful for a heartland upbringing. The song was a crossover hit that topped Billboard‘s country chart and the Hot 100, and it still inspires singalongs today. The song would became one of John Denver‘s most iconic hits and has been covered by everyone from Dolly Parton to Alvin and the Chipmunks.

4. “Thank God for Kids” — The Oak Ridge Boys (1982)

This one goes out to all the parents! The chart-topping “Thank God for Kids,” by the long-running group the Oak Ridge Boys, is a sweet, sentimental song about appreciating our little ones. Eddy Raven wrote the song in 1973, and was inspired by his 3-year-old son’s request to help him write about Mickey Mouse and Big Bird. Country songs don’t get cuter than that!

5. “Thanking the Good Lord” — Merle Haggard (1987)

Merle Haggard may have been known for his outlaw persona, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t sing great country songs about gratitude. “Thanking the Good Lord” runs just two-and-a-half minutes long, but it packs a lot of emotion into a small package, with lovely lyrics thanking the Lord for bringing him a woman to love.

MUST-READ: 10 Sweet Father Daughter Songs For the Perfect Father’s Day Playlist

6. “Thanksgiving Prayer” — Johnny Cash (1994)

“Thanksgiving Prayer” isn’t one of Johnny Cash‘s best-known songs, but it’s certainly one of his most gratitude-filled. The song came from a surprising source: Cash originally performed it in an episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman he guest-starred in, and it was written by the show’s producer, Josef Anderson, specifically for the episode.

7. “Blessed” — Martina McBride (2001)

Martina McBride‘s country hit “Blessed” is a tribute to the power of being surrounded by loved ones and reveling in thankful feelings. The memorable music video featured the singer’s real-life husband and daughters (aww!), which was perfectly fitting given the gorgeous lyrics about cherishing one’s family.

8. “Thank You for a Life” — Kris Kristofferson (2006)

In this song, Kris Kristofferson uses plainspoken language (opening with the line “Thank you for a life that I’d call happy”) to express gratitude for his family. Kristofferson described “Thank You for a Life” as “being sung to my wife but also to God” and said it represented how “In the end, it’s all love.” Now that’s a philosophy we can get behind!

9. “I’m Alive” — Willie Nelson (2008)

Now 90, Willie Nelson is a true survivor and is known for writing beautiful country songs about gratitude, and “I’m Alive” finds him reflecting on the journey he’s taken and how grateful he is for it.

While Nelson didn’t write the song, lyrics like “It’s so damn easy to say that life’s so hard/Everybody’s got their share of battle scars/As for me, I’d like to thank my lucky stars/That I’m alive and well” are perfectly suited to him. He’s grateful he’s made it this far — and so are we.

Related: Willie Nelson Songs: 15 of the Outlaw Country Icon’s Hits, Ranked & the Stories Behind Them

10. “Thank God for Hometowns” — Carrie Underwood (2012)

Few modern country singers are as powerful as Carrie Underwood. “Thank God for Hometowns” offers a nostalgic look back at the towns that made us — and that we may, at times, have taken for granted if we move out.

Underwood was born and raised in rural Oklahoma, and she connected to the lyrics instantly, saying that while she couldn’t wait to escape her small town as a kid, as an adult she came to realize what a blessing her background was.

Read on for more great country music!

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