“Yankee Doodle Boy” is the true title of this song by George M. Cohan and was composed for his 1904 musical called “Little Johnny Jones”.
“Yankee Doodle Dandy” as well as being the first few lines of the lyrics is also the title of the 1942 film about the life of George M. Cohan one of America’s most famous and patriotic composers and entertainers.
He was born in Providence, Rhode Island on July 3rd, 1878 but claimed he was “Born on the Fourth of July” and coming from a family of entertainers they couldn’t resist the publicity value so they changed his birthday ever so slightly.
So patriotic and inspiring were many songs of George M. Cohan that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt presented him with the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor (not to be confused with the military’s Medal of Honor) for his contributions to national morale during World War I. He is the only American composer to receive such an honor.