Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Over the River and Down the Road"

Chances are, you don't recognize the name Lydia Maria Child.  I know I didn't before I consulted the about.com website for the author of the words to "Over the River and Through the Wood," a song that has played in my head every Thanksgiving season since I was a child myself.

In my book, there is no more cheerful and carefree portrayal of the way a winter holiday feels to a kid than the one the lyrics of this little song afford.  In its precious few lines Child is able to capture the joyful anticipation of a festive family gathering at her grandparents' home just a sleigh ride away.  Though set in New England in the early 1800s, Child's verse has a universal, nostalgic appeal to grandparents and grandchildren of all places and times.

I have taken the liberty of modifying Child's masterpiece to fit the situation that will begin to unfold at our house tomorrow, when Sooby, Pooh, and Bootsie traverse the countryside to bring me and Pa-pa the most special of Thanksgiving blessings.  It will take a little imagination, but see if you can make my words fit into the framework of the familiar melody we all know and love. 

Over the River and Down the Road

Verse 1, sung by Googie: 

Over the river and down the road
To Googie's house they'll ride.
Their mom and dad can steer the family van
With the babies safe insi--ide.
Over the river and down the road--
Oh, how can Googie wait?
With gravy stirred she cooks the bird
Preparing for Thursday's date.

Verse 2, sung by Sooby, Pooh, and Bootsie: 

Over the river and down the road,
Drive fast, our Daddy dear.
We don't want to miss bringing Googie a kiss
And a lot of Thanksgiving che--er.
Over the river and down the road,
Now Googie's house we see.
Hurray for today!  We can play and play!
How happy we all will be! 

Happy Thanksgiving from Googie to all you grandmas, grannies, grammies, nannies, nanas, and mimis out there.  I wish you a joyful celebration like that first captured in writing by Lydia Maria Child.  It may not be snowing where you are and you probably will not be traveling via sleigh, but I wish you the rich blessing of generations gathered together to celebrate the wonder of family and friendship during this Thanksgiving week. 


  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! What a wonderful song!

  2. Wonderful update. You have such talent!

  3. You really are talented -- love it again!

  4. I love it! When we were kids and would travel 500+ miles to visit our grandmas, we would often modify this song to suit our situation. It was always fun.

  5. This is just THE best song to sing on the way to Grandma's. I recently shared it with my grandsons, but just as they traveled from the road to my front door as they traveled over the (faux) river under my sidewalk and through the trees lining the way to the door.
    Cute personalized version you created.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  6. Always love your posts and this is no exception!

  7. I'd like to invite you to join me at the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week! http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/11/clever-chicks-blog-hop-8-and-rural.html

    I hope to see you there!
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick