People To Thank This Thanksgiving: A Songwriter’s Perspective

thanksgiving from songtown songwriters


Being grateful and giving thanks is a discipline that I try to practice daily.

From a songwriting perspective, here are some things I believe all of us creative types need to be thankful for:

The Believers

My mom was a huge believer in me and my music.  When everyone else was telling me “no”, she encouraged me to keep on and told me how talented I was.  My wife believes in me and encourages me all the time.  Kim Williams believed in me and gave me my first shot in the music business. I have a publisher in town who has believed in me and challenged me to write better for more than 15 years now.  I am SO grateful for each of them because they kept (and keep) me going when I thought about quitting.

The Non-Believers

I have a LONG list of people who didn’t think I could make it in the music business.  Hundreds of times, they rejected my songs and me personally as a writer. Instead of giving up, they made me even more committed to proving them wrong.  A little bit of vindictive revenge can be a good thing.  I still see many of those people at industry functions and it is very sweet to shake their hands and share my accomplishments with them.

Anyone Who Will Listen

I believe songwriters should be thankful for anyone who will listen to their music.  From the casual fan who walks in to a writer’s night off the street to the uber fan who would buy anything we put out, we owe a debt to the people who listen to our music.  Without them, songwriting would be a thankless pursuit.  When they buy, stream or show up, they are validating what we do.

A Higher Power

Songwriting is a gift that not everyone is given.  Whatever your belief system, I would suggest that most of us believe that extra-ordinary abilities come from some source outside of ourselves.  Wherever you think that comes from, be thankful and grateful that you showed up on this planet with the skill set that allows you to create music that never existed before you arrived.

Your Support Team

Even if they are not real “believers” yet, most songwriters have a support team around us that includes spouses, significant others, children, and extended family.  Thank those people.  It’s not always easy to love a songwriter.  And it’s not always easy to help support one until they start making money.  I’m thankful for the people who supported me financially and emotionally while I chased this crazy dream.  I’d encourage you to give them a big hug or phone call and express your gratitude today.

Today, take a break from the music and just be thankful that you get to do what you do and show lots of love to the people around you who keep you going.

Blessings from SongTown ~Marty


Marty Dodson
Songwriter/Producer/Thankful Dude

Marty Dodson is a multi-hit songwriter, co-founder of SongTown, and co-author of  The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Cowriting and Song Building: Mastering Lyric Writing

56 thoughts on “People To Thank This Thanksgiving: A Songwriter’s Perspective

  1. I think I’ve been part of Songtown for 5 years now. Wow!! You all have Changed my whole life! Even my hometown! lol Not only have I gotten to take advantage of all the great classes, mentoring, retreats, Edge groups, video learning, and meeting such talented co-writers (that I’ve been abundantly blessed to write with), I’ve made amazing friendships and been able to pursue a craft that is stretching me and fulfilling me in new ways, everyday. I feel so fortunate to be on a path of “life long learning” and growth that I can’t help but be humbled and thankful for it. Heck, I’ve even gotten 10 cuts by other artists!! I’m so thankful for you, Marty and Clay and the Songtown team, behind the scenes, and that you had this dream, and keep expanding on it and making it even better all the time. I pray for your continued success and blessings everyday!

  2. The Thankful Songwriter’s Prayer

    Be thankful and grateful to God
    that you showed up on this planet
    with the skill set that allows you to create music
    that never existed before you arrived.

    Thanks for the inspiration! Happy Thanksgiving

  3. Thank you Marty for sharing your lifes lessons and your passion for songwriting. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  4. I am thankful for those who love and support me including you all. Marty, Clay, Sheridan and the rest of the Song Town members who make up this wonderful group of sincere and(a little) crazy folks, I like to think of as friends and if you will, loved ones. I feel your love in your support one critique and comment at a time. Yay, I got a crash course badge. And thanks for that too….B

  5. Love this, Marty. Thanks to you and Clay for providing this community of songwriters, and all you do each day to keep it going and thriving. Happy Thanksgiving to you both and your families!

