Don’t You Want to Thank Someone? (2012)

By

Happy Thanksgiving, Rabbit Roomers.

I’m writing this from Shiloh, my parents’ 150-year-old Florida Cracker house, where we Petersons plan to feast like vikings
in celebration of God’s goodness. My favorite song on the new record is called “Don’t You Want to Thank Someone,” the closest thing to a Thanksgiving song I’ve ever written, so I thought I’d give away a few downloads.

This first is of the acoustic demo (from The Lost Boy Demos, which is only available in the 2 disc deluxe edition). The second is a fairly embarrassing (for me, at least) soundboard bootleg of the song from one of the shows on the fall tour with Ben Shive and Colony House. I hope you like it in spite of my lumpy-throated singing toward the end. That song just got to me every night.

Click here to download the zip file.

Or you can listen here:

Don’t You Want to Thank Someone

Don’t You Want to Thank Someone

I’m grateful for so much, and somewhere near the top of that list is YOU. Thanks for supporting me and mine this year. I leave you with a roundup of Thanksgiving-ish thoughts from some of our favorite writers. If you have more, post away. Oh, and for the last few years I’ve posted a poem called “Thanksgiving: A Confession and a Plea to the Almighty”, which I’ve heard has been read aloud at family gatherings; strange but true. Here’s a link to the old post, should you be interested. Now let the authorly wisdom commence.
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G.K. Chesterton:

“The worst moment for an atheist is when he feels a profound sense of gratitude and has no one to thank.”

C.S. Lewis:

“Gratitude exclaims, very properly, ‘How good of God to give me this.’”

Annie Dillard:

“Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle, curved tunnels of leaf miners on the surface of a leaf. We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what’s going on here. Then we can at least wail the right question into the swaddling band of darkness, or, if it comes to that, choir the proper praise.”

Kate DiCamillo:

“Dear God, thank you for warm summer nights and candlelight and good food. But thank you most of all for friends. We appreciate the complicated and wonderful gifts you give us in each other. And we appreciate the task you put down before us, of loving each other the best we can, even as you love us. We pray in Christ’s name, Amen.”

Sally Lloyd-Jones:

“Behind what you were doing, underneath everything that was happening, God was doing something good. God was making everything right again.”

N.D. Wilson:

“What is the world? What is it for? It is an art. It is the best of all possible art, a finite picture of the infinite. Assess it like prose, like poetry, like architecture, sculpture, painting, dance, delta blues, opera, tragedy, comedy, romance, epic. Assess it like you would a Faberge egg, like a gunfight, like a musical, like a snowflake, like a death, a birth, a triumph, a love story, a tornado, a smile, a heartbreak, a sweater, a hunger pain, a desire, a fufillment, a desert, a waterfall, a song, a race, a frog, a play, a song, a marriage, a consummation, a thirst quenched. Assess it like that. And when you’re done, find an ant and have him assess the cathedrals of Europe.”

George MacDonald:

“To receive honestly is the best thanks for a good thing.”

Flannery O’Connor (on the deterioration of her body):

“I can, with one eye squinted, take it all as a blessing.”

J.R.R. Tolkien:

“Where there’s life there’s hope, and need of vittles.”

Thomas Merton:

“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.”

Frederick Buechner:

“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”

Wendell Berry (excerpt from his poem “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front”):

“Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.”

Marilynne Robinson:

“It has seemed to me sometimes as though the Lord breathes on this poor gray ember of Creation and it turns to radiance—for a moment or a year or the span of a life. And then it sinks back into itself again, and to look at it no one would know it had anything to do with fire, or light. Wherever you turn your eyes the world can shine like transfiguration. You don’t have to bring a thing to it except a little willingness to see. Only, who could have the courage to see it? Theologians talk about a prevenient grace that precedes grace itself and allows us to accept it. I think there must also be a prevenient courage that allows us to be brave – that is, to acknowledge that there is more beauty than our eyes can bear, that precious things have been put into our hands and to do nothing to honor them is to do great harm.”

Profile photo of Andrew Peterson

As a singer-songwriter and recording artist, Andrew has released more than ten records over the past fifteen years. His music has earned him a reputation for writing songs that connect with his listeners in ways equally powerful, poetic, and intimate. He has also followed his gifts into the realm of publishing. His books include the four volumes of the award-winning Wingfeather Saga.


