This song has been called the “nursery rhyme of the American army” and was birthed during the American revolutionary war.
Father and I went down to camp,
Along with Captain Goodin’,
And there we saw the men and boys,
As thick as hasty puddin’.
Chorus: Yankee Doodle, keep it up,
Yankee Doodle dandy,
Mind the music and the step,
And with the girls be handy.
And there we see a thousand men,
As rich as Squire David;
And what they wasted ev’ry day,
I wish it could be saved.
The ‘lasses they eat ev’ry day,
Would keep a house a winter;
They have so much that, I’ll be found,
They eat when they’ve mind to.
And there I see a swamping gun,
Large as a log of maple,
Upon a mightly little cart;
A load for father’s cattle.
The troopers, they would gallop up,
And fire right in our faces;
it scared me almost half to death
To see them run such races.
It scared me so I hoofed it off,
Nor stopped, as I remember,
Nor turned about till I got home,
Locked up in mother’s chamber.
Holland Thompson (editor-in-chief). The Book of Knowledge. The Children’s Encyclopedia