  6. Thank you for your lovely blog Marty. I am thankful for you, Clay and Sheridan and all of the people that have supported my songwriting. God bless you!

  7. This Thanksgiving I am thankful for you, Marty, and Clay for the incredible amount of value you just give away to people like me who want to be good songwriters. I have learned so much from you two – and it solidifies my commitment to myself and to my family to dedicate myself to learning all I can to the craft of songwriting. Thank you so much for sharing your years of expertise and experience so that I and others in the Song Town community can improve our skills. What you provide is a gold mine for all of us.

  8. Thanks Marty for this great message! Thankful for you and Clay at Songtown and all the kindness and support you provide to us songwriters! God bless you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    Cari Lynn York

  9. Happy Thanksgiving, Marty and Clay!
    Everything said in your message, all of the above posts, and a special spotlight on the post by Gary Brown, I will ditto here. I feel very taken care of here and hope I can amplify all the cornucopia of blessings that are spread out before me every time I look at the array of courses, lessons and opportunities here on the website. I hope I can live up to the challenge.

  10. Such a great message, thank you. We do have a lot to be thankful for! I’m also grateful for my piano lessons when I was a kid, all my music teachers, books that have helped me, opportunities to play in bands, and the music and influences of other artists. Happy thanksgiving to all!

  11. Marty, this hit me right in the feels!!

    We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving over here in Ireland, but I’m printing this out and sticking it on my wall, as it’s something I need to remind myself of everyday!

    Thank you and Songtown for everything you’ve done for me in my musical journey so far.

  12. Marty,
    This is fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing. I am so incredibly grateful for you, Clay and all the wonderful people within our Songtown community.
    Blessing to you all for a safe and great holiday.
    Jude Toy

  13. When I scroll down the comments here and see all of the beautiful comments from so many beautiful creative people it is overwhelming. I’m eternally grateful for finally finding my tribe here at Songtown. Marty, you and Clay have touched and changed so many lives for the better, certainly mine. Thanks so much. Happy Thanksgiving.

  14. I appreciate your heart and transparency, Marty. I was actually brought to tears, as I can relate to much of what you described. You and Clay do a great job of encouraging and building up. Thank you for that. I am very grateful for the second chance I’m being given at Songtown after having left Nashville years ago. Happy Thanksgiving and God’s blessings!

  15. I give thanks for SongTown practically daily. Without a doubt I wouldn’t be the songwriter I am without you guys – from community to classes to personal contact I really appreciate everyone in my life bc of ST. Happy thanksgiving to you.

  16. Marty and Clay… I hope you both know how much you are loved. We appreciate and are thankful for all you do to keep our songwriting flame burning. You fuel our creativity in ways most of us could never have imagined. Thank you!!

  17. On a personal level, as well as songwriting, thanks to you, Clay, my co-writers, and all the ST peeps. Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.

  18. Thank you Marty for this beautiful post. As someone who had their dreams of becoming a recognised artist & songwriter cut short by a series of life’s events outside their control I still give thanks daily for the blessings I have in my life. I am also am a firm convert to that Garth song ‘Unanswered Prayers’. I just hit 60 and am re connecting with my music & songwriting – this time around I am blessed to have the total support of my wife & family and I can do this just for ME thus time. Nobody to please – except myself. Life works in mysterious ways. Thanks again to Marty and all at Songtown where EVERYONE is treated equally and wiry SO much respect.
    Here is my favourite gratitude quote

    “At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think about with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” – Albert Schweitzer

  19. I, too am thankful for “getting over myself” and finding the group at SongTown to help me grow and polish what I’ve always wanted to do. There’s been so much growth already and it’s only just begun. I LOVE the feeling when I’m writing, when something spills out of me and I have no power over how that made it to the page… but I know it was meant to be there! Thankful for these posts and encouraging words!

