Over the River, and through the Wood

Who knew this poem-cum-song was about Thanksgiving? “A Boy’s Thanksgiving Day,” as the piece was originally entitled, was written by Lydia Maria Child in the mid-19th century.

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 ’tis 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 the 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!” 
Hurray for Thanskgiving 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 snowball 
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 ’tis 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 paw 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, “O, dear, the children are here, 
bring pie for everyone.”

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!

EQB