Yankee Doodle Came to Town Riding on a Pony
There are a few songs that conjure up memories of July in New England: Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Sweet Caroline and Yankee Doodle!
There is really nothing like taking the family to a Sox game, eating a Fenway Frank and yes, peanuts and Cracker Jacks. And what better way to celebrate a win than with a heartfelt rendition of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline, a song written for Massachusetts’ first daughter, Caroline Kennedy.
And then there is Yankee Doodle Dandy. School age kids around New England giggle at the thought of riding a pony, sticking a feather in your hat and calling it “spaghetti”!
The song, now played with a bit of American pride was first sung in satire about New England’s Yankees during the French and Indian War and then popularized during the American Revolution.
British soldiers would change the words, but the meaning was the same, they were poking fun at the disheveled and unorganized Yankees, thinking that they could stick a feather in their coon skin hat and call it a macaroni. A macaroni was a popular Italian hair style worn by the French aristocracy.
We all know the outcome of the Revolution, but you might find it interesting to learn that at the surrender at Yorktown, the British soldiers were greeted by the sounds of Yankee Doodle.
PS. If you are ever in Princeton, NJ, check out the Norman Rockwell mural at the Nassau Inn memorializing the song.