Over the River and Through the Woods

By Sr. Christina M. Neumann

What is the most famous Thanksgiving song?  Most of us think of “Over the River and Through the Woods.”

This song actually has a special significance for St. Anne’s.

When I was working in Rugby, North Dakota, we used to spend our Thanksgiving weekend with our Sisters at St. Anne’s in Grand Forks.  The above-mentioned song was very apropos for us, for we were going to “Grandmother’s house.”  You see, St. Anne, the patroness of this facility is, in fact, the grandmother of Jesus.

This beloved and appropriate song actually originated as a poem.  According to one folk music source, it was first published in 1844 by slavery abolitionist, poet and novelist Lydia Marie Child.  It was originally entitled “The New England Boy’s Thanksgiving Poem.”

As you may remember, the song chronicles a trip to visit loved ones amidst “white and drifted snow.”  The original poem was actually twelve verses long!

According to Making Music Fun, the original “grandmother’s house” is still standing, near the Mystic River in Medford, MA.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s