Believed to have been written in 1755 by British surgeon Dr. Richard Schackburg, Yankee Doodle has become one of the most well known pieces of music in the United States. This document contains the sheet music to Yankee Doodle in both PDF and Sibilius Scorch formats. Parts are available for all common concert band instruments including voice.
Once sung by young and old alike, today the song has a more juvenile frame of reference. While we all learn the song in our elementary school music classes, the song is not widely used as it once was. Over the centuries the song has gone through dozens of iterations. The most common we still sing today, however other sets of lyrics have been written by dozens of different people. During the civil war, southerners took the traditionally British song and added several sets of lyrics, many proclaiming the stupidity of their "northern agressors." Many other verses also exist and many are cataloged at Wikipedia.
When Schackburg wrote Yankee Doodle he was no doubt attempting to poke fun at the American colonial forces. Instead of angering the Yankees, instead they adopted the tune as their own, turning it into an unofficial anthem as quickly as 1777. In an ultimate slap in the face, the song was performed in Yorktown during the surrender of British General Cornwallis to American General George Washington. The song once written to poke fun at a renegade nation had come full circle to be accepted as a song of that nation's triumph and joy.
Yankee Doodle is not directly related to the movie Yankee Doodle Dandy , composed in 1942 by Robert Buckner and Edmund Joseph.
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Any arrangements written by Chad Criswell and MusicEdMagic.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. There is no charge for these materials, but educational institutions that use them in their classrooms are asked to provide a link either in their printed concert programs or on their school web site linking to MusicEdMagic.com.
Brother Ephraim sold his Cow And bought him a Commission; And then he went to Canada To fight for the Nation;
But when Ephraim he came home He proved an arrant Coward, He wouldn't fight the Frenchmen there For fear of being devour'd.
Chad Criswell is a career music educator working in the Iowa public schools. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications both online and in print. He currently serves as the national music technology writer for NAfME's Teaching Music Magazine and has presented sessions at numerous music education conferences including the 2012 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic.
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