Since statues and hymns from American history are now considered to be Public Enemy Number 1 with people with far too much time on their hands, our PD staff thought we’d talk a little Yankee Doodle.
First started as a song used by the British to mock the American colonists, after they surrendered at the Battle of Yorktown, Yankee Doodle became a song of pride for the Americans, with it serving as an unofficial national anthem for years.
The first stanza goes: Yankee Doodle went to town/
A-riding on a pony/Stuck a feather in his cap/And called it macaroni’
If the use of the term macaroni has confused you since it was presented by Bugs Bunny, don’t worry, as always, PD’s got you covered.
A macaroni was an earlier version of a dandy, or a person whom exceeded the ordinary bounds of fashion. Think gaudy, think of an 18th Century Sir Elton John.
Though maccherone in Italian means foolish, the term macaroni actually came from the pasta’s increased popularity as young men undertook a Grand Tour (no, Clarkson wasn’t part of this one), exploring the world and its treasures. These men that went on the Grand Tour tended to be more flamboyant and effeminate for the day, bursting with feathers, lace and wigs, and like any traveler, all the wanted to do was talk about their experiences.
Now, when your peers are boycotting Yankee Doodle, you’ll be able to understand the song’s full context. You’re welcome.