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Yankee Doodle. Yankee Doodle is one of the most popular American patriotic songs. However, despite its popularity, it started out as a song that made fun of American troops. British Origins

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Yankee Doodle

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Yankee doodle

Yankee Doodle

Yankee doodle

Yankee Doodle is one of the most popular American patriotic songs. However, despite its popularity, it started out as a song that made fun of American troops.

Yankee doodle

British Origins

The origins of “Yankee Doodle” lie in old English folk music. The song emerged before the American Revolution as a way for the British to make fun of American soldiers. “Yankee” began as a put down of Americans. “Doodle” was a put down meaning “fool” or “simpleton.”

Yankee doodle

American Revolution

As the American soldiers began winning over the British in the Revolution, they began singing the song as a sort of anthem taunting their enemies.

One of the earliest references to the song was in 1767 opera The Disappointment, and a printed version dates back to 1775.

Yankee doodle

American Version

While the exact origins of the tune and original lyrics are unknown, most historians believe that the American version was written by an English doctor named Dr. Shackburg. According to the Library of Congress, Shackburg wrote the lyrics in 1755.

Yankee doodle

Civil War

Throughout the early history of the United States, the lyrics were rewritten to make fun of various groups. For example, two versions were written during the Civil war, one making fun of the South and another making fun of the North.

Yankee doodle


“Yankee Doodle” has become a symbol of American pride. The melody has been adapted and performed in every imaginable musical style. At present, it is considered a children’s song where very few know all the verses to the song.

Yankee doodle

Yankee Doodle

Yankee Doodle went to town

Just to ride a pony

Stuck a feather in his cap

And called it macaroni

Yankee doodle, keep it up

Yankee doodle dandy

Mind the music and the step

And with the girls be handy.

Yankee doodle

Yankee Doodle

Father and I went down to camp

Along with Captain Gooding

And there we saw the men and boys

As thick as hasty pudding.

Yankee doodle

Yankee Doodle

There was Captain Washington

Upon a slapping stallion

A-giving orders to his men

I guess there was a million.

Yankee doodle

Yankee Doodle

And then the feathers on his hat

They looked so’ tarnal fin-a

I wanted pockily to get

To give to my Jemima.

Yankee doodle

Yankee Doodle

And then we saw a swamping gun

Large as a log of maple

Upon a deuced little cart

A load for father’s cattle.

Yankee doodle

Yankee Doodle

And every time they shoot it off

It takes a horn of powder

It makes a noise like father’s gun

Only a nation louder.

Yankee doodle

Yankee Doodle

I went as nigh to one myself

As’ Siah’s underpinning

And father went as nigh agin

I thought the deuce was in him.

We saw a little barrel, too

The heads were made of leather

They knocked upon it with little clubs

And called the folks together.

Yankee doodle

Yankee Doodle

And there they’d fife away like fun

And play on cornstalk fiddles

And some had ribbons red as blood

All bound around their middles.

The troopers, too, would gallop up

And fire right in our faces

It scared me almost to death

To see them run such races.

Yankee doodle

Yankee Doodle

Uncle Sam came there to change

Some pancakes and some onions

For’ lasses cake to carry home

To give his wife and young ones.

Yankee doodle

Yankee Doodle

But I can’t tell half I see

They kept up such a smother

So I took my hat off, made a bow

And scampered home to mother.

Yankee doodle

Yankee Doodle

Cousin Simon grew so bold

I thought he would have cocked it

It scared me so I streaked it off

And hung by father’s pocket.

Yankee doodle

Yankee Doodle

And there I saw a pumpkin shell

As big as mother’s basin

And every time they touched it off

They scampered like the nation.

Yankee doodle

Yankee Doodle

And there was Captain Washington,

With gentlefolks about him,

They say he’s gown so ‘tarnal proud

He will not ride without them.

Yankee doodle

Yankee Doodle

There came Gen’ral Washington

Upon a snow-white charger

He looked as big as all outdoors

And thought that he was larger.

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