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Research paper topic: Yankee Doodle Went To Town, Riding On A Pony, - 348 words
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"Yankee Doodle went to town, riding on a pony, Stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni." Before beginning my research, I assumed that the song above was a pointless rhyme, with about as much significance as "Mary Had A Little Lamb". However, after much research, I've learned that this poem is a reflection of colonial slang, British fashion, and the classic American tradition of the insult. "Yankee Doodle" was written by British soldiers during the Revolutionary War. While it may be used patriotically today, "Yankee Doodle" was actually a derogatory name given to American colonists by the British. It literally means "Stupid American." In order to understand the rest of this song, you must first have some knowledge of British fashion in the late 1700's.
Back in London, many young men were forming social clubs. Each of these clubs had an original name. Members of one such club, the most fashionable in London, called themselves "Macaronis". The Macaronis had toured Italy, and became quite fond of pasta, making it their official dish and trademark. Back in America, the times were changing.
Many fads that had been popular for some time were now going out of style. For example, putting a feather in your cap was becoming quite unfashionable. So, when the "Yankee Doodle" in this rhyme put a feather in his cap and called it Macaroni, he was claiming that he was being as fashionable as the British Macaronis, when he was actually quite behind his time. This was laughable to the British, because it was a story confirming the stereotype of a "Yankee Doodle." When I researched this topic, I was quite astounded at how similar today's customs are to customs from colonial times. Cruel insults were expressed in many forms and trendsetters told people what was popular. In this case, history is repeating itself.
I would not be surprised if 200 years from now, children were writing reports on how their insults are similar to ours. Unfortunately, the reappearance of insults in history is just an endless repetition of the wrong way of living.
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