The National Music of America - online book

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

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The National Music of America. 153
it to him that he might note it down. Clay tried and failed; the secretary of legation tried to warble the melody and also came to grief. Finally, Clay rose to the emer­gency ; calling his body-servant he said, " Bob, whistle ' Yankee Doodle' to this gentleman," and from the lips of that musical darkey the first European tran­scription of the tune as an American national song was made. It was quickly harmonised, copied, and the serenade took place as designed.
In summing up the various theories re­garding " Yankee Doodle," we regret that it is impossible to reach the domain of cer­tainty ; its origin still remains shrouded in mystery. Inferential proof, however, seems to show that it was an old English country dance, partially resembling an old Dutch chil­dren's song; that Doctor Shuckburgh used it to satirise the New Englanders ; that it was a British tune at the beginning of the
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III