A Classic Thanksgiving Song

Nov 21, 2019
 

“Over the River and Through the Woods”

Though many people think of this as a Christmas song, it is actually a classic Thanksgiving song! This was originally a poem entitled “New England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day” by Lydia Marie Child (back in 1844). 

Who doesn’t love the thought of bundling up for a sleigh ride to Grandma’s house! When we sing this, we like to take a sleigh ride: We “get dressed” first - we know it’s cold and snowy outside, so we pretend to put on our coat, mittens, scarf, hat, and boots. We hop in the sleigh (lap), say hi to the horsies, and bounce and sing while we ring our bells.

The second half of the song offers an opportunity to “blow” like the wind, and to squeeze those cute little toes and noses.

Over the river and through the woods,

To grandmother'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 woods,

Oh, how the wind does blow!

It stings the toes and bites the nose,

As over the ground we go.

Of course there are many more verses, but as you know - short and sweet is usually best for kiddos, so we usually stop here (and repeat a billion times). If you have an ambitious singer, or just want to enjoy it as a poem, here is a link to the wiki article that includes the author's original text.  The version we included we find the most kid-friendly and singable. I personally love how it captures such pure, childlike excitement (“Hurrah for fun! Is the pudding done? Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!”).  Isn’t it fun to experience the holidays with our bright-eyed little ones? We hope this song brings a bit of joy to your family, this Thanksgiving holiday!

Over the River and Through the Woods

Thanksgiving Song
Over the river and through the woods,
To grandmother's house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh,
Thru the white and drifted snow, oh!

 

 Over the river and thru the woods,
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

 

 Over the river and thru the wood,
To have a first-rate play;
Oh, hear the bell ring, "Ting-a-ling-ling!"
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day-ay!

 

 Over the river and thru the woods,
Trot fast my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting hound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day!

 

 Over the river and through the woods,
And straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go extremely slow,
It is so hard to wait!

 

 Over the river and through the woods,
Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!
 
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