Yankee Doodle is known as a very popular American patriotic song, and it’s even become the state song of Connecticut. In The Yankee Collection, we have the current and the early version in our patriotic songs category. But did you know that Yankee Doodle originated as a song that British soldiers sang to mock American soldiers during the French and Indian War?
Yankee Doodle went to town
Riding on a pony
Stuck a feather in his hat
And called it macaroni
While we know the word “doodle” as something sixth graders do to pass the time in homeroom, they used it as a derogatory word meaning simpleton, or dope. So basically, they were calling American soldiers boneheads who rode ponies and thought macaroni were feathers. But don’t worry, Americans got the last laugh.
When the yankees took control of the Revolutionary War, they also took control of the song Yankee Doodle. The song stuck, and became an American patriotic anthem.
Now Yankee Doodle symbolizes American pride, and continues to be played and sung by generation after generation.
Most people only know the first verse of yankee doodle, but there are actually 16 verses, most of which include terms or words most of us wouldn’t recognize today. Things like “And there I see a swamping gun, Large as a log of maple, Upon a deuced little cart, A load for father’s cattle.” The full version isn’t usually taught in schools today, but instead a shorter variation of the song.
So there you have it! A great history of a great song that continues to live on through generations.