The National Music of America - online book

The Sources & Factors Influential In Forming America's Music.

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128 The National Music of America.
tracing the various tales to their source than Mr. Albert Matthews, of Boston, who we trust will some day write a monograph upon the subject, and who has aided the author greatly in compiling the following data.
The word " Yankee " seems almost always to have been applied to New Englanders, and was generally a term of mild sarcasm ; yet one authority makes the word to be an adjec­tive expressing excellence. It is said to have been thus used by " Yankee Hastings," of Cambridge, in 1713, he employing the ex­pressions, "A Yankee horse," "A Yankee team," as superlatives.
Probably the most generally accepted origin of the word is that the Indians applied it to the white settlers in New England, in a vain effort to say " Anglois " or " English." This theory derives some inferential support from the fact that the Indians had much difficulty in pronouncing the letter " L."
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III