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Thanksgiving Piano Duet

Updated: Oct 20, 2022

October 13, 2021


fall-path-woods

In many ways, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. To me, this holiday is one of the purest in the sense there is no “getting” involved, only the giving of gratitude to God. So many American holidays are now shrouded with intense materialism which steals away the true meaning of these special days.


Some of my best childhood memories surround Thanksgiving, and I will never forget one special Thanksgiving. We traveled the long ten hour trek from South Carolina to visit my grandmother in rural Ohio, passing scenic pastures and majestic barns of yesteryear all along the way. As soon as we entered the door of my grandmother’s house, my mom and I unpacked all the food necessary for a feast and began cooking like mad! My grandmother’s kitchen lacked modern space and convenience, but that lack just fueled our creativity as we made do with what we could find. That thanksgiving was one of the best I remember and ended up being one of the last with my grandmother.


Another fond memory of Thanksgiving was the year my spunky and joyful Aunt Sandy introduced me to the hymn, Come Ye Thankful People. Aunt Sandy printed copies for everybody, and we song this lovely hymn during our thanksgiving time together. I remember attempting to plunk this hymn out on Aunt Sandy’s organ (which was then housed in grandma’s back bedroom). I remember being spellbound by the simple beauty of this hymn written by Henry Alford in 1844.


Come, ye thankful people, come,

Raise the song of harvest home;

All is safely gathered in,

Ere the winter storms begin.

God our Maker doth provide

For our wants to be supplied;

Come to God’s own temple, come,

Raise the song of harvest home.


The first verse of this hymn speaks of an era unknown to me of a time and place when life and death literally lay in the harvest. Harvest, to these hardworking forefathers, was not a time of gathering pumpkins and apples for fun, but rather their very food supply depended on the harvest crop. In the seeds they carefully gathered lay the tiny unseen lives of next year’s crop and eventual harvest. Though my survival is not bound to any crop I produce (thankfully! All we would have to eat would be flowers.), may I see God’s abundant hand providing all of my needs so graciously.


To honor my favorite holiday, I have written a piano duet of “Come Ye Thankful People.”

This joyful intermediate two piano/four hand arrangement is perfect for the sacred setting and will be a refreshing addition to any Thanksgiving service or prelude. The use of triplets throughout the duet creates a lilting affect that will leave the listeners humming the tune.


As we enter this season of Thanksgiving, I hope you will not rush ahead to Christmas but will take time to ponder the blessings in your life and give praise to God!


-Ashley


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