So tonight, trying to be the nice guy that I am, and driving comfortably down the holiday road with my friend Robert and his daughter Sarah, the topic of conversation turned to holiday music. (I know I just used the word “holiday” a few words back, but for the life of me I can’t think of a different one that works–can you?) Sarah complained that “there just aren’t any Thanksgiving songs!”
Professor that I am, I quickly answered, “Yes, there are!” And began to sing “We gather together to ask the Lord’s Blessing” and “So much to be thankful for” and “Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go.” That was a bit problematic since whenever I sing any song, it ends up sounding just like ABBA’s “Mama Mia.”
Somewhat patronizingly (and in my opinion somewhat like the Kardashians in one of their arguments), Robert admonished, “Neal, I hate to inform you, but THAT’S a Christmas song.” I would have gotten all haughty and angry, maybe even laughed in a manner which suggested that he didn’t know what he was talking about, but all of a sudden I didn’t 100% know if I knew WHAT I was talking about.
But since this is 2013, and I wasn’t behind the wheel, I pulled out my iPhone, Googled (you do capitalize that, right?), “famous Thanksgiving songs,” and my first hit jumped out at me triumphantly: “Top 10 Thanksgiving Songs, No Really.” And guess what #4 was?
4. “Over The River and Through the Woods”: This is a Thanksgiving song by Lydia Maria Child. It was written in 1844, originally as a poem with the title “A Boy’s Thanksgiving Day.” There have been many versions of the song over the years that add in Christmas lyrics, but the original was just about Thanksgiving. My favorite version is by Danny Kaye and the Andrews Sisters.
(I didn’t read that line about Christmas lyrics to Robert and Sarah, because I thought it stole a little of my thunder, so if you know them, DO NOT say anything.)
See the entire Top Ten below:
Sing On, Thanksgiving!