Songs of Gratitude: Singing “Thank God I’m Alive!”

Songs of Gratitude: Singing “Thank God I’m Alive!”Jewish tradition places great value on gratitude, and music is a powerful way to express that gratitude. It is apropos, then, that among the December PJ Library music selections this month are four different renditions of the Modeh Ani prayer of thanks.

As the Talmudic sage Rabbi Meir once said, “A person is obliged to recite 100 blessings every day.” (Menachot 43b)

Traditionally, expressing gratitude begins first thing in the morning upon awakening with the recitation of the prayer Modeh Ani, which loosely translates to “Thank God I’m alive!” — a more literal translation might be, “I give thanks to you, God, for mercifully restoring my soul to me. Your faithfulness is great.”

This morning prayer has been the inspiration of many melodies. In turn, these songs provide meaningful and popular ways of expressing gratitude among adults and children alike.

Indeed, four of PJ Library music selections this month offer different renditions of the Modeh Ani prayer. They are:

Family Tree CD
Artist: Joanie Leeds
This CD has easy-to-learn songs with beautiful melodies that will capture the hearts and imagination of young children. The concepts of love and Tikkun Olam (caring for the Earth) are presented in ways sure to encourage a child’s sense of belonging to the community and booster self-confidence.
Jammin’ with Jew
Artist: Josh and the Jamtones
This is Josh and the Jamtones first PJ Library CD, a drumming, dancing, jiving and jammin’ experience.
Cool Water Records Uri Uri
Artist: Elana Jagoda
Producer: Cool Water Records
Produced by Jewish blues extraordinaire Saul Kaye, “Uri Uri” is Elana Jagoda’s creative fusion of musical styles that elegantly speaks to both kids and adults alike.
Sounds Like Summer 2 Compilation
“Modeh Ani”
Artist: Abbie Strauss
Producer: Jewish Rock Records
This compilation of songs includes songs taught and sung at Jewish overnight camps.