Yankee Doodle


Yankee Doodle (1781) is an earlier version of the patriotic song you might also know, Yankee Doodle Dandy (1904). It was sung by British soldiers before the American Revolutionary War to make fun of the sloppy "Yankee simpletons" they served with during the French and Indian War. Americans later adopted it as a song of defiance and support for their Commander of the Continental Army, George Washington. A "dandy" was a man overly concerned with fashion and physical appearance. "Macaroni" described something highly stylish. "Hasty pudding" was an oatmeal mush made with milk and grains (usually corn in America). In spite of its pejorative etymology, "Yankee Doodle Dandy" became a symbol of American patriotic pride, if not a bit self-effacing as well. It is featured in American Patriotic Songs.
Yankee Doodle
Thomas Nast, Yankee Doodle and Rip van Winkle, 1875

Yankee Doodle went to town
A-riding on 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.


Father and I went down to camp,
Along with Captain Gooding,
And there we saw the men and boys
As thick as hasty pudding.

[Chorus] And there we saw a thousand men As rich as Squire David, And what they wasted every day, I wish it could be saved. A.M. Willard, Yankee Doodle, Spirit of '76 [Chorus] The 'lasses they eat every day, Would keep a house a winter; They have so much, that I'll be bound, They eat it when they've a mind to. [Chorus] And there I see a swamping gun Large as a log of maple, Upon a deuced little cart, A load for father's cattle. [Chorus] And every time they shoot it off, It takes a horn of powder, And makes a noise like father's gun, Only a nation louder. [Chorus] I went as nigh to one myself As 'Siah's underpinning; And father went as nigh again, I thought the deuce was in him. [Chorus] Cousin Simon grew so bold, I thought he would have cocked it; It scared me so I shrinked it off And hung by father's pocket. [Chorus] And Cap'n Davis had a gun, He kind of clapt his hand on't And stuck a crooked stabbing iron Upon the little end on't [Chorus] And there I see a pumpkin shell As big as mother's basin, And every time they touched it off They scampered like the nation. [Chorus] I see a little barrel too, The heads were made of leather; They knocked on it with little clubs And called the folks together. [Chorus] And there was Cap'n Washington, And gentle folks about him; They say he's grown so 'tarnal proud He will not ride without 'em. [Chorus] He got him on his meeting clothes, Upon a slapping stallion; He sat the world along in rows, In hundreds and in millions. [Chorus] The flaming ribbons in his hat, They looked so tearing fine, ah, I wanted dreadfully to get To give to my Jemima. [Chorus] I see another snarl of men A-digging graves, they told me, So 'tarnal long, so 'tarnal deep, They 'tended they should hold me. [Chorus] It scared me so, I hooked it off, Nor stopped, as I remember, Nor turned about till I got home, Locked up in mother's chamber. [Chorus]

This song is featured in our collection of American Patriotic Songs


facebook share button twitter share button reddit share button share on pinterest pinterest

Add Yankee Doodle to your library.

Return to the Anonymous library

Or read more short stories for kids in our Children's Library

© 2022 AmericanLiterature.com