Earlier this spring, while searching for uses of the phrase “King Hancock,” I skimmed a 1909 report from the Library of Congress. Oscar George Theodore Sonneck analyzed the histories of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “Hail Columbia,” “America,” and “Yankee Doodle” for the U.S. government.
On the last song, Sonneck quoted a British broadside from the late 1770s headlined “Yankee Doodle, or (as now christened by the Saints of New England) The Lexington March.” He reprinted six of the verses and added, “Stanzas sixth and seventh are too obscene for quotation.”
As a public service (albeit one already performed by other, more recent books and websites), Boston 1775 presents the verses that a century ago were too obscene for government work:
Seth’s mother went to LynnThe name “Doctor Warren” offers a whiff of contemporary political significance to the first verse, but the second appears to be just general naughtiness. Still, we value a complete historical record.
To buy a pair of breeches,
The first time father put them on
He tore out all the stitches;
Dolly Bushel let a fart,
Jenny Jones she found it,
Ambrose carried it to mill
Where Doctor Warren ground it.
Our Jemina’s lost her mare
And can’t tell where to find her,
But she’ll come trotting by and by
And bring her tail behind her.
Two and two may go to bed,
Two and two together,
And if there is not room enough,
Lie one a top o’ t’other.