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Traditional Thanksgiving Songs

We all knows dozens of Christmas carols and holiday songs, but what about Thanksgiving? The only song that comes to mind is, “Over The River And Through The Wood”.

horse and wagon
Johannes Simon, Getty Images News

So who actually wrote it, and what are the words? According to Wikipedia:

“Over the River and Through the Wood” 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 original title of the poem is, “A Boy’s Thanksgiving Day”. It celebrates her childhood memories of visiting her Grandfather’s House. Lydia Maria Child was a novelist, journalist, teacher, and wrote extensively about the need to eliminate slavery.

And, in case you want to sing a round of “Over The River And Through The Wood” around your Thanksgiving table, here are the original lyrics according to hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com:

“1. 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.

2. Over the river, and through the wood,

to Grandfather’s house away!

We would not stop for doll or top,

for ’tis Thanksgiving Day.

3. 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.

4. Over the river, and through the wood.

with a clear blue winter sky,

The dogs do bark and the children hark,

as we go jingling by.

5. Over the river, and through the wood,

to have a first-rate play.

Hear the bells ring, “Ting a ling ding!”

Hurray for Thanskgiving Day!

6. 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.

7. Over the river, and through the wood,

to see little John and Ann;

We will kiss them all, and play snowball

and stay as long as we can.

8. Over the river, and through the wood,

trot fast my dapple gray!

Spring over the ground like a hunting-hound!

For ’tis Thanksgiving Day.

9. 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!

10. Over the river, and through the wood-

Old Jowler hears our bells;

He shakes his paw with a loud bow-wow,

and thus the news he tells.

11. Over the river, and through the wood-

when Grandmother sees us come,

She will say, “O, dear, the children are here,

bring pie for everyone.”

12. Over the river, and through the wood-

now Grandmothers cap I spy!

Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?

Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!”

Read: Christmas On Main Street Presented By Adironack Scenic Railroad Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 At Union Station

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