Probably the best known Thanksgiving song is Over the River and Through the Wood. The original poem was written by Lydia Marie Child (1802-1880), and first published in her Flowers for Children, vol. 2 in 1844, with only six verses. Maria Child, as she preferred to be known, was a writer, abolitionist, and activist for women's rights and Indian rights (as they were known at the time). Although the life-long Massachusetts resident was a prolific writer, she is remembered for her beloved Thanksgiving poem.
Later, additional verses were added, and the poem was even adapted into a Christmas version. Hence, the debate over whether Over the River is a Thanksgiving song or a Christmas song.
Happy Thanksgiving from the Polley Music Library.