Richard Shuckburgh and “Yankee Doodle” 


    Richard Shuckburgh (mid 1700s) was a military surgeon at a fort in Albany, NY, during the 1740s and 50s and is sometimes credited with being the writer of the song “Yankee Doodle.”  However, how many different Richard Shuckburghs held that post at the fort in Albany remains an uncertainty at this time. Also, a number of same-named individuals were alive and in America during the eighteenth century. This individual may have been of German origins or could have been the son of an English noble family. Perhaps he was serving in America as early as the mid-1730s. On June 27, 1737, he was commissioned a surgeon in the “Independent Company of New-York” commanded by Captain Horatio Gates. Perhaps he came to Albany sometime thereafter.  Alexander Hamilton visited with the garrison surgeon “Mr. Shakesburrough” while in Albany during the summer of 1744. In March 1747, John, the son of Richard and Mary Shuckburgh, was baptized at the Albany Dutch church.  A Richard Shucksburgh received a number of commissions as surgeon to British forces during the 1750s and 60s.

Shucksburgh is often thought to have been the author of the traditional tune “Yankee Doodle”. However, other origins have been claimed for the song.  The melody is thought to be much older than both the lyrics and the subject, going back to folk songs of Medieval Europe, being well known across western Europe, including England, France, Holland, Hungary, and Spain. The earliest words of “Yankee Doodle” came from a Middle Dutch harvest song which is thought to have followed the same tune, possibly dating back as far as 15th-century Holland. It contained mostly nonsensical words in English and Dutch.   The term Doodle first appeared in English in the early seventeenth century and is thought to be derived from the Low German dudel, meaning “playing music badly,” or Dödel, meaning “fool” or “simpleton.”  The Macaroni wig was an extreme fashion in the 1770s and became slang for being a fop.  Dandies were men who placed particular importance upon physical appearance, refined language, and leisure hobbies. A self-made dandy was a British middle-class man who impersonated an aristocratic lifestyle. They notably wore silk strip cloth, stuck feathers in their hats, and carried two pocket watches with chains.

In British conversation, the term “Yankee doodle dandy” implied unsophisticated misappropriation of high-class fashion, as though simply sticking a feather in one’s cap would make one to be noble.  By using the term, the British were insinuating that the colonists were low-class men lacking masculinity, emphasizing that the American men were womanly.  The earliest versions of the song date to before the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolution (1775–83).  Perhaps the most common legend is that Dr. Richard Shuckburgh wrote a ballad set to the “Yankee Doodle” tune to poke fun at New Englanders who served in the French and Indian War in Canada.

Tradition places its origin in a pre-Revolutionary War song originally sung by British military officers to mock the disheveled, disorganized colonial “Yankees” with whom they served in the French and Indian War. It was apparently written around 1755 or 1758 by British Army surgeon Dr. Richard Shuckburgh as a guest at the Van Rensselaer brick manor also known as Fort Crailo, near Albany, while campaigning in upper New York, and the British troops sang it to make fun of their stereotype of the American soldier as a Yankee simpleton who thought that he was stylish if he simply stuck a feather in his cap.  According to one story, he wrote the mocking ballad after seeing the appearance of Colonial troops under Colonel Thomas Fitch, the son of Connecticut Governor Thomas Fitch.  The tune for “Yankey (or Yankee) Doodle” was known in America from the 1760s onward.  A Richard Shuckburgh is said to have died in Schenectady, NY, in August 1773.

Obviously songs like this didn’t please the New Englanders, or “Yankees,” as they were called, so they added additional verses to that mocked the British troops and hailed George Washington as the Commander of the Continental army, and. it became popular among the Americans as a song of defiance.  The current version seems to have been written in 1775-1776 by Edward Bangs (1758-1818), a Harvard sophomore who also was a Minuteman at Lexington.  .  One day, over two hundred years ago, he wrote a simple ballad about a farmer and his son as they “went down to camp” which was printed on a broadside sheet.  This broadside, probably dating from 1775 or 1776, is the earliest known printing of this version.  Now his ballad is part of American history.

