The Yankee Doodle Boy


Performed by: Billy Murray

Both the words and music of "Yankee Doodle Boy" (also known as "I'm A Yankee Doodle Dandy") were written by George M. Cohan. Cohan also wrote, co-produced and starred in the play in which he introduced the song. He sang it during the first act of Little Johnny Jones, his first full-length musical which opened in New York's Liberty Theater on November 7, 1904, and ran for 52 performances.

The Yankee Doodle Boy

  Listen -- MP3 (Billy Murray )
  Listen -- MP3 (F.E. Lewis)

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

 I've got a Yankee Doodle sweetheart
 She's my Yankee Doodle joy
 Yankee Doodle came to London
 Just to ride the ponies
 I am the Yankee Doodle Boy

Subsequent to Cohan's most successful years on Broadway, a number of shows have incorporated his song "Yankee Doodle Boy" and/or depicted the "Yankee Doodle Boy," himself. Eddie Buzzell sang "Yankee Doodle Boy" in the 1929 motion-picture adaptation of the big hit Little Johnny Jones. Jimmy Cagney played the role of George M. Cohan and sang "Yankee Doodle Boy" in the Academy Award-winning 1942 film Yankee Doodle Dandy. Bob Hope popularized the song further in the 1955 Academy Award-nominated film The Seven Little Foys. And in 1969 Joel Grey played George M. Cohan on Broadway in the smash hit George M!.

Credit for some: Library of Congress, Music Division.