30 Comments

  1. Paula Shaw

    The lumpy-throated singing is great, Andrew. I suffer from lumpy throated listening every time I hear this song. I love it so much. Thank you. Thank you! Thanks be to God! Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂

  2. Allyson Voller

    I love this song so much–I burst into tears almost every time I hear it. Yes, I do want to thank Someone. And I also thank you, for this song.

  3. Brenda Branson

    Andrew, thank you so very much for posting this song. I looked for it yesterday on YouTube so I could post it on http://facebook.com/brokenpeople for others to hear on Thursday. What a great gift to share!

    I can just imagine the laughter and stories that will be part of the feast at your family’s gathering. As I listen to this song (the lumpy-throated one!) on Thursday, I’m going to close my eyes and imagine holding hands with family and friends all over the world as we lift this song of praise and thanksgiving together to our generous and loving Father.

    Happy feasting!

  4. LauraP

    “Speak the truth, even when your voice shakes.” – Maggie Kuhn
    I love that you do.

    Happy Thanksgiving, AP, to you and all of yours. How grateful I am to know you.

    LP

  5. Loren

    Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Your words, and the words of these quoted, as well as the words of encouragement from Rabbit Roomers everywhere is something I am very thankful for!

  6. Kristy

    THANK YOU! You’re heart for God and all he has made has been a constant inspiration to me! I am finally realizing the dream God birthed in my heart years ago, and that he protected through calls to perseverance, but especially to thankfulness and to remembrance of what God has already done, which, among other venues, have come time and again through your music. Thank you for investing your talents for multiplication by and for the King! Blessings to you and yours today and always!
    -Kristy

  7. Carrie

    Thanks so much for this post, this music, and your honest, heart-felt, artistry. God has showered much grace on me through your music these last few months particularly.

  8. RonH

    FWIW, I can’t listen to that song without choking either, AP. One of the best songs ever. All the eschatology I need right there, baby…

  9. Wayne Miller

    Everyone knows the lumpy voice comes from giving it your all. Thanks, Andrew. I like that version! Happy thanksgiving (From Canada!).

  10. Jo Werner

    Your parents’ house? Aha! After years of listening to “Carried Along” we finally understand what “Shiloh” is about. Thanks for the enlightenment! Listening to that song right now, and it makes so much more sense!

  11. dawngreen

    AP,
    Thanking you for writing this song seems so little, when it has given all of us so much. In a year that has held heartbreak and loss comes a song of Eternal Graciousness.
    I imagine choirs of choked-up singers all across the world this week—none of us get through those last verses without realizing the majesty of a “swirling storm of cherubim” and every beauty we perceive before the Reckoning and EverAfter.
    I am eternally thankful for this community you have gathered together. God’s richest blessings on you and yours. And unto all of us.

  12. Susan

    Agreeing with those just above me – DG mentioned the “swirling storm of cherubim” line, and that one chokes me up again and again. Imagining the worship that He is so worthy of — and the hope of the Kingdom coming in full – the words and music touch my soul every time.

    I too love the length of this wonderful song – it sweeps me along with it and blesses my heart and encourages me to keep on thanking Him, no matter what the day may bring.

    Thank you, and God bless you and yours at this special time of year.

  13. Jaclyn

    We’ll take ya with all yur lumps, and with much love.

    Also, this reminds me of the Illinois show where we all cheered at the encore =) It was a wonderful moment, friend.

  14. Jerry

    My favorite also. Yes, I want to thank someone for penning the song and bringing it to life! Enjoyed seeing you at the Cup of Joy in Green Bay earlier this fall. My wife and I are sure to come enjoy your music whenever you decide to come up to WI. Also a big shout out to Ben. The two of you compliment each others talents so well it’s amazing. Keep up the good work!

    Most of all, Thanks be to God for your music ministry.

  15. Gary

    We have much to be thankful for even when life is hard. I am so thankful for God, family, this RR community, and the music & stories that speak to the deep places of my heart. God is good…

  16. Roy

    The ‘live’ track is probably the closest I’ll ever get to your concert. The song got to me too and I thank God for it.

  17. Greg

    Andrew,
    Just finished Monster in the Hollows today. Thank you for your story. My son is now 17 months old, and I am happily stocking my bookshelves with treasures I know he will enjoy when the time comes.

    All the best,
    Greg Pyne

  18. Peter B

    Jo: yeah, how about that! There’s always some new bit of wonder to be uncovered around here. I remember when that album came out; apparently I have 94.9FM in Dallas to thank for my introduction to AP 🙂

    Andrew, thank you for continuing to fight the fight with strength.

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