Thanksgiving Morning: Alice's Restaurant Edition

It's a great Thanksgiving tradition. Radio stations around the country today will play the 18 minute version of Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant, recorded in 1967.

Should you miss it on your local radio station and yearn for the original version, you can listen here (and read the lyrics too.) [Update: that link doesn't seem to be working yet today, try here.]

If you're wondering where Alice is, she's here.
Does anyone besides me still have a hardcover edition of her 1969 Alice's Restaurant cookbook in their kitchen? (Photo here.) It's filled with tasty recipes and very easy instructions.

This is an open thread.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Love this song. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 12:38:02 AM EST

    Thanks for posting this (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Amiss on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 01:04:59 AM EST
    It sure does bring back many many memories :)

    I played it every year (none / 0) (#20)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 11:20:41 AM EST
    for the kidlets.  That is why they are warped.  

    "I wanna kill, kill, kill"  was their favorite.  Hmmm!!


    when I was in high school (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by kempis on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 06:04:22 AM EST
    back in 71-72 I had a friend who looked and sounded like Arlo Guthrie. Well, like a cross between Arlo and Charles Manson, really. But Bill was a sweet and talented guy who would serenade us all on demand with "Alice's Restaurant" on many strawberry candle scented, tie-dyed and blacklit evenings.

    I love this song. Thank you for the links. I'll be doing some shopping at Alice's Studio. :)


    I have it on vinyl (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by ruffian on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 06:16:42 AM EST
    And I still have a turntable.  My own tradition for when I miss it on the radio.

    Have a great day everyone!!!

    After the Four Tops concert at GW (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by cpa1 on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 07:07:55 AM EST
    The next best concert was two years ago when Donovan was here on Long Island and he sang EVERYTHING he did and as I type now there is a BMW (oops no it was Mass Mutual) commercial with my favorite, "Catch The Wind" which of course had lots of meaning for me bu besides that, a great song.

    The music of that era was the best and I too have the vinyl of Alice's Restaurant.  I also have the double album by Arlo and Pete Seeger, a treasure.  Arlo made his dad Woody very proud.  He sang everything well.  I can only remember "Alice's Restaurant" and the legendary Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans."

    Do you remember that Alice's Restaurant is the exact duration as the gap in Nixon's "Watergate Tapes?"

    Thanks giving for Jeralyn, BTD abd TChris (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by koshembos on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 07:22:10 AM EST
    Although way to the left of you, a Cesar Chavez Democrat, thanks for the decent, honest and sometime heart felt posting all those years.

    Let's hope the country will get asap out of the black hole we are in. Let's hope that everyone who wants it and able to work will happy a decent meal and a roof over their head.

    A very happy Thanksgiving to you all - (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by snstara on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 07:38:27 AM EST
    I've been here a relatively short time, but you feel like extended family!

    And, yeah, this song always cracks me up whenever I hear it!  Another fine T-Day tradition! ;)

    Yes, we have a hard copy edition (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by macwiz12 on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 09:11:48 AM EST
    of the cookbook and a recording on vinyl. My wife of 38 years bought both before we were married on Thanksgiving Day in 1970. We also have a clipping about Alice from the Washington Post printed in 1978.

    Had I known that littering could have kept me out of the draft, I  might have tried that instead of joining the Navy and serving on two deployments to the Tonkin Gulf.

    One thing I noticed is that the link to play the song is supposed to be enabled today but is not.

    Happy Thanksgiving (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 10:28:28 AM EST
    to Jeralyn TChris, John Hall and TL readers.

    Everyone else can go to hell . . .  (just kidding.)

    Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!

    I am very thankful for (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by NMvoiceofreason on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 10:35:42 AM EST

    Creator and Principal Author

        * Jeralyn E. Merritt


        * T. Christopher Kelly
        * Armando Llorens (AKA Big Tent Democrat)

    TL Alumni

        * John Wesley Hall

    And for everyone who comments here, whether we agree or not. I thank everyone especially for putting up with me, as I can be a royal pain.

    Best wishes for you and your loved ones.


    Happy Thanksgiving everyone! (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by lilburro on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 12:14:03 PM EST
    Thanks to Jeralyn, BTD, TChris and everyone else for keeping this place hoppin'.

    One tidbit about Arlo Guthrie - my dad was briefly 'related' to him when Arlo married his older stepsister.  Arlo played table tennis with him and gave him some records.  Unfortunately stepdad and grandma went their separate ways and I never met Arlo :(

    Facebook Petition: Obama: Fix U.S. Drug Policy! (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Ben Masel on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 02:42:03 PM EST

    To: President-elect Obama

         We petition that...

    When you called the War on Drugs an "utter failure" in 2004, you were right. A 2008 Zogby poll found that 3 out of 4 of Americans agree with you.

    When appointing the head of your Office of National Drug Control Policy, please select someone with health, science, or education credentials rather than a military general, law enforcement official, or "tough on drugs" politician. The next "Drug Czar" should base policy on proven methodology rather than counterproductive ideology. At a minimum, he or she should support these measures:

    *Ending the racially unjust disparity in sentencing for crack and powder cocaine.

    *Ending the practice of prosecuting patients in states with medical marijuana laws.

    *Eliminating the federal law that denies financial aid to students with drug convictions.

    We all know that the War on Drugs is failing because handcuffs don't cure addictions -- doctors do. You have the opportunity to bring us the change we need. Will you?
    The Undersigned


    I didn't know this (none / 0) (#34)
    by nycstray on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 10:04:43 PM EST
    *Eliminating the federal law that denies financial aid to students with drug convictions.

