Some songs make you happy. Some songs make you sad.
Years ago, whenever “Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandmother’s House We Go” hit the airwaves on turkey day, Carpenter Country’s short one always felt sorry for all those grandmas stuck in the kitchen. She’d get even more depressed when she pictured grandfathers seated at long tables, surrounded by umpteen chatty family members, as overworked grannies served the food.
Although those harried grandmas never complained, she knew the tears in their eyes weren’t caused by the joyous, upbeat melody of the song, but by the pile of dirty pots in the sink.
Now the holiday was almost here again. All across America radios were already blaring “…to Grandmother’s House We Go,” while tired but determined grandmothers made lists, went shopping, bought big birds that would need to be wrestled into the oven.
And who had written that song anyway?
In the interest of being correct, the short one checked Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. She found the lyrics had been penned by Lydia Maria Child in 1844–and they weren’t about going to grandmother’s house.
As she walked back to the kitchen savoring her newly acquired knowledge and humming, “…to Grandfather’s House We Go,” she realized the one-word difference changed the entire scene.
Grandmother had never been chained to the stove. Since all the relatives were going to grandfather’s house, she’d probably appointed him chief cook and pot washer.
Yes, the short one thought, some songs make you happy, some songs make you sad–
–but the right song just makes you smile.
Wishing everyone a wonderful trip to Grandfather’s house.