Saturday essay: 'Over the river ...'
Consider it the lost song of Thanksgiving.
For more than a few generations, “Over the River and Through the Wood” — yes, “wood,” not “woods” — pretty much was standard fare in the grade school chorus this time of year.
And while maybe a few of us actually had the family singalong on the way to our Thanksgiving feast, more than a few of us likely hummed it to ourselves as we made the trip.
Many of you remember how the song goes:
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.
Lydia Marie Child was responsible for the 1844 poem “A Boy's Thanksgiving Day,” later put to music. But the song pretty much has been lost to history, never heard on the radio now or, with “Christmas Day” inserted, only very seldom during the annual Christmas music juggernaut (and then likely only by such highbrow artists as the Chipmunks).
A few years back, Kim Ruehl at About.com speculated that the song typically was relegated to children's records “because adults don't typically sing Thanksgiving songs” and it didn't get much notice.
Indeed, “Over the River ...” likely would get more traction as a Christmas song these days. And given the fond memories so many have of it, you'd think somebody out there could make it the “standard” it deserves to be.
— Colin McNickle
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Zimbabwe alleges Murrysville doctor illegally killed lion
- Rossi: Looking at the next great Steeler
- Ability to clog the trenches crucial to Steelers defense
- Steelers swap draft pick for Eagles cornerback
- After early criticism, Haley has Steelers offense poised to be even better
- Penguins not alone in top-heavy approach to salary cap
- EPA diktats: Pushing back
- Shell shovels millions into proposed Beaver County plant site
- Starting 9: Examining Pirates’ deadline decisions
- Steelers notebook: Injuries finally become issue at training camp
- Pirates notebook: New acquisition Happ more than happy to fill spot in rotation