Amy liked to stop at The Coffee House for an afternoon cappuccino. Since Little Amy and the twins were in the same class Agnolia and Big Amy often talked about what the children were doing.
When Agnolia saw Amy on Monday she said that, over the weekend, the twins had been marching around the house singing "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy."
Amy said she was certain Lucy and Jacob had learned Yankee Doodle at school because the previous week Little Amy had come home from school with lots questions about the song. Amy then said, that much to her surprise, she had found a book about the song, America's Song - The Story of 'Yankee Doodle.' Amy said that with the help of the book she was able to answer all of Little Amy's questions and in the process learn a log about the American Revolution.
Overdue for a break, Agnolia made a cup of espresso and sat down at Amy's table while Amy passed on some of the interesting information she had learned from reading America's Song.
Amy said the title, "Yankee Doodle" was derived from the two Dutch words - "jonker (pronounced 'yonker') meant a country squire, and the jonker in the song was a doedel (pronounced 'doodle'), a simpleton or fool."
The Dutch, who in the 1660's considered Yankee Doodle to be an insult to the Americans, often sang the song loudly while they worked in the fields.
On April 19, 1775 "mile after mile, the redcoats sang 'Yankee Doodle' as they marched from Boston to Lexington and then onto Concord." When, later in the afternoon the British had clearly lost the battle, the victorious New Englanders began marching to Yankee Doodle. "For the first time ever, the 'Yankey Song' sounded good to New Englanders." In Boston that afternoon "a heartsick British officer asked another what he thought of the 'Yankey Song' now. 'Damn them!' the other grumbled, dejected, and said he hoped never to hear that song again, for the Yankees' made us dance to it 'till we were tired."
After the battle of Lexington and Concord Yankee Doodle became a fighting tune. At the surrender ceremony, October 19, 1791, "fifes and drums exploded with a racket that startled the British" as they played Yankee Doodle. It had taken more than a century for the "song of insult" to become a "song of victory."
Agnolia, who had found Amy's tale of Yankee Doodle fascinating, asked Amy if she could borrow the book, and then said, "I think they should give college credit for answering the questions of a first grader."
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