  20. Hi Marty and Clay! I also agree with you that any of our musical gifts do come from some kind of a higher power. I choose to call mine God, so I, from the bottom of my musical heart do thank you Marty for sharing this with us. Happy Thanksgiving! Duncan..

  21. Many thanks to you, Clay Mills, Clay Meyers, Michael and Jamie, the pseudonymous pro feedbackers, and all the others who have helped me improve my sonwrifing here at Songtoown.

  22. Marty Dobson, Thanks for sharing beautiful thoughts from your personal/professional life experiences. As President of Knoxville Songwriters Association, I can appreciate the inspiration, challenges, and victories associated with the craft of songwriting. Kim Williams was having songs critiqued at our KSA meetings before he took the bold step of entering the Nashville scene. Also, I appreciate Marty Dobson and Clay Mills for sharing inspirational facts and challenges during a songwriters’ workshop I attended. Happy Thanksgiving to all. // Edna Riddick

    1. Edna, I’d like to be in touch with you on a professional level. I’m in The Memphis Songwriters Association and I’ve worked in K-Ville a lot in the early 2000’s. I’m a bit of an, “in person,” musician who travels around the country and enjoys collaborating. The pandemic has forced me to be still and use the computer more so, idk, maybe we can write a tune together. I have a fun song about Knoxville that I just played for my husband. Cheers Everyone and have a
      Happy Thanksgiving fellow songwriters- Kim and Jim Duckworth

  23. Happy Thanksgiving Marty! I am grateful to you all and to the great friends that I have made through Songtown. Thank you for the gift of community and belonging.

  24. The Believers – Thank you SongTown members and Marty & Clay!
    The Non-Believers – Almost everyone else – maybe I’ll thank them when I’m on the other side of the mountain 🙂
    Anyone Who Will Listen – Thank you SongTown members and Marty & Clay!
    Higher Power – Thank you, Jesus. Please help me to get better and be able to devote more time to do this.
    Support Team – Thank you SongTown members and Marty & Clay!

    Also, thanks to my sons who do care about my love of songwriting and encourage me and are happy when I show them my successes like winning a song contest or getting a really good demo done. I also pray they continue their piano lessons through high school so they have a great skill that will help them immensely in life and if they decide to be songwriters as well.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everybody at SongTown!

  25. You and Clay are among the people for whom I’m grateful. You have given me a realistic perspective on what I need to do to get better as a songwriter, a boatload of helpful mentoring and instruction and a kind, friendly hand of support and encouragement. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.

  26. I love that message and am a firm believer that our gifts, whatever that may be, come from above!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

  27. Nice one, Marty. And Happy Thanksgiving to all my American cousins from a Canuck who isn’t gettin’ any turkey today. (Canadian Thanksgiving is in October.)

  28. Happy Thanksgiving Marty. Thank you for all the encouragement and helpful teachings you share with all of us here at Songtown. I feel like I know you even though we haven’t met yet. You’ve been very gracious to bare your soul in your attempt to make us all better song writers and to prepare us for that day we all hope for. That day when, we too, can make a living from our songs.

  29. All great “thankful” reminders. My piano teacher told me when I was about 11 years old, “You should let people listen to you play, even if you have to pay them!” Ha. I had no idea what she meant at the time, but it always stuck with me. She was trying to get me over my hesitancy to play in public. I’m still learning that lesson. I’m thankful for Songtown for helping me continue to “get over myself”. Hopefully I won’t have to pay anyone to listen for too much longer. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. I am grateful for Songtown and all the good you do for creative forces.
      Townes Van Zandt, when asked about how he got his songs, said the good ones he didn’t write, they were just given to him from above, it was just his goal to write them down 🙂

      1. Thank you so much for your insight. We are so thankful for you and the Song Town family.
        Everybody out there have a
        and be safe out there.

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