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144 The National Music of America.
the British commanding officer shouted the word at the mob with other contemptuous expressions.
Unfortunately, the tune of "Yankee Doodle" cannot be traced in its performances between 1755 and 1768, and even after the latter date no one seems to have thought of writing up the history or origin of the song. But the Bostonians and their neighbours heard it often enough during the years immediately following. The British troops began to sing it in derision of the Americans. The soldiers had been made to feel that they had no business in Boston, and they took revenge in such ways as lay at their disposal. Knowing the religious disposition of many of the Bostonians, the troops would often race horses on the Common on Sundays or cause their bands to play " Yankee Doodle " just outside of the church doors.1
1 Fiske's " American Revolution," Vol. I., p. 65.