Track of the Day: 'Alice's Restaurant Massacree'

Past TracksWe have a lot of music-related traditions at my family Thanksgiving. We sing a hymn instead of saying grace before the meal, and after dinner is over, we gather around my cousin Jesse's guitar and belt out our favorite selections from the Rise Up songbook.

But my favorite comes before the food, before the guests even arrive: when "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" by Arlo Guthrie comes on the radio at noon. My mom, dad, brother, and I are usually gathered in the kitchen, preparing hors d'oeuvres, arranging centerpieces, checking on the turkey in the oven.

The 18-minute-long song takes place on Thanksgiving and manages to skewer local government bureaucracy, protest the Vietnam draft, and celebrate group sing-a-longs. The best part of the song, though, is its simple, catchy chorus that embodies the inclusive, bountiful spirit of the holiday: "You can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant."



On iTunes: Arlo Guthrie / "Alice's Restaurant Massacree"

new track button.png
Presented by

Eleanor Barkhorn is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Entertainment

Just In