Yankee Doodle's Expedition

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   This song is more fully titled: Yankee Doodle's Expedition To Rhode Island. Written in 1778, this song commemorated the August 1778 attempt made to take Rhodes Island by Admiral Count D'Estaing's French fleet, in conjunction with General Sullivan.

   The song was published on 03 October 1778 in Rivington's Gazette. It became a popular hit among the Tories in the Colonies and in Great Britain.

From Lewis, Monsieur Gerard came To Congress in this town, sir,
They bow’d to him, and he to them, And then they all sat down, sir.
Begar, said Monsieur, one grand coup, You shall bientot behold, sir;
This was believ’d as gospel true, And Jonathan felt bold, sir.
So Yankee Doodle did forget The sound of British drum, sir,
How oft it made him quake and sweat, In spite of Yankee rum, sir.
He took his wallet on his back, His rifle on his shoulder,
And veow’d Rhode Island to attack, Before he was much older.
In dread array their tatter’d crew, Advanc’d with colors spread, sir,
Their fifes played Yankee doodle, doo, King Hancock at their head, sir.
What numbers bravely cross’d the seas, I cannot well determine,
A swarm of rebels and of fleas, And every other vermin.
Their mighty hearts might shrink they tho’t, For all flesh only grass is,
A plenteous store they therefore brought, Of whiskey and molasses.
They swore they’d make bold Pigot squeak, So did their good ally, sir,
And take him pris’ner in a week, But that was all my eye, sir.
As Jonathan so much desir’d To shine in martial story,
D’Estaing with politesse retir’d, To leave him all the glory.
He left him what was better yet At least it was more use, sir,
He left him for a quick retreat, A very good excuse, sir.
To stay, unless he rul’d the sea, He thought would not be right, sir,
And Continental troops, said he, On islands should not fight, sir.
Another cause with these combined, To throw him in the dumps, sir,
For Clinton’s name alarmed his mind, And made him stir his stumps, sir.


   Note: The midi file linked to this page was sequenced by The Kitchen Musician, whose website is located at: http://members.aol.com/kitchiegal/index.html