Actually, the song was penned by the British, and its lyrics are mocking the shit out of American colonists.
In fact, despite the popular misconception that it's referring to the Revolutionary War, "Yankee Doodle" actually predates it by a couple of decades, back to the French and Indian War, during which the British were actually America's allies. That didn't stop the British from looking down upon the American colonists as a bunch of ... well, dandies.
Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
When your homeland is so shitty that you keep having to steal other countries to live in, you tend to harbor some resentment.
The song is generally attributed to a British army physician named Richard Shuckburgh, who is thought to have written the ditty after arriving in the not-yet United States and meeting some crappy Connecticut militia in their makeshift uniforms and carrying tenth-rate equipment. As cheerful as the song sounds, it inspires more outrage when you know what its lyrics actually mean. For those who need a reminder:
Yankee Doodle went to town
Riding on a pony,
Stuck a feather in his hat
And called it macaroni!
Yankee Doodle, keep it up,
Yankee Doodle dandy,
Mind the music and the step
And with the girls be handy!
Library of Congress
"Is 'be handy' implying that we're date rapists? Oh, it's on, bitches."
Like most of the redcoats who begrudgingly sailed to the colonies to show them how it was done, Shuckburgh was a blue-blooded aristocrat who liked to wear those fluffy powdered wigs and puffy pirate shirts that were all the rage -- a fashion that was, at the time, called "macaroni." And although today we tend to use the word "dandy" to mean something like "swell," back then it was a slur for someone who thought they were above their station. Even "Yankee" was slang for "coward," which is probably a rude awakening for the New York baseball team.
So what the Brits were really singing about was those uppity American redneck cowards who put feathers in their hats and dared to think of themselves as being as good as the British. The whole thing seems so ridiculous now, in the same way that all of our '90s rap songs won't make sense in a future era when everyone roots for a pro sports franchise called the Indianapolis Mark-Ass Bitches.
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty
Squaring off against the Green Bay Bustas.
Mike Floorwalker can be followed on Twitter, stalked on Facebook, and assaul- well, maybe just check out his work on Listverse. Ryan Menezes is a writer and layout editor here at Cracked. He broke down and made a Twitter page just for his Cracked fans.
Related Images: Speaking of famous symbols, did you know Chinese fortune cookies aren't Chinese? And that the Jesus fish is really a vagina? It's true! Horribly true. And it's also true that Guy Fawkes died trying to install the sort of theocracy that would terrify Anonymous today.