7 Songs for Thanksgiving

I consulted my memory and the internet and came up with this short list of songs for Thanksgiving.

1.  Over the River and Through the Woods

This song was originally a poem called “The New-England Boy’s Song About Thanksgiving Day,” written in 1844 by Lydia Maria Child. It was later set to a tune by a person or persons unknown. There are actually twelve verses of the poem that you can mix and match, but I like this version of the song that I found on YouTube.

 2.  Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep

This song was sung by Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney in the holiday movie White Christmas.

3.  Thanksgiving Prayer

Johnny Cash performed this song on an episode of the television show Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

4.  Thanksgiving Song

This is a contemporary song performed by Mary Chapin Carpenter, a country/folk/rock singer-songwriter.

5.  We Gather Together

This is a traditional hymn of Dutch origin. This version is performed by the group Celtic Woman.

6.  Grateful

This song was written and composed by John Bucchino and sung by Brian Stokes Mitchell.

7.  Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

This is my favorite harvest time and Thanksgiving hymn. This version is sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It is an English hymn written in 1844 by Henry Alford.

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Over the River and Through the Woods

This week I learned that the Thanksgiving song “Over the River and Through the Woods” comes from a poem written in the 1800s by an interesting woman named Lydia Maria Child.

Lydia Maria Child was a nineteenth-century American novelist, journalist, teacher, abolitionist, and women’s rights activist, among other things. Check out her Wikipedia page.

Sometime after her poem “The New-England Boy’s Song About Thanksgiving Day” was published in 1844, an unknown person set the words to a tune.

I think I’ll try to learn all the verses so that I can sing them in the car when I drive to join my family for Thanksgiving this year!

The New-England Boy’s Song About Thanksgiving Day

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!