It wasn’t until the Bangs version that this most famous of early American songs became well known. His words –with slight variations — were often reprinted during the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  By 1781, Yankee Doodle had turned from being an insult to being a song of national pride. Most of the authorities now conclude that the song is American in origin.  By the mid-19th century, this ballad was printed in Father Kemp’s Old Folks Concert Tunes as “Yankee’s Return From Camp (Yankee Doodle Dandy).”   Today it is the “State Song” of Connecticut.

The following work by Richard Shuckburgh is contained in my collection:

“Yankee Doodle” (attr.).


Remembering the Cost of Not Homeschooling

Remembering the Cost of Not Homeschooling
by Naomi Musch, via (Monday, June 11, 2012)
Originally published in Home School Enrichment Magazine

Many of us began living in a state of recession the moment we made the decision to homeschool. In most cases, one parent opted out of the work force, causing significant changes and challenges to the family budget. Besides funding the country’s public schools through taxation, we’re responsible to find creative ways to purchase our own curriculum, pay for our own field trips, and fund our own activities.

Our nation’s economy hasn’t been friendly to one-income families for many years. These days, the dollar has to be stretched, compressed, wrung, and shaken even more to provide a vibrant home education, even if both parents work jobs beyond that of parent-teacher.

All this also robs parents of valuable time. When both parents work outside jobs, it is difficult, though not impossible, to juggle the demands of homeschooling. Parents sometimes worry that they will not be able to provide the quantity or the quality of time needed to educate their children at home.

Read more:

Percy Montrose and “Clementine”


Percy Montrose (late 1800s) was an American songwriter who is usually credited with “Oh My Darling, Clementine,” an American western folk ballad in trochaic meter published in 1884, although it is sometimes credited to Barker Bradford as a similar version was published in 1885 by Bradford.  The song is believed to have been based on another song called “Down by the River Liv’d a Maiden” by Henry S. Thompson (1863).  The melody is originally attributed to being an old Spanish ballad  which was made popular by Mexican miners during the California Gold Rush. The melody was best known from Romance del Conde Olinos o Niño, a sad love story very popular in Spanish-speaking cultures. It was also given various English texts.

This American folk song is commonly performed in the key of F Major. It is unclear when, where and by whom the song was first recorded in English for others to hear, but the first version to reach the Billboard charts was that by Bing Crosby recorded on June 14, 1941, and this briefly touched the No. 20 spot. It was given an up-dated and up-tempo treatment in an arrangement by Hal Hopper and John Scott Trotter. There was a 1943 musical of the same name as the song.  The song has also been sung in numerous films over the years, most notably the 1946 film My Darling Clementine.  Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.  There are so many lyrical variations with the same subject that no author is a proven certainty.

My collection includes the following work by Percy Montrose:

“Clementine” (attr.).

Bob Phillips and “Old Colony Times”


Bob Phillips (b. 1953) is a pedagogue, composer, teacher trainer, conductor, and renowned innovator in string education. As a graduate of the University of Michigan with both Bachelor and Master Degrees in Music Education, Bob studied with Lawrence Hurst, Elizabeth Green, and Bob Culver. Many of Bob’s students have gone on to become successful string educators as well as professional performers in both classical and alternative styles. He has been elected “Teacher of the Year” nine times by national, state, and regional associations and has been invited to present clinics in more than forty states and eight foreign countries. Recognized as “Citizens of the Year” by the City of Saline for their work in arts education, Bob and Pam were also honored in special ceremonies by both the House and the Senate of the State of Michigan for their work with the Saline Fiddlers. In 2013, Bob was inducted into the University of Michigan School of Music’s Hall of Fame.

