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Hurrah for the pie

Nov 21, 2012 - By Steven R. Peck

Lydia Child's comforting holiday words

The best-known words about Thanksgiving Day in America were written by the American writer and editor Lydia Child 168 years ago. She was describing the joys and excitements of a winter holiday in New England. Now the words belong to everyone. A familiar, shortened version is remembered by most of us from our school days, but the original was considerably longer as first published in Child's publication "Flowers For Children," and later she expanded the poem to a full six verses.

Following is the poem as it appeared for the first time in 1844. It's official title: "A Boy's Thanksgiving Day."

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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.

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 the 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!"

Hurray 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 snowball

and stay as long as we can.

Over the river, and through the wood,

trot fast my dapple gray!

Spring over the ground like a hunting-hound!

For 'tis Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river, and through the wood

and straight through the barnyard 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 paw 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, "O, dear, the children are here,

bring pie for everyone."

Over the river, and through the wood-

now Grandmothers cap I spy!

Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?

Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

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