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A poem for Thanksgiving by Lydia Maria Child

The New-England Boys’ Song About Thanksgiving Day

  • The New-England Boys’ Song About Thanksgiving Day
  • Over the river and through the woods,
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 woods,
To Grandfather's house away!
We would not stop for doll or top,
For 'tis Thanksgiving Day.

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.

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,
When Grandmother sees us come,
She will say, "O, dear, the children are here,
Bring a pie for everyone."

Over the river and through the woods,
Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!
  • Over the river and through the woods,
With a clear blue winter sky,
The dogs do bark, and children hark,
As we go jingling by.

Over the river and through the woods,
To have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring, "Ting-a-ling-ding!",
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the woods,
No matter for winds that blow;
Or if we get the sleigh upset
Into a bank of snow

Over the river and through the woods,
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 woods,
Trot fast, my dapple-gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting-hound!
For 'tis Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the woods,
Old Jowler hears our bells.
He shakes his pow, with a loud bow-wow, 
And thus the news he tells.
Lydia Maria Child

Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) was an American writer and activist for many causes, including women’s rights, abolitionism, Native American rights, and opposition to American imperialism and expansionism. Yet, while popular in her time for her stories and novels, which often integrated her concerns as an activist, Child is best known for the poem that has become a perennial favorite around Turkey Day. The poem, now better known as “Over the River and Through the Wood,” was put to its equally familiar tune by an unknown musician. The final seven stanzas of the poem are not included in the song version.

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  • The New-England Boys’ Song About Thanksgiving Day
  • Over the river and through the woods,
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 woods,
To Grandfather's house away!
We would not stop for doll or top,
For 'tis Thanksgiving Day.

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.

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,
When Grandmother sees us come,
She will say, "O, dear, the children are here,
Bring a pie for everyone."

Over the river and through the woods,
Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!
  • Over the river and through the woods,
With a clear blue winter sky,
The dogs do bark, and children hark,
As we go jingling by.

Over the river and through the woods,
To have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring, "Ting-a-ling-ding!",
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the woods,
No matter for winds that blow;
Or if we get the sleigh upset
Into a bank of snow

Over the river and through the woods,
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 woods,
Trot fast, my dapple-gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting-hound!
For 'tis Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the woods,
Old Jowler hears our bells.
He shakes his pow, with a loud bow-wow, 
And thus the news he tells.
Lydia Maria Child

Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) was an American writer and activist for many causes, including women’s rights, abolitionism, Native American rights, and opposition to American imperialism and expansionism. Yet, while popular in her time for her stories and novels, which often integrated her concerns as an activist, Child is best known for the poem that has become a perennial favorite around Turkey Day. The poem, now better known as “Over the River and Through the Wood,” was put to its equally familiar tune by an unknown musician. The final seven stanzas of the poem are not included in the song version.

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