Enjoy singing your school time favorite, "Yankee Doodle" along with your kids! It is a popular British-American song which marks its existence before the Seven Years' War and the American Revolution (1775-83). It is a revolutionary-era song, which is sung very patriotically in the United States of America. "Yankee Doodle" song has gained immense popularity and also holds pride in being the state anthem of Connecticut.
Origin of Yankee Doodle
The melody of "Yankee Doodle" is believed to be much older than the lyrics, similar to folk songs of Medieval Europe (5th to 15th century). It is well known in European countries including France, England, Holland (Netherlands), Spain and Hungry.
Like many other nursery rhymes, many theories have been advanced to explain the origin of "Yankee Doodle". The earliest version of the song dates back to 15th century Holland and words in lyrics are believed to be from a Middle Dutch Harvest Song.
The term 'Doodle' is believed to be first used in English in the early 17th century, which is derived from a word 'dudel' (West Germanic language), meaning "playing music badly" or 'Dodel', meaning "fool".
The Macaroni wig was ruling the fashion world in 1770 and became modern slang for dandyish style. It showcased Rococo dandy fashion, which was popular in an elite class society of Western Europe and was much mocked in the London press of the time. Dandies were referred to British middle-class man (from the late eighteenth to early nineteenth century) who represented an aristocratic lifestyle. They dress up in silk strip outfits, stuck feathers in their hats and bore two fob watch accessories.
In the British version of "Yankee Doodle" song, "Yankee Doodle Dandy" referred to unsophisticated misappropriation of elite class fashion, as attaching a feather in one's cap would make look noble and elegant.
Professor of fashion studies, Peter McNeil, explained that the British implied that the colonists were low-class men, who lacked masculinity.
Surprising but true!
"Yankee Doodle" a pre-revolutionary war song was actually sung by British military officers to mock the American soldier as a Yankee simpleton who believed that he would stylish if he stuck a feather in his cap. The song is thought to be written by Dr. Richard Shuckburgh, British Army surgeon in 1755, while campaigning in upper New York.
"Yankee Doodle" was also well-known among the Americans as a rebellious song. The American Library of Congress noted that the additional verses were added to the song to make fun of British troops. By 1781, Yankee Doodle was considered as a song of national pride.