In the United States, Yankee Doodle is one of the most beloved of all songs. Every American knows the tune and at least some of the words.

It hasn't been confirmed where the tune to Yankee Doodle originated, but it is believed that the words come from the United States. References to it have been found in the US in print as early as 1768.

During the Revolutionary War the British troops first used the "Yankee Doodle" song to deride the rebels. However, the Colonist soldiers eventually took it on themselves as a song of honor!

Yankee Doodle - American Children's Songs - The USA - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


"The earliest words of 'Yankee Doodle' came from a Middle Dutch harvest song which is thought to have followed the same tune, possibly dating back as far as 15th-century Holland. It contained mostly nonsensical words in English and Dutch:

'Yanker, didel, doodle down,
Diddle, dudel, lanther,
Yanke viver, voover vown,
Botermilk und tanther.'

Farm laborers in Holland were paid 'as much buttermilk (Botermilk) as they could drink, and a tenth (tanther) of the grain'." -Wikipedia


There's a hand clapping song from Japan called 10,000 Feet up the Alps
with the Yankee Doodle tune. You can click the link to learn the song!



MP3: Jason Pomerantz

Here's the version in Our Old Nursery Rhymes (1911), arranged by Alfred Moffat. It can be heard in the 2nd mp3:

Yankee doodle came to town,
Upon a little pony.
He stuck a feather in his cap
And called it macaroni.

Yankee doodle doodle-doo,
Yankee doodle dandy;
All the lassies are so smart,
And sweet as sugar candy.

Marching in and marching out,
And marching round the town, O!
Here there comes a regiment
With Captain Thomas Brown, O!

Yankee doodle is a tune
That comes in mighty handy;
The enemy all runs away
At Yankee doodle dandy.


2nd mp3 recording performed by 17 talented university student musicians who were sisters in the Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity for Women at California State University-Stanislaus in 2007. The musical score the recording is based on comes from Our Old Nursery Rhymes (1911) arranged by Alfred Moffat.


3rd recording: US Army Chorus.

Sheet Music

Sheet Music - Yankee Doodle

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Thanks to Monique Palomares for the midi tune.

The illustration is by H. Willebeck Le Mair from Our Old Nursery Rhymes (1911), arranged by Alfred Moffat.

Thanks so much!