“Yankee Doodle” is a well-known American nursery rhyme and patriotic song with a catchy melody that has become a symbol of the American spirit.
The melody of “Yankee Doodle” is thought to be much older than the lyrics, as it is well known throughout Western Europe, for example England, France, the Netherlands, Hungary, etc. The melody of the song may have originated from the Irish song, “All the way to Galway”.
The term “Yankee” refers typically to a person from the Northeastern United States. Outside the US, the term is sometimes used for the people of the United States in general. The term “Doodle” is thought to be derived from the Low German “Dudel”, meaning “to play music badly”, or “Dödel”, meaning “fool”. The song was originally sung by British officers to make fun of the disheveled, disorganized colonial “Yankees” with whom they had served in the French and Indian War.
But over the years, “Yankee Doodle” has evolved and become a symbol of American patriotism, often sung at celebrations and events to express national pride. The simple and lively melody, combined with its historical significance, has made “Yankee Doodle” a timeless popular traditional song and nursery rhyme.
Chords and Lyrics for Yankee Doodle
The song “Yankee Doodle” is very good song for beginners to play on the guitar. You only need 3 basic chords, which many beginners know and which are also used for many other nursery rhymes on the guitar. It is often played in the key of G and here you will need the chords G, D and C. Often only the first verse and chorus are sung and played but the song has more than 10 verses! If you want to play them all, you can find the whole lyrics on Wikipedia.
GYankee Doodle went to Dtown
a-Griding on a poDny,
Gstuck a feather Cin his cap
and Dcalled it macaGroni.
CYankee Doodle keep it up,
GYankee Doodle dandy,
Cmind the music and the step,
and Gwith the Dgirls be Ghandy.
Sheet Music for Yankee Doodle
If you understand the basic of music theory and you can read music, then playing from sheet music is the right thing for you! Yankee Doodle sheet music is also great for young kids who are just learning to read music because it contains many basic elements.
You can also download the sheet music with the chords free as a PDF to print out and use in class or at home for practising.
Learn another easy nursery rhyme: