Patriotic Music: Yankee Doodle Dandy

America is a tune. It must be sung together. ~Gerald Stanley Lee, Crowds

Yankee Doodle Dandy

by George M. Cohan

I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy
A Yankee Doodle, do or die
A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam
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

About This Music

American Medal The song "Yankee Doodle Boy" was Cohan's trademark piece, a patriotic pastiche drawing from the lyrics and melody of the old Revolutionary War number, "Yankee Doodle". Other Cohan tunes in the movie included "Give My Regards to Broadway", "Harrigan", "Mary's a Grand Old Name", "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "Over There".

The song's origins were in a pre- Revolutionary War song originally sung by British military officers to mock the disheveled, disorganized colonial " Yankees " with whom they served in the French and Indian War . At the time, the most common meaning of the word doodle had the meaning of "simpleton" or "fool". It is believed that the tune comes from the nursery rhyme Lucy Locket . One version of the Yankee Doodle lyrics is attributed to Doctor Richard Shuckburgh, a British Army surgeon.

The Boston Journal of the Times wrote about a British band declaring "that Yankee Doodle song was the Capital Piece of their band music."