Author Topic: Yankee Doodle went to town A-riding on a pony  (Read 156 times)

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Yankee Doodle went to town A-riding on a pony
« on: November 06, 2017, 05:37:52 AM »

Ever wondered what the Hell this phrase: "Stuck a feather in his cap And called it macaroni," Meant?

Yankee Doodle went to town
A-riding on a pony,
Stuck a feather in his cap
And called it macaroni.

Here's a fascinating read on the history of being a Macrornni and what the British meant when they penned the song, why we "Yanks, Americans usurped it.
I'll summarize. In short, the song was an insult, a way for British elites to ridicule Americans, because, in their eyes, we were just a bunch of hicks, bumpkins, people ignorant of fashion, so much so, that we didn't even know how to dress.
But there's more, much more, so keep reading.




GENERATIONS OF AMERICAN KIDS FORCED to sing “Yankee Doodle” have grown up justifiably puzzled by its lyrics.

Though the song, set to an upbeat melody, appears to satirize Americans, it is today treated as a patriotic anthem. Anyone who is not given proper context—that “Yankee Doodle” was originally created by the British to ridicule Americans, and that American soldiers reclaimed it during the Revolutionary War—might well question the point of the song.

But perhaps the most confounding part of “Yankee Doodle” is its opening. To the average listener, the first verse appears to describe an American man who confuses a feather for a piece of pasta:

Yankee Doodle went to town
A-riding on a pony,
Stuck a feather in his cap
And called it macaroni.
The “macaroni” in question does not, however, refer to the food, but rather to a fashion trend that began in the 1760s among aristocratic British men.

On returning from a Grand Tour (a then-standard trip across Continental Europe intended to deepen cultural knowledge), these young men brought to England a stylish sense of fashion consisting of large wigs and slim clothing as well as a penchant for the then-little-known Italian dish for which they were named. In England at large, the word “macaroni” took on a larger significance. To be “macaroni” was to be sophisticated, upper class, and worldly.

In “Yankee Doodle,” then, the British were mocking what they perceived as the Americans’ lack of class. The first verse is satirical because a doodle—a simpleton—thinks that he can be macaroni—fashionable—simply by sticking a feather in his cap. In other words, he is out of touch with high society.

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-macaroni-in-yankee-doodle-is-not-what-you-think
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