We all know the song … “Yankee Doodle went to town.” They teach it to our children. Well, thankfully not! The British sang Yankee Doodle to berate the Americans during the Revolutionary War. It not the nice little dittle we all sang as kids, when you get to the later verses, it quite profane. A dandy is a vain gentleman and Macaroni was a very fancy style of dress. So, a common soldier putting a feather in his cap would not make him a distinguished gentleman, nor a dandy but more like a what we would call today a pimp…

=====   REFRAIN =====
Yankee Doodle went to town, 
A-riding on a pony 
Stuck a feather in his hat, 
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.
And there we see a swamping gun, 
Large as a log of maple 
Upon a duced little cart, 
A load for father's cattle.
And every time they shoot it off, 
It takes a horn of powder 
It makes a noise like father's gun, 
Only a nation louder.

Okay, not so bad to this point. The above is what the Continental sing at reenactments. Now lets see what the Regulars sing…

Father and I went down to camp, 
Along with Captain Gooding,
And there we see the men and boys
As thick as hasty pudding.
And there we see a thousand men,
As rich as 'Squire David,
And what they wasted every day,
I wish it had been saved.
The 'lasses they eat every day,
Would keep an house a winter;
They have as much that I'll be bound,
They eat it when they're mind to.
And there we see a swamping gun,
Large as a log of maple,
Upon a ducid little cart,
A load for father's cattle.
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.
I went as nigh to one myself,
As 'Siah's underpinning;
And father when as nigh again,
I thought the duce was in him.
Cousin Simon grew so bold,
I thought he would have cock'd it;
It scar'd me so I shriek'd it off,
And hung by father's pocket.
And captain Davis had a gun,
He kind of clapt his hand on't,
And stuck a crooked stabbing iron
Upon the little end on't.
And there I see a pumpkin shell,
As big as mother's bason,
And every time they touch'd it off,
They scamper'd like the nation.
I see a little barrel too,
The heads were made of leather,
They knock upon with little clubs,
And call'd the folks together.
And there was captain Washington,
And gentlefolks about him,
They say he's grown so tarnal proud,
He will not ride without them.
He got him on his meeting clothes,
Upon a slapping stallion,
He set the world along in rows,
In hundreds and in millions.
The flaming ribbons in his hat,
They look'd so taring fine ah,
I wanted pockily to get,
To give to my Jemimah.
I see another snarl of men,
A digging graves they told me,
So tarnal long, so tarnal deep,
They 'tended they should hold me.
If scar'd me so I hook'd it off,
Nor stopt as I remember,
Nor turn'd about 'till I got home,
Lock'd up in mother's chamber.

Ah, and kids today think they know how to taunt their rivals…..

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Published by Michael Carver

My goal is to bring history alive through interactive portrayal of ordinary American life in the late 18th Century (1750—1799) My persona are: Journeyman Brewer; Cordwainer (leather tradesman but not cobbler), Statesman and Orator; Chandler (candle and soap maker); Gentleman Scientist; and, Soldier in either the British Regular Army, the Centennial Army, or one of the various Militia. Let me help you experience history 1st hand!

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