(In chronological order)
In 1767 THE DISAPPOINTMENT or THE FORCE OF CREDULITY, by Andrew Barton, Esq., "A new comic American opera of two acts," was published in New York. This was probably the first of its kind written in this country. No music included. The libretto contains eighteen songs with the names of the "Airs" to which the words were to be sung. Air IV is YANKEE DOODLE, and the year of issuance proves conclusively that this rollicking melody was actually in existence before the American Revolution. The production of this "American opera" was announced, but it was withdrawn before its premiere.
The earliest known edition in separate song form is "YANKEE DOODLE, or (as now Christened by the Saints of New England) THE LEXINGTON MARCH. NB. The Words to be Sung thro' the Nose, & in the West Country drawl & dialect."First line: "Brother Ephraim sold his Cow and bought him a Commission." Published by [Thomas] Sk [illern]† of London who was known to have printed music under his own name between 1777-1778 and 1799. The Boston Public Library dates this as [178-]. See illustration.
YANKY (sic) DOODLE appeared in print, without words, in James Aird's "Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs," Glasgow, 1782.
We give below the known early American editions of YANKEE DOODLE in sheet music form.____________________