Over The River

adapted/arr. John Riggio

Ah, the many joys of Thanksgiving! Grandma's house and pumpkin pie, turkey and mashed potatoes, and the pounding of Celtic drums on a cool November morning!

Once again John Riggio lends his sense of Celtic style to a classic children's song. The melody is as you know it, with a new "Over the river" refrain beginning in measure 8 the second time. The words should also be familiar, though verse 2 is adapted from the last of many stanzas of the poem on which this song is based. (For those keeping score, the song "Over The River And Through The Woods" comes from a poem by Lydia Maria Child called "A Boy's Thanksgiving Day," published in 1844.) The song is also often used with variations in the lyrics for Christmas celebrations. Our version doesn't refer to either, so you can use it however you prefer.

The music has a rollicking feel to it, and like you'd expect from one of John's Celtic tunes, has all manner of big drums, including bodhran, toms, concert bass drum and some super effected "boomers." Our rhythm guys did a superb job as usual, plus we added strings and ethereal synths to the mix. Rounding out the style are the fiddle and penny whistle playing the melody line, which should help young singers just learning this song for the first time.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.