The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Yankee Doodle

Edition of 1879. See also Yankee Doodle on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

YANKEE DOODLE, a tune that since the revolutionary war has been popular in the United States, and has become one of our national airs. It was known as long ago as the reign of Charles I., being then sung to the nursery rhyme “Lucy Lockit lost her pocket.” In the time of Cromwell it was sung to the following rhyme, in which the words by which it is known first appear:

Yankee Doodle came to town
Upon a Kentish pony;
He stuck a feather in his hat,
And called him Maccaroni.”

It is supposed to have been written to satirize Cromwell. The tune was played by the British bands in colonial times, and during the American revolution various doggerel verses were sung to it, many of them in ridicule of the Americans. In 1861 the legislature of South Carolina, by enactment, forbade the use of the tune in that state.