George Pope Morris

(1802-1864 / USA)

The Origin Of Yankee Doodle. - Poem by George Pope Morris

Once in a time old Johnny Bull
Flew in a raging fury,
And swore that Jonathan should have
No trials, sir, by jury;
That no elections should be held
Across the briny waters:
'And now,' said he, 'I'll tax the tea
Of all his sons and daughters.'
Then down he sate in burly state,
And blustered like a grandee,
And in derision made a tune
Called 'Yankee doodle dandy.'
'Yankee doodle'--these are the facts--
'Yankee doodle dandy;
My son of wax, your tea I'll tax--
You--Yankee doodle dandy!'

John sent the tea from o'er the sea
With heavy duties rated;
But whether hyson or bohea,
I never heard it stated.
Then Jonathan to pout began--
He laid a strong embargo--
'I'll drink no tea, by Jove!'--so he
Threw overboard the cargo.
Next Johnny sent an armament,
Big looks and words to bandy,
Whose martial band, when near the land,
Played--'Yankee doodle dandy.'
'Yankee doodle--keep it up!
Yankee doodle dandy!
I'll poison with a tax your cup--
You--Yankee doodle dandy!'

A long war then they had, in which
John was at last defeated;
And 'Yankee doodle' was the march
To which his troops retreated.
Young Jonathan, to see them fly,
Could not restrain his laughter:
'That tune,' said he, 'suits to a T,
I'll sing it ever after!'
Old Johnny's face, to his disgrace,
Was flushed with beer and brandy,
E'en while he swore to sing no more
This--'Yankee doodle dandy.'
Yankee doodle--ho! ha! he!
Yankee doodle dandy--
We kept the tune, but not the tea,
Yankee doodle dandy!

I've told you now the origin
Of this most lively ditty,
Which Johnny Bull pronounces 'dull
And silly!'--what a pity!
With 'Hail Columbia!' it is sung,
In chorus full and hearty--
On land and main we breathe the strain,
John made for his tea-party.
No matter how we rhyme the words,
The music speaks them handy,
And where's the fair can't sing the air
Of 'Yankee doodle dandy!'
'Yankee doodle--firm and true--
Yankee doodle dandy,
Yankee doodle, doodle doo!
Yankee doodle dandy!'

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, October 6, 2010

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