One Song And Two Ditties – Thanksgiving, Take Two

Grandma Moses: Thanksgiving Turkey, 1943 (MMA, NY)

This lovely painting of Grandma Moses illustrates the Thanksgiving song in a book which is a collection of folk tunes and children songs, illustrated by art from the Metropolitan Museum in New York. It is called: „Go In And Out The Window“ and so far remains out of print; and it truly is a shame, also that it never had been published in Germany or to my knowledge inspired an equivalent, lending from German museums and songs. However, Reclam just now has published a Bible in the same vein: „Wie Jona vom Wal verschluckt wurde“ (and it just came in and is sitting in the shop window for a happy readership). So there is hope.



Now here is the sober song from the book and afterwards there are the two cheerful ditties we sing around this time. Happy Thanksgiving to all who enter foreign shores. May you find hospitable people.

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
he chastens and hastens his will to make known;
the wicked oppressing now cease from distressing:
sing praise to his Name, he forgets not his own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
ordaining, maintaining his kingdom divine;
so from the beginning the fight we were winning:
thou, Lord, wast at our side: all glory be thine!

We all do extol thee, thou leader triumphant,
and pray that thou still our defender wilt be.
Let thy congregation escape tribulation:
thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

Words: Nederlandtsche Gedenckclanck, 1626;
trans. Theodore Baker (1851-1934), 1894.

Five fat turkeys are we.
We spent all night in a tree.
When the cook came around,
We were no where to be found
And that’s why we’re here you see!
Source: Children’s Song

Oliver Cromwell*
Oliver Cromwell lay buried and dead,
Hee-haw, buried and dead,
There grew an old apple-tree over his head,
Hee-haw, over his head.

The apples were ripe and ready to fall,
Hee-haw, ready to fall,
There came an old woman to gather them all,
Hee-haw, gather them all.

Oliver rose and gave her a drop,
Hee-haw, gave her a drop,
Which made the old woman go hippety hop,
Hee-haw, hippety hop.

The saddle and bridle, they lie on the shelf,
Hee-haw, lie on the shelf,
If you want any more you can sing it yourself,
Hee-haw, sing it yourself.

By Benjamin Britten

* See: Drei Bücher zum Thema


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