Songs of Thanksgiving recalled

Published 8:52 am Friday, November 27, 2015

While preparing for Thanksgiving, I started wondering if there were any songs related to the holiday. For Halloween we had the eerie, creepy hit pop songs from over the generations, and we are already being bombarded by Christmas music, secular and religious.

What is out there for our national holiday of Thanksgiving?

The oldest song that I found was “Over the River and Through the Woods,” written in 1844 by Lydia Maria Child based on the poem “A Boy’s Thanksgiving Day.” But even that song has been stolen for the Christmas holidays. 

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The Dutch hymn “We Gather Together” that dates back to 1629 came to America in 1903. It is often sung at community Thanksgiving services.

Those of us who remember the television series Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman may remember the Nov. 19, 1994, episode when Johnny Cash as Kid Cole sang “Thanksgiving Prayer.”

“Bless This House,” written by Englishwoman Helen Taylor and Australian May Brahe, is often sung at Thanksgiving ceremonies.

Irving Berlin wrote “Count Your Blessings” for the 1954 movie White Christmas, but Bing Crosby’s rendition is often played this time of year.

The most amusing song that I found in my search was the “Thanksgiving Overture” video with cartoon characters presenting satirical observations of the entire holiday.

Hope that you are having a great Thanksgiving holiday weekend with feasting, visiting, shopping, hunting, relaxing, napping and whatever else with family and friends.



The Glenn Memorial Baptist Church Senior Adult Ministry will host its senior meal tonight at 6 p.m. with the Oak Hill Boys at 7 p.m. Bring a covered dish; all are invited

A group of volunteers is working to bring back Pamplin one innovation at a time. This project is all about fixing up the Old Pamplin School playground.

After collecting yard sale items on Wednesday, the volunteers will have a sale on Saturday, Nov. 28, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the old school site. The group hopes to raise enough money to see to the playground’s needs, such as new swings, new slide, refurbished merry-go-round and maintenance.  In case of inclement weather, the sale will be held in the Community Room of the Pamplin Depot. For more information contact Sean Murray at

The Prospect Historical Society will meet Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. at the Prospect Fire House to discuss the depot project and fundraising. They will also have the annual Christmas party.

The Pamplin Town Council will meet on Dec. 3, at 6 p.m. in the Council Meeting Room of the Pamplin Depot.

All are invited to have Breakfast With Santa on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. to noon at Piney Ridge United Methodist Church. Create fun crafts and join in some reindeer games. This is a Relay for Life event; donations go to the American Cancer Society. Photographs will be taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

Santa will arrive at the Pamplin Depot at noon on Saturday, Dec. 5. He will be there until 2 p.m. with toys and goodies for the children.

Farm Use String Band will sponsor the monthly free dance at the Pamplin Depot Freight Room on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The theme is Winter Wonderland.

The Pamplin Combined Community Choir, directed by Beverly Cyrus, will present the Christmas cantata “Breath of Heaven” on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 4 p.m. in the Pamplin Depot Freight Room. “Breath of Heaven,” created and arranged by Craig Adams, is a combination of treasured carols, inspirational songs, scripture and narration. Included will be Amy Grant / Chris Eaton’s “Breath of Heaven,” “All Is Well” by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Michael W. Smith, and a new song “Let Us Be” by Jason Dyba and Mike Hurst. Refreshments will follow the program sponsored by Pamplin Area Legacy Supporters (PALS).

Take a step back in time to the 1860’s with the Civil War era Santa at the Catalpa Inn, 373 Catalpa Lane, Prospect, on Saturday, Dec. 12. Bring a camera to capture moments in this event sponsored by Catalpa Inn and Prospect Historical Society.

Hilda Allen and Lois Johnson attended the Farmville Christmas Show and visited with Alice Campbell Nov. 15.

The Prospect Happy Hats met with Jean Covington at her home Nov. 17. The ladies enjoyed refreshments and a white elephant swap. Hilda Allen, Jean Covington, Betty Meadows, Pat Smith, Margaret Stockton, Betty Sumner, Jeannette Tarlton and Elsie Wilson attended.

Laurie and Kevin Justus and son Jacob visited with Hilda Allen Nov. 21-22 for an early Thanksgiving.

Please keep the following people in your thoughts and prayers:  Karen Hagedorn, Julian Covington, Alice Campbell, Evelyn Shelton, Wendy Richardson, John Hix, Nancy Dickerson, Martha Whitehead, Kenneth Brisentine, Dorothy Womack, Betty Jean Bolt and Gary Fiscus.

“As we pause to thank Him for the blessings of the past year, we must not forget to thank Him for the lessons we have learned through our difficult times. We are not to be thankful for just the pleasant, easy things, but all things.” —Millie Stamm

If you have any news, call Edwina Covington 574-6576.

EDWINA COVINGTON is a retired teacher and columnist for Elam. Her email is