Yankee Doodle

Northeast Region

This song was actually written sometime during the French and Indian War as a way of making fun of American soldiers. (A “doodle” was a slang word for a fool.) However, the American patriots of the Revolution used the song as a sort of national anthem.  The song is about a boy who is watching soldiers train for battle. 


1.  Yankee Doodle went to town, a-riding on a pony.
     Stuck a feather in his cap, and called it Macaroni.

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

2.  Father and I went down to camp, along with Captain Gooding,
     And there we saw the men and boys, as thick as hasty pudding.

3.  There was Captain Washington upon a slapping stallion,
     A-giving orders to his men, I guess there was a million.  (Refrain)

4.  There they had a swamping gun, as big as  a log of maple,
Upon a deuced little cart, a load for father’s cattle.

5.  And every time they fired it off it took a horn of powder.
     It made a noise like father’s gun, only a nation louder.  (Refrain)

6.  And there I saw a little keg, its head was made of leather.
     They knocked on it with little sticks, to call the folks together.

7.  There they’d fife away like fun, and play on cornstalk fiddles;
     And some had ribbons red as blood, all bound around their middles. (Refrain)

8.  The troopers, too, would gallop up, and fire right in our faces.
     It scared me almost half to death, to see them run such races. 

9.  But I can’t tell you half I saw, they kept up such a smother;
     I took my hat off, made a bow, and scampered off to mother.  (Refrain)

10.  “Yankee Doodle” is the tune Americans delight in;
     ‘Twill do to whistle, sing or play, and just the thing for fightin’. (Refrain)

You can find a version of this song in Silver Burdett's Making Music 2nd & 3rd Grade, 
MacMillan/McGraw-Hill's Share the Music 5th Grade and Spotlight On Music 2nd & 4th Grade

Return to 
Northeast Region

With thanks to Sharon Ogorzalek
Created: July 2005, Last Updated: 07/28/10