    If that isn't flat out stupid, I don't know what is. My niece had drug problems, I think only juv offenses, but she went through rehab, has always been a good worker and is now back in school working on her nursing degree. Her uncle is helping with tuition. I'll have to ask her about financial aid.

    Why anyone would stop bright productive people from improving their lives after taking the wrong path is a mystery to me. My niece is very good with home care patients she works with and is/will be quite an asset to others in the future.


    Just listened to it for the first time today (none / 0) (#9)
    by joanneleon on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 09:37:13 AM EST
    with my boys.  Good old WMMR, 93.3 in Phila.

    We sang it, loud, cause we want to end the war.

    I guess we're part of the movement.

    Happy Thanksgiving, all.

    Another Thanksgiving fun thing... (none / 0) (#10)
    by magster on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 09:44:02 AM EST
    ...is to find this Cheers! Thanksgiving episode on cable (or now youtube)

    If you want a cookbook of your own (none / 0) (#11)
    by Radiowalla on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 09:50:45 AM EST
    you can buy one here on EBay for $45..

    Alice's Restaurant Tradition / Macy's Parade (none / 0) (#12)
    by Addison on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 09:57:55 AM EST
    I work in the same building as a radio station, and was told (a little tongue in cheek, of course) that the "Alice's Restaurant" tradition started because it was so long it gave the DJ a chance to scarf down a whole bunch of Thanksgiving food.

    I haven't watched the Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade in  years. What a weird thing this is.

    Help. (none / 0) (#14)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 10:31:10 AM EST
    The link to downloadable song doesn't work (the link is there, but says "music only available on Thanksgiving").

    Anyone else have a source for an MP3 of this?  I want to stick it on a flash drive and play it for my kids as we're driving this afternoon.

    an MP3 version (none / 0) (#17)
    by NMvoiceofreason on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 10:54:07 AM EST
    Alice's Restaurant

    ...but the copy I got was supposed to be 17.0Mb, ended up 14.1Mb, 15:23 instead of 18:00.

    The upside is that's 15 min more than you have now.


    Coming up soon (none / 0) (#16)
    by CoralGables on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 10:51:13 AM EST
    For those here now and unable to find the full version it will play in 10 minutes.


    Just click the Listen Live

    I hadn't really wondered where (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 11:05:12 AM EST
    Alice is now, but--such an interesting life.  As she says, I've done many things, including running that restaurant.

    Happy T'Day (none / 0) (#19)
    by squeaky on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 11:08:09 AM EST
    Alice's Restaurant is a nice marker. Nostalgic.  

    Enjoy, all.

    Now, for a rousing chorus of (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 11:31:30 AM EST
    "We plow the fields and scatter, the good seed on the land."

    Hadn't Heard That One (none / 0) (#24)
    by squeaky on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 11:47:25 AM EST
    Seems like it would be better for springtime, imo. Do farmers plant stuff in November too?

    Looks like this German hymn predates (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 11:58:03 AM EST
    Lincoln's Thanksgiving proclamation.  Now I'm thinking of all the hymns we Midwestern Protestants sang at the community service on Thanksgiving morning.  In a Methodist church, no less.

    We plow the fields and scatter

    Apparently a recording artist named Stephen Scwartz claimed this lyric for his own.

    P.S.  Erica Jong has a funny, nostalgic column on Huff Post.  She includes Hillary Clinton in her list of people for whom she is grateful.


    I See (none / 0) (#26)
    by squeaky on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 12:11:03 PM EST
    The sowing bit was a prelude to harvest. Did not get that far when I googled the tune. Makes sense as a t'day song now. Bet they were singin this to the injuns back when.

    Did you see this op ed in yesterday's (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 12:18:30 PM EST
    NYT?  Apparently my education alot of revisionist history.  



    And Then There Is THis (none / 0) (#29)
    by squeaky on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 12:37:03 PM EST
    Vikings in North America before the 1300's

    Did not know about the Huguenots. Too bad, I guess.


    See the movie "Queen Margot" (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 01:16:54 PM EST
    with Vincent Perez.

    P.S.  I miss Buchwald today.


    Thanks to all and for everything!! (none / 0) (#21)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 11:22:06 AM EST
    Kept some of us from going off to the loonie bin.  

    Did you get a chance to read (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 11:29:56 AM EST
    this DK diary BTD linked to yesterday?  



    No, (none / 0) (#30)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 12:39:19 PM EST
    I will go to the Orange because you told me.  Here I go.  

    I didn't think (none / 0) (#33)
    by CoralGables on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 08:41:18 PM EST
    the version from the link was in the same league as the original until it got to the added part with Clinton, Carter, and Nixon and that was flat out funny.

    For those looking for a little TV Thanksgiving memory, WKRP may have been the best. You can watch part of it here


    Alice's restaurant (none / 0) (#35)
    by calvin on Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 11:00:06 PM EST
    Alas, the cookbook, complete with kidley bean joke, went missing during one of many moves over the years. First heard the song in NYC (The Village Gate?) many, many years ago.  Laughed my head off while trying to explain to my now spouse about the traffic cop in front of the Red Lion Inn, the blind judge in Lee and the weird little restaurant in Stockbridge that we poor people frequented in the mid-60s.

    Every noon on Thanksgiving Day for many, many years a radio station in the Boston area plays the song.  We timed it perfectly today.  Drove into my brother's driveway just as the song ended.

     I worry a little that the horror at the mere thought of war exemplified in the song  might have been lost somehow in our eagerness to support our soldiers in their current conflicts. I've sort of lost track of Arlo. Maybe it's time for him to prod us into awareness again of what war really means.