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Over the River and Through the Wood

November 10, 2015
By Dr. Gail Looney - Musical Chairs , OVParent

Thanksgiving is a great time to sing about going to Grandma's house and eating pumpkin pie. And the best song for that is "Over the River and Through the Wood"!

Grandparents and parents certainly have sung this song, and already may know the words from singing it in elementary school. Children just learning to play a band instrument will find it in one of their first books.

Over the river and through the wood

To grandmother's house we go.

The horse knows the way

To carry the sleigh

Through white and drifted snow.

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.

You can find others verses if you type "Over the River and Through the Wood song lyrics" into the search field at www.grandparents.com. Children can ask their teachers to sing it in music class, or they can sing along with the children in the arrangement found on YouTube - "Over the River and Through the Wood 0001." It even has the words on the screen.

While you are singing, a tambourine, drum, wood block or a wooden bowl and spoon make a great rhythm instrument to keep the beat. Galloping with the music sparks the imagination of the horse-drawn sleigh as does drawing a horse and sleigh trotting off to grandma's house. Make up another verse or change some of the words to "grandfather's house," "Aunt Jane's house," etc. Older children can play the song on their band instruments while younger children sing, keep the beat and gallop and imagine going to a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.

If you listen very carefully to the YouTube arrangement, you will hear orchestral instruments playing along with the children singing. Instruments include sleigh bells, an oboe playing in the introduction, flute playing a countermelody and a French horn keeping the beat! Ask children to listen carefully, which stimulates their ability to focus on a specific sound while other sounds are playing.

Have fun singing and playing - and don't eat too much pumpkin pie!

Dr. Gail Looney is the librarian for the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra.

 
 

 

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