Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

More Thanksgiving Rhyme

My friend Tim provided me with some additional Thanksgiving items:

Because you and your family fully appreciates “My turkey, ’tis of thee,” I thought you and they might also enjoy two additional celebratory Thanksgiving pieces. The first is in some editions of “The Four Leaved Clover and Other Poems” but not in others, and because it’s not in the edition you mentioned in your Smatters post, I don’t know if you’ve seen it. I attach it below. The second is new, produced by my brother Chuck, and I must warn you, is something of an earworm. (And its basis will be unfamiliar to many in the current generation.)

Have a great Thanksgiving, and pass my love along to everyone there.

Tim

Incidentally, I can’t read “The second” link above either. I’m guessing it’s a turkey-themed version of “Mr. Sandman.”

AN “INSIDE TIP”

Thanksgiving was over, and I, on my bed

Was resting my stomach as well as my head;

For both had been busy ’till late in the night,

Causing turkey and puddings to be put out of sight.

Just as conscience oft troubles the mind of the sinner,

My mind was disturbed by the weight of that dinner.

Then, trying to get all bad thoughts from my brain,

My mind wandered back to Columbia again.

And by thoughts of my Homer and Odyssey smitten,

I remembered that poem which I knew should be written;

But no thoughts would appear for my eager inspection,

And the state of my mind was not good for reflection.

Last, I cried, “Would that turkey could show me a plan

That would bring me to worlds unexplored yet by man!”

Then a voice from within me distinctly replied:

“T. B. Penfield, I will help you, though you’ve put me inside.”

Like the Trojan Aeneas, that hero of old,

My hair stood on end, and my blood ran quite cold;

But the turkey within did not stay in me long,

But straightway came forth, looking hearty and strong.

Then he swelled like a Sophomore who’s bursting with pride,

And he opened his mouth—and he put me inside!

What I saw in that land “unexplored yet by man,”

I guess I won’t tell, for I don’t think I can.

I remember my feelings—not anything more.

What I did is a mystery, and all that I saw.

The next I remember, was the coming of morn

And the night and the turkey were, both of them, gone.

Written December, 1886, in a competition for the coveted honor of Class Poet of the Class of ’90, Columbia University. Professor J. D. Quackenbos decided the contest, giving me the place.

New York City

Author of My Turkey ’tis of Thee

My Turkey 'tis of Thee
My Turkey ’tis of Thee

I first learned this song from my old friend, Tim Leonard. The song is a tradition in his family and is attributed to their distinguished ancestor, the Reverend Doctor Thornton Bancroft Penfield (1867-1958). The Reverend Doctor was born to missionaries in India but grew up in the US, graduating from Columbia in 1890.

He wrote a fair amount of poetry and had a sense of humor. He did time as class poet at Columbia and he edited various college publications.  He also published a book of poems called The Four-Leaved Clover.

[Updated!]

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