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. 131
of our music of Asiatic origin, exactly as the above-mentioned commentators derive " Yankee Doodle " from an Asiatic " Yanghi Dunia."
The word " Yankee " is also derived from the Norwegian and other languages.
"Doodle" has been traced to the Lan­cashire dialect, as meaning a trifler, a shift­less fellow; but it is by no means certain that it is thus used in the American song. Apart from the application of the nickname to "Yankee Hastings," mentioned above, the word " Yankee " first definitely appears as a negro name, in 1725.
Thus much of the etymology; in tracing the origin of the tune of the song, one is met with fully as many theories and an over­whelming amount of unproved and guess­work history. Here are a few of the theories : " Yankee Doodle" is said to have been a derisive song against Oliver Cromwell, be­ginning, "Nankie Doodle came to town."
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