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Friday, November 6, 2009

The source of the "doodle"

I kind of figure that when I put that historical bit in there about Yankee Doodle, some smart guy somewhere would try to dispute where it came from or what Cornwallis had played at his going-away party. And he's right - the Brits were playing something different - at the same time as the colonials were hammering out Yankee Doodle.

Here it is again for you history buffs.

"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 ofYankee Doodle."


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