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Yankee Doodle

Ever wonder where that song came from? It's history? Used to be one every kid learned. Obviously native Americans weren't the only ones fascinated with feather headress, although they took it to an extreme, lol.

The number of pasta shops in Naples went from sixty to 280 between the years 1700 and 1785. Young English aristocrats making the grand tour in the eighteenth century were shown the city where pasta hung everywhere to dry?in the streets, on balconies, on roofs. Neapolitan street vendors sold cooked spaghetti from stalls with charcoal-fired stoves, working with bowls of grated Romano cheese beside them. Customers would follow the example of the barkers, who lifted the long strands high and dropped them into their mouths. The grand tourists assumed that the fork hadn't yet caught on in Italy, whereas it was the Venetians who in the sixteenth century had introduced the fork to Europe.

Englishmen went home full of Italy, and became known as macaronis for their foreign affectations. In the mid-eighteenth century macaroni referred to an overblown hairstyle as well as to the dandy wearing it, which may be why Yankee Doodle stuck a feather in his cap and called the effect macaroni. (A species of penguin with an orange-colored crest is called the macaroni penguin.) Doodle comes from a German word meaning "simpleton"?the same definition that noodle had at the time (honest, starchy foods like dumplings have long had bad reputations). The song "Yankee Doodle" was used by the British to ridicule the American colonists, who adopted it in self-defense.

Most of us may only remember singing the chorus. From the Cagney movie Yankee Doodle Dandy. Probably the part as children that we found most attractive and dropped off the rest of it. I wouldn't be surprised if the song didn't drive a few parents batty if the kid kept singing the catchy tune.

I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy,
A Yankee Doodle, do or die;
A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam's,
Born on the Fourth of July.
I've got a Yankee Doodle sweetheart,
She's my Yankee Doodle joy.
Yankee Doodle came to London, just to ride the ponies;
I am the Yankee Doodle Boy.

The older version is arguably the more popular over time, the one I remember most myself.

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.

Yankee Doodle, keep it up
Yankee Doodle dandy
Mind the music and the step
And with the girls be handy

There was Captain Washington
Upon a slapping stallion
A-giving orders to his men
I guess there was a million.

Yankee Doodle, keep it up
Yankee Doodle dandy
Mind the music and the step
And with the girls be handy.

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From an old dictionary...

In reply to: Yankee Doodle

From "A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue" by Captain Francis Grose. First printed in 1785 and later revised by Grose.:
"Maccaroni. an Italian paste made of flour and eggs. Also a fop: which name arose from a club, called the Maccarini Club, instituted by some of the most dressy travelled gentelmen about town, who led the fashions; whence a man foppishly dressed, was supposed to be a member of that club, any by contraction styled a Maccaroni."

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I forgot...

In reply to: From an old dictionary...

I forgot. From the same dictionary by Grose;
Yankey, or Yankey Doodle. A booby, or country lout; a name given to the New England men in North America.

Doodle. A silly fellow, or noodle. (noodle was slang for the head)

Trivia, same era: Doodle Sack. A bagpipe. Dutch. - Also the private parts of a woman.

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In reply to: I forgot...

we now use the word "doodle" for things like scribbling and drawing on a paper while using the phone, or bored during a class, etc.

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I like this one too.

In reply to: I forgot...

Meaning same as what we today would call a "hay seed". Someone from the country with a bit of straw still stuck in his hair.

From Dictionary dot com.


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