Yankee Doodle: A Macaroni Masterpiece

You could probably list a bunch of things that don’t seem like things you would sing about, yet end up in a song.  Wearing pasta in a hat has to be near the top.

Yankee Doodle, that beloved song we hear around the Fourth, details a pony-riding individual…not the one about which Billy Idol croons… but a dude into feathers, hats, and macaroni.

Feather Fun Fact:  Feathers are complex epidermal structures that distinguish birds from other vertebrates.  They also distinguish “Fantasia–Queen of the Burlesque Runway” from the Jolly Twirlers Square Dance Club of Willmar.

2019 05 18 Square Dance

Posted by Karen Moen Lange on Saturday, May 18, 2019

OK, sticking a feather in your lid doesn’t seem all that cuckoo, but why did Mr. Doodle feel the need to name it? Much less, “Macaroni?”

Name Fun Fact: A couple in Indonesia named their newborn son, Google. Upon hearing the news, his brothers Web and Browser exclaimed, “Yahoo!”

According to the New York Public Library, the macaroni lyric doesn’t refer to pasta, but to the Macaroni Club, a mid-eighteenth century social club consisting of dandyish young men.

The song was written by a British surgeon in the 1750’s. He got jiggy with his macaroni jam to make fun of colonial troops. But later, the budding Americans threw it back in his tea and crumpets, and used it to make fun of British fancy-pants soldiers.  USA! USA!

Kind of like the Americans, Lynyrd Skynyrd, threw it back at another foreigner, Neil Young.

Song Fun Fact: Yankee Doodle is the state song of Connecticut. It has 17 verses. The Jolly Twirlers once tried square dancing to all 17, but only got through five-and-a-half before needing a break, and eight orders of macaroni salad.

However you celebrate the Fourth, we hope you enjoy it and stay safe. And while you’re at it, mind the music and the step, and with the girls be handy!  Correction: and with all the personsno matter the gender with which they identify—be, uh, let’s go with, nice.





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