Home » Arts and Entertainment » Music

The Yankee Doodle Boy says, "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy"

Jun 26, 2008
Written by George Michael Cohan, "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy" was 'Broadway Composer Cohan' at his best. Today, the wit of the lyrics and the song's tempo and temperament continue to elicit applause in theaters nationwide.

George Cohan was born at Providence, Rhode Island in 1878. He started out in show business in Vaudeville, traveling with his performing father, mother, and sister. Vaudeville is where Cohan learned the nuances of live performing and keeping audiences entertained. He was part of The Four Cohans, the name his family used as their marquee title.

Eventually Cohan made it to Tin Pan Alley as a songwriter, and Broadway as a prolific creator of musicals. "The Man Who Owned Broadway" became a catch phrase for this talented composer during his heyday in New York City. Another name bestowed on him was "The Father of American Musical Comedy". He wrote his own play scripts, music, and lyrics.

The song The Yankee Doodle Boy is from the musical comedy Little Johnny Jones. This was Cohan's first full-length musical, and his family performed in the original production.

Though not an initial success on Broadway, the musical eventually achieved acclaim after some reworking. The song is a lively number with flair. The song line "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy" is sung with unabashed patriotism. The song includes the proudly American chorus:

I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy
A Yankee Doodle, do or die
A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam
Born on the Fourth of July

The wit in the lyrics of the song was also manifest in the play itself as seen in the tongue-in-cheek name of a girl from San Francisco, Goldie Gates. Cohan's sense of humor came through in his storyline, music, and verse.

The musical opened on Broadway in New York City at the Liberty Theater, on November 7, 1904. It's the story of a jockey, Johnny Jones, who rides a horse called Yankee Doodle in the English Derby. Cohan based the character of Johnny on Hall of Fame jockey Todd Sloan (1874-1933). Other popular songs to come out of the musical were 'Give My Regards to Broadway' and 'Life's a Funny Proposition'.

Eventually a film biography was developed about George Cohan. Called Yankee Doodle Dandy, this film starred James Cagney as Cohan. Joan Leslie and Walter Huston also had roles in this film. It celebrated the accomplishments of Cohan and his rise to fame.

He wore many hats during his career as a producer, composer, actor, writer, singer, and director. His sheer output as a songwriter was phenomenal. He had over 1,500 of his songs published, and he developed the art of melding drama with music.

Cohan livened up American theater with his tunes and plays, as the art form was heading into a stagnant time. He breathed fresh life into Broadway with his fresh, catchy, lyrics and music. Cohan, who achieved the American dream through sheer talent and hard work, was himself a true Yankee Doodle Dandy.
About the Author
Duane Shinn is the author of hundreds of articles and courses on music and piano playing. A free newsletter on piano chords is available at
"Exciting Piano Chords & Piano Chord Progressions!"
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 208
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources