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Yankee Doodle

What can a bird feather reveal? Sometimes quite a bit! A scientist earning his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia compared birds  on Virginia’s Eastern Shore with those in New York Harbor. By looking at their feathers and, as he gently called it, “regurgitation,” he learned about the two different environments and their impacts on wildlife.

  Birth of a Nation poster, with Lady Liberty  

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

Yankee Doodle, keep it up
Yankee Doodle dandy
Mind the music and the step
And with the girls be handy.

Father and I went down to camp
Along with Captain Gooding
And there we saw the men and boys
As thick as hasty pudding.

Yankee Doodle, keep it up
Yankee Doodle dandy
Mind the music and the step
And with the girls be handy.

There was Captain Washington
Upon a slapping stallion
A-giving orders to his men
I guess there was a million.

Yankee Doodle, keep it up
Yankee Doodle dandy
Mind the music and the step
And with the girls be handy.


Why did yankee doodle stick a feather in his hat and call it macaroni? 
Back in Pre-Revolutionary America when the song "Yankee Doodle" was first popular, the singer was not referring to the pasta "macaroni" in the line that reads "stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni". "Macaroni" was a fancy ("dandy") style of Italian dress widely imitated in England at the time. 
By sticking a feather in his cap and calling himself a "dandy," Yankee Doodle was proudly proclaiming himself to be a gentleman of some social standing.

Midi arranged by Thomas N. Thurston (May 1995), all rights reserved.