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The National Music of America. 137
Of course it is definitely known that the air was freely used both by English and Americans long before these printed versions. Yet when one endeavours to ascertain the beginnings of the tune in America the mists of fiction immediately arise.
The following is an example of the bold way in which history (?) is sometimes made ; the extract is from Farmer & Moore's Monthly Literary Journal:
"In looking over an old file of the Albany Statesman 1 we met the following interesting note respecting the origin of the tune ' Yankee Doodle,' the words of which were published in the collection for May. It is a fact that the British army lay encamped in the summer of 1755, on the eastern bank of the Hudson, a little south of the city of Albany. To this day vestiges of their encampment remain, and, after a lapse of sixty years, the inquisitive traveller can observe the remains of the ashes, the places where they boiled their camp kettles, etc. In the early part of June the eastern troops began to pour in, company
1 This in itself is an error, since no such paper existed at that time. The Albany Register or the New York Statesman is probably meant.