“My Thanksgiving” – Don Henley


Don Henley is one of those rare artists who has achieved huge success as part of a band – The Eagles, and as a solo artist.  He is truly blessed with exceptional talent.  While the music is always good, I’ve found it to be more of a backdrop of what he wants to communicate.  Very few artists write lyrics that are this thoughtful and deep.  It also usually easy to hear and understand what he is saying which is an underappreciated talent especially from someone who is obviously so well read and intelligent.

Don has always come across to me as a serious and intense man who uses his art as a platform to provide social commentary and navigate the complexities of life.  Sometimes he borders on the cynical, yet he is also capable of providing hope and inspiration through his music.   When I first heard this particular song, “My Thanksgiving,” I was impressed by how it was structured. It appears to start out as a conversation with a long lost close friend (possibly as an attempt at reconciliation) and ends as an inner dialogue with himself about certain life lessons and his many blessings.  There is the overall sense of a man finally coming to grips with his place in life and the wisdom and perspective gained through aging and experience.  I felt the lyrics were worth sharing:

A lot of things have happened
Since the last time we spoke
Some of them are funny
Some of ’em ain’t no joke
And I trust you will forgive me
If I lay it on the line
I always thought you were a friend of mine

Sometimes I think about you
I wonder how you’re doing now
And what you’re going through

The last time I saw you
We were playing with fire
We were loaded with passion
And a burning desire
For every breath, for every day of living
And this is my Thanksgiving

Now the trouble with you and me, my friend
Is the trouble with this nation
Too many blessings, too little appreciation
And I know that kind of notion—well, it just ain’t cool
So send me back to Sunday school
Because I’m tired of waiting for reason to arrive
It’s too long we’ve been living
These unexamined lives

I’ve got great expectations
I’ve got family and friends
I’ve got satisfying work
I’ve got a back that bends
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

Have you noticed that an angry man
Can only get so far
Until he reconciles the way he thinks things ought to be
With the way things are

Here in this fragmented world, I still believe
In learning how to give love, and how to receive it
And I would not be among those who abuse this privilege
Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge

And I don’t mind saying that I still love it all
I wallowed in the springtime
Now I’m welcoming the fall
For every moment of joy
Every hour of fear
For every winding road that brought me here
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

For everyone who helped me start
And for everything that broke my heart
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

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About robined

Ed Robinson is an Executive Coach, Management Consultant, Teacher, Writer and Music Lover.
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