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Click here for the history
of "Yankee Doodle."

   Honoring member, Joan Hunter,
former NSDAR Vice President
General and now NSDAR
Librarian General.
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History Of "Yankee Doodle"
"Tradition has it that Yankee Doodle had its origins in the French and Indian War when New England troops joined Braddock's forces at Niagara. In contrast to the spit and polish of the British army, the colonials were a motley crew, some wearing buckskins and furs. Dr. Richard Schuckburg, a British Army surgeon reportedly wrote the tune ridiculing the Americans in the early 1750s. Some scholars believe it is a variant of the nursery rhyme Lucy Locket.

Despite the fact it began as ridicule, the colonials took the song for their own. Countless versions and parodies evolved, many of which made fun of their officers, including George Washington. These verses are included at the end of the tune. When Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown it is said while the British played The World Turned Upside Down, the Americans played Yankee Doodle.

There are said to be as many as 190 verses of Yankee Doodle."

Note: The version you are hearing now also has some of George M. Cohan's "Yankee Doodle Dandee" in the arrangement.

Information contributed by "Popular Songs In American History," a folk music website by Lesley Nelson. A link is provided at our "Links" web page.

Source:
"The Ballad of America," by John Anthony Scott,
Grosset & Dunlap,
New York, 1967



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