On April 19, 1775, British and also American soldiers exchanged fire in the Massachusetts towns of Lexington and Concord. ~ above the night that April 18, the royal governor that Massachusetts, basic Thomas Gage, commanded by King George III come suppress the rebellious Americans, had ordered 700 brothers soldiers, under lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith and also Marine major John Pitcairn, to seize the colonists’ army stores in Concord, part 20 miles west of Boston.

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The fight of Lexington. Boston: published by john H. Daniels, c1903. Well-known Graphic Arts. Prints & Photographs Division

A mechanism of signals and also word-of-mouth communication collection up through the homesteaders was effective in forewarning American volunteer militia guys of the method of the brothers troops. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “Paul Revere’s Ride” tells just how a lantern was shown in the steeple that Christ Church top top the night the April 18, 1775, as a signal to Paul Revere and also others.

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Christ Church(Old North), Boston, Mass. C<1909?>. Detroit posting Company. Prints & Photographs department

One if by land, and two if by sea;And i on the contrary shore will be,Ready to ride and also spread the alarmThrough every Middlesex, village and farm, because that the nation folk to be up and also to arm.

At Lexington Green, the British were met by around seventy American Minute guys led by man Parker. In ~ the North leg in Concord, the brothers were challenged again, this time through 300 come 400 equipped colonists, and were compelled to march earlier to Boston v the american firing ~ above them every the way. By the end of the day, the homesteaders were singing “Yankee Doodle” and the American transformation had begun. Papers from the continental Congress and also the constitutional Convention, 1774 come 1789 includes a timeline of the events that followed.

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The Old Bridge, Concord. C1900. Detroit publishing Company. Prints & Photographs Division

by the rude leg that arched the floodTheir flag to April’s breeze unfurledHere once the embattled farmer stoodand fired the shooting heard round the world.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Concord Hymn”


The exact origin of words “Yankee” is obscure, but by the 1770s it described the English colonists, particularly new Englanders. A “doodle” was a silly human or country bumpkin.

“Yankee Doodle” to be a well-known song in the brand-new England colonies prior to the battles of Lexington and Concord, yet only ~ the skirmishes there was it appropriated by the American militia. Heritage holds that the colonials began to sing the track as they required the British back to Boston ~ above April 19, 1775. Troops under the command of Brigadier general Hugh Percy play “Yankee Doodle” together they marched from Boston to reinforce brothers soldiers currently fighting the americans at Lexington and also Concord. Whether sung or played on that occasion, the tune’s martial air was intended come deride the colonials.

(CHORUS)Yankee Doodle, store it up,Yankee Doodle Dandy,Mind the music and also the step,And through the girls be handy.

There are countless conflicting account of the origin of “Yankee Doodle.” some credit the melody to an English air; rather to Irish, Dutch, Hessian, Hungarian, and also Pyrenean tunes; or to a new England jig. Its an initial American verses are attributed to British armed forces surgeon Dr. Richard Schackburg. Legacy holds the Schackburg penned his text in 1755 if attending a wounded prisoner of the French and also Indian war at the residence of the valve Rensselaer family.

Old valve Rensselaer House, wherein Yankee Doodle was Written,… Albany, N.Y. C<1907>. Detroit posting Company. Prints & Photographs Division

“Yankee Doodle’s” catchy tune has actually been adjusted and expanded many times. The is recorded that the americans sang the following verse in ~ Bunker Hill:

Father and also I went under to camp,along with Captain Gooding,And over there we see the men and boysas thick together hasty pudding.

During the moment that George Washington got his commission and also took command the the nascent Continental military on Cambridge Common, extr verses evolved and also were incorporated.

and also there to be Captain Washington,And gentlefolks around him,They speak he’s grown therefore tarnal proud,He will not ride without ’em.

By 1777, “Yankee Doodle” had end up being an unofficialize American anthem. Adhering to General john Burgoyne‘s surrender of british troops to the Continental army on October 17, 1777, brothers officer thomas Anburey composed of the Yankees.

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Burgoyne’s Surrender in ~ Saratoga. Percy Moran, artist, c1911. Prints & Photographs Division

“Yankee Doodle” is likewise said to have been play at Yorktown, together with “The people Turned Upside Down,” when Lord Cornwallis surrendered come George Washington in ~ the finish of the war.

After the Revolutionary War, “Yankee Doodle” surfaced in phase plays, timeless music, and also opera. The writer, producer, and also composer George M. Cohan adjusted “Yankee Doodle” because that his Broadway pat Little Johnny Jones, the story of an American jockey who goes come England to victory a derby. A part of Cohan’s 1904 pat was integrated into the biographical 1942 movie Yankee Doodle Dandy staring James Cagney together Cohan, and also again right into the 1955 movie The Seven small Foys certification Bob Hope and also Cagney.

“Yankee Doodle. “U.S. Navy Band, good Lakes, IL (performer). Patriotic Melodies. Music Division