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Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Thanksgiving Poem by Lydia Marie Child


"Over the River and through the Woods" is a Thanksgiving song by Lydia Maria Child. Written originally as a poem, it appeared in her Flowers for Children, Volume 2, in 1844. The title of the poem is, "A Boy's Thanksgiving Day". It celebrates her childhood memories of visiting her Grandfather's House


It is sometimes presented with lines about Christmas, rather than Thanksgiving. For instance, the line "Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!" becomes "Hurrah for Christmas Day!". (from Wikipedia).

Over the river, and through the wood,
To Grandfather's house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.
Over the river, and through the wood,
To Grandfather's house away!
We would not stop for doll or top,
For this is Thanksgiving Day.
Over the river, and through the wood—
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose
As over the ground we go.
Over the river, and through the wood,
With a clear blue winter sky,
The dogs do bark, and children hark,
As we go jingling by.
Over the river, and through the wood,
To have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring, "Ting-a-ling-ding",
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!
Over the river, and through the wood,
No matter for winds that blow,
Or if we get the sleigh upset
Into a bank of snow
Over the river, and through the wood,
To see little John and Ann.
We will kiss them all, and play snow-ball,
And stay as long as we can.
Over the river, and through the wood
Trot fast, my dapple-gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting-hound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day.
Over the river, and through the wood—
And straight through the barnyard gate,
We seem to go extremely slow,
It is so hard to wait!
Over the river, and through the wood,
Old Jowler hears our bells.
He shakes his pow, with a loud bow-wow,
And thus the news he tells.
Over the river, and through the wood,
When Grandmother sees us come,
She will say, "Oh, dear, the children are here,
Bring a pie for everyone."
Over the river, and through the wood—
Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie! *****************************
Today is the first Thanksgiving in 28 years (for me, longer for Mark) that we won't be heading to "Grandmother's House" for Thanksgiving. Instead we are off to Tom and Julie's (Tom is Mark's youngest brother) but "grandmother" will be there, so all is well.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!!   Photo of turkeys by Ken Thomas (KenThomas.us (personal website of photographer)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

3 comments:

Robin J. Steinweg said...

I'm glad to hear the real deal, Lori. The version(s) I grew up with all say "to Grandmother's house we go"--not Grandfather's. So many verses, too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the informative article, it was a good read and I hope its ok that I share this with some facebook friends. Thanks.

The Prude said...

My folks knew and sang almost all the verses, but there are at least 3 I never saw before.
Thanks for this!
(We make sure to keep it a Thanksgiving song- we figure Christmas has enough already without snatching one of the few measly Thanksgiving ones)