Over The River And Through The Wood

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate it. I thought this would be a cool traditional song/poem to trace back.

“Over the River and Through the Wood” was originally published in 1844 as a poem written by Lydia Maria Child. It celebrates Lydia’s childhood memories of visiting her grandparents.

The poem was published in her book of poems called Flowers for ChildrenVolume 2, and was originally titled “The New-England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day.” The poem was set to music by an unknown composer, and over the years many children have grown up singing the song in school or community holiday programs.

The song became popular after the Civil War. By the turn of the century it was a classroom standard.

The house of which she wrote, Grandfather’s House (the Paul Curtis House), is located at 114 South Street in Medford, Massachusetts. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

The original poem by Lydia Maria Child.

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 ‘t 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,
    Hurra 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 grey!
        Spring over the ground,
        Like a hunting hound,
    For ‘t is Thanksgiving day!

Over the river, and through the wood,
    And straight through the barn-yard 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 every one.

Over the river, and through the wood —
    Now grandmother’s cap I spy!
        Hurra for the fun!
        Is the pudding done?
    Hurra for the pumpkin pie!

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

5 thoughts on “Over The River And Through The Wood”

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