I am a big believer in learning something new every day, and I wanted to share with you what I learnt today.
Brace yourselves for a revelation.
Yankee Doodle went to town…
Riding on a pony…
Stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni…
So basically, in the 18th century it became a right of passage for young British men of means to spend some time in Europe (GAP YAAAH). They’d gad about absorbing art, history, and language and becoming all-around cultured and sophisticated chaps.
Upon their return, they brought back outlandish high-fashion clothes and mannerisms, and a taste for exotic Italian dishes like macaroni.
Everyone thought they were a bit mental, but also a very cool and tres chic. As a group they were numerous and noticeable enough to get their own nickname…
They were known as “macaroni”
The 18th Century version of “Hipsters”
So the rhyme is basically about some guy who wanted all the ladies to think he was tres sexy, stuck a feather in his cap and somehow thought that made him macaroni. Yankee Doodle, the bumbling bumpkin that he was, was of course mistaken and everyone just laughed at him instead.
What a muppet!