Yankee Doodle came to town upon a little pony. He stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni. Have you heard of this rhyme? Today we will cover all there’s to know about Yankee Doodle lyrics, their meaning, and significance.
1. Yankee Doodle
Yankee doodle is a famous nursery rhyme as well as an American song. There are two different versions of this song that dictate two different forms of history. Nowadays, this song is part of American glory and culture as it signifies what America should be, what it stands for, and what dumps this country can fall into. It has the classic tone of Jack and Jill and other nursery rhymes that had an upbeat sound to it. As with many older songs, this one has been the subject of debate, but people dismiss it because it is so patriotic. (See True History of Humpty Dumpty Rhyme)
The true origins of this song are believed to be from the 15th century as there are scripts that show the words of Yankee Doodle from a Middle Dutch harvest song. Moreover, it is said that the melody of the song may have originated from an Irish tune. This song was sung during the pre-revolutionary era. It is often said that Shuckburgh was the writer of this song, as he was seen with the colonial troops and was a famous singer of his era.
However, the early hearing of this song was in the mid-1750s when the British doctor, Richard Schuckburg charted out new lyrics and used the song to make a mockery of American allies.
3. The Early Versions
The song Yankee Doodle started as a racial slur. It was originally made to poke fun at America. The people of the British call it Yankee Doodle as Yankee means American and Doodle was a derogatory comment of being absent-minded and unsophisticated. Thus, it portrayed how insensitive and loud Americans are, inherently calling them inferior to their English counterparts.
However, this is just a running theory and has no standing ground on whether it is true or just falsified. It was later changed to a better version that patronized Americans rather than lowering them down. (Also see Do Woodchucks Really Chuck Wood?)
4. Stuck a Feather in his Hat and called it Macaroni Meaning
Have you ever wondered what stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni means? History is filled with flaws, and this song doesn’t fall too far away from the apple. Yankee Doodle lyrics meaning had, for the most part, a mocking tone. Back in the older times, American people who wore hats with a feather were mocked by the author as he described that simply putting a feather in a hat doesn’t make them fashionable or refined.
Additionally, the line stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni meaning is that wearing such headwear will not make the Americans part of the Macaroni Club. It was a club started by a British nobleman, whose members wore fashionable clothes with high headwear. Hence, this line was used to make fun by calling the Americans dumb or fool.
5. Significance of Yankee Doodle
This song caused controversy because of the lines suck as stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni meaning connected to the American people. However, Americans embraced the song and started singing it themselves. They created countless versions of the same and took pride in the lyrics that were first ought to make fun of them. Moreover, people associated it with patriotism saying that many memories are attached to this song. Hence, Yankee Doodle is loved by the people of America. It is also the anthem of the state of Connecticut. (See 30 Best Songs of all Time)