Chances are you’ve sung this one all your life. It’s actually a British tune, poking fun at the unsophisticated American: one so foolish to think that simply sticking a feather “in his cap” would make one a…macaroni.
Finally the song makes sense… a macaroni was actually an outlandishly fashionable man, or, a dandy.
If you’ll indulge us, a bit of etymology. Doodle comes from the German, dudel or dodel, translated as “fool”.
In 1815, the British finally surrendered. In the spirit of good warsmanship, a group of British soldiers stationed at Lake Ontario welcomed the Americans to a dinner in their honor. The outrageously-trusting American troops accepted, crossing from their point in Sackets Harbor. They were greeted with the regiment band playing…this tune. You decide whether it was sarcastic or not.
The song had special meaning for John F. Kennedy and his daughter Caroline.