Music editor Sigmund Spaeth (1885-1965) can tell you.
According to his obituary, Sigmund Spaeth turned his love of music and his uncanny ability to track down the origins of a tune or phrase
…into a profitable career after it became apparent to him that he could not make it as a professional musician.
In his regular column “Music for Everybody” on 22 November 1953, he commented on some favorite old Thanksgiving songs.
“Now Thank We All Our God”
According to Spaeth, this tune was probably composed by “a German organist named Johann Cruger” and the “words ‘Nun danket alle Gott’ were written by a contemporary poet, Martin Rinkart.”
Listen to the song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42ZqYk1YwRA
“Prayer of Thanksgiving”
This is probably the most sung and recognized of the Thanksgiving hymns. It begins “We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing.”
Listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeBWmU0tx6A
“We Plow the Fields” & “Come Ye Thankful People, Come”
Listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msOzJ6DY7EA
“Bringing in the Sheaves”
Listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u67Lb1RyXTU
What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving hymns? Share them with us in the comments section below.