International Thank You Day: How to say 'danke' in song

8 great songs to say thank you

ABBA, 'Thank You for the Music'

The mega-successful Swedish pop group didn't pine for a past love or salute their fans in their thank-you song. They rather smiled on the pure joy of singing: "Without a song or a dance, what are we? So I say thank you for the music, for giving it to me…" The hit song was released in 1977 on their fifth studio album, ABBA - the Album.

8 great songs to say thank you

Ariana Grande, 'Thank U, Next'

"One taught me love, One taught me patience, And one taught me pain…." Ariana Grande's 2018 pop song about her exes was not only enormously successful, "Thank U, Next" also sparked thousands of hilarious memes, as Twitter users combined three pictures of related content to symbolize the different former boyfriends.

8 great songs to say thank you

The Beatles, 'Thank you Girl'

The B-side of the single "From Me To You" in 1963 was a song the Beatles meant as a tribute for the many girls who wrote the Fab Four countless fan letters: "You made me glad when I was blue, And eternally I'll always be in love with you, And all I gotta do is thank you girl, Thank you girl."

8 great songs to say thank you

Brenda Lee, 'Danke Schoen'

"Danke Schoen, Thank you for all the joy and pain…" The 1960s pop song "Danke Schoen" is a bittersweet love song, as in the end "we go on our separate ways." Bert Kaempfert composed the song, with the lyrics originally all in German. Brenda Lee's version of the popular song is from her 1964 album, By Request.

8 great songs to say thank you

Alanis Morissette, 'Thank U'

"Thank you disillusionment, Thank you frailty, Thank you consequence, Thank you thank you silence." The Canadian singer said she was inspired to write the 1998 song at a time when she took many months off from work and was, finally, "silent, and I breathed." The music video was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2000 Grammy Awards.

8 great songs to say thank you

Die Ärzte, 'Danke für jeden guten Morgen'

In 1998, the punk band from Berlin Die Ärzte satirized a very well-known German Protestant Church song from the early 1960s that generations of Protestant children have belted out. The band left unchanged the six verses, addressing and thanking God for, among other things, "this good morning, for every new day," but also giving thanks for "my workplace."

8 great songs to say thank you

Led Zeppelin, 'Thank You'

Classic rock, the British rock group's beautiful love song entitled "Thank You" never actually uses the two words, but expresses gratitude and love in every line: "For you to me are the only one." The 1969 song is on the band's second studio album. Singer Robert Plant wrote the song as a tribute to his wife.

8 great songs to say thank you

ZZ Top, 'I Thank You'

"You didn't have to love me like you did, But you did, but you did. And I thank you…" In 1979, the US rock band ZZ Top released a captivating cover version of "I Thank You," originally released by the American Soul / R&B duo Sam and Dave 11 years earlier. Bonnie Raitt, Tom Jones and Bon Jovi also recorded their version of the track.

January 11 marks International Thank You Day. From ABBA to ZZ Top, we look at the best songs expressing gratitude and revisit the most common ways to say "danke schön" in German.

"Thank you" is something most people say every day. But the simple words of gratitude are celebrated around the world every year on January 11. 

The day was created in 1994 by American "eventologist" Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith, who claims to have created more than 1,900 "holidates" over the past 30 years. 

Music to say danke 

To inspire you on this special day, we have looked into songs that say thanks, whether sincerely or ironically, and often with a touch of nostalgia. The gallery above highlights some of them while our Spotify list below offers more titles, from Ariana Grande to Led Zeppelin.

A classic among them that'll get you swinging on a happy note for the rest of the day was performed by American singer Brenda Lee, Lee's cute American pronunciation of the words "danke schön" is bound to make any German smile.

Lee's interpretation might also inspire you to brush up your German vocabulary to say thanks.

Here are a few options:

- Danke is the most basic way to say thanks.

- Danke schön, literally "beautiful thanks," and danke sehr ("thanks a lot") are a variation adding a touch of formality to the initial form.

- Vielen Dank, or "many thanks," is often used in written and is even more formal than the above.

- Ich danke dir! / Ich danke Ihnen! is "I thank you," using the informal and the formal declinations of you.

- Tausend Dank, "thousand thanks," is the idiomatic equivalent of the English "thanks a million."

If you want to go all the way to demonstrate your sincere gratitude, the options Vielen Herzlichen Dank and Herzliches Dankeschön refer to "heartfelt thanks."

And then, when you say danke, Germans might well answer with the same word they used to say please: bitte — but that's another story.