Bob brings a wealth of knowledge and a sense of humor to his clinics, drawn from his 27 years as a public school string teacher. He is an expert in large group pedagogy and in the development of alternative styles for strings. He is one of today’s leading educational authors and composers, and his books and pieces are performed by thousands of string students each year. Bob is currently the Director of String Publications for Alfred Music and is Past-President of the American String Teachers Association. Bob and his wife, Pam are also part of the creative team for Barrage 8.

In Saline, Michigan, Bob built a string program with over 700 students that is a national model of excellence in both classical and alternative music. After leaving Saline, Bob began a new string program in Tecumseh, Michigan. Bob’s groups have performed at national and state conferences, including the Midwest Clinic. He founded the nationally renowned folk-fiddling ensemble Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic, which gained an international reputation under his direction and performed more than 75 shows. Bob has served as conductor for a variety of youth symphonies, all-state and honors orchestras, and camps, including the All-State Orchestra at Interlochen, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Orchestras, Oakland Youth Orchestra, the Georgia All-State Orchestra, the Kentucky All-State Orchestra, and the Queensland Honour Ensemble Program.

Bob has authored over 19 book series that include 130 books for use in the classroom, including the ground breaking series Fiddlers Philharmonic, Fiddlers Philharmonic Encore!, Jazz Philharmonic, Jazz Philharmonic: Second Set , Latin Philharmonic, the String Explorer method, and the revolutionary Sound Innovations method, all published by Alfred Music. He has had over 140 works published for orchestras and bands and is an award winning ASCAP composer. One of his arrangements is “In Good Old Colony Times” for Alfred Music Publishing.  This easy arrangement of the traditional American folk song In Good Old Colony Times harkens back to the early days of our country.  It is an arrangement that allows every section to play the melody.  The tune starts in the cellos and basses, is presented in the second violins and violas and is eventually played by the first violins in a fiddly time setting.

Originally known as “Three Jolly Rogues,” the piece is an English folk song in which miller, a weaver, and a tailor lived in King Arthur’s time. They were thrown out because they could not sing. All three were thieves. They are suitably punished.  The earliest complete text is a broadside in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, England, dated 1804, “The Miller, Weaver and Little Tailor,” and it’s clear the song goes back well before that   It is also known as “In Good King Arthur’s Days.” The song is quoted by Thomas Hardy in “Under the Greenwood Tree”. It is known in the U.S.A. from the early nineteenth century, usually as “In Good Old Colony Days” or “In Good Old Colony Times.”

There does not seem to be any historical basis for the song; it just starts showing up in copies from around the start of the nineteenth century. It certainly has gotten around.   There are plenty of British variants, but it is even more popular in the United States.  At some point after the American Revolution, someone rewrote it for colonial use, and it became popular due to inclusion in a songster. It has been found all over New England, and Brown and Chappell collected it in North Carolina, and Cox in West Virginia, and there are other Appalachian collections.

The following work by Bob Phillips is contained in my collection:

“Old Colony Times” (arr.).

Schoolhouse Inn, Nashville, IN


Schoolhouse Inn at Hills O’Brown Vacation Rentals

4118 E. State Road 46

Nashville, IN 47448

Schoolhouse Inn is a newly renovated 1890’s one room schoolhouse that has all the modern amenities to provide you with a fun and relaxing stay in beautiful Brown County, IN.  Peaceful Valley Construction specializes in custom log homes, traditional stick frame homes, custom cabinetry, flooring, doors, stamped concrete patios and walks, fireplaces, design and landscape ideas.  Owners Dennis and Betsy Parman love creating custom homes for their customers.  Their love of log homes shows in every detail as they reconstruct old log structures into beautiful homes.  They also enjoy building from the ground up with traditional stick and timber frame homes. There is no job too big or small, and their greatest joy is seeing the owners in their new home.  One of the latest projects they currently completed was renovating the old one-room schoolhouse into an overnight rental.  Guests will enjoy the spacious living and dining area with 12 ft. ceilings and large original windows facing the woods where large grown trees still stand. Furnished and decorated with many antiques, the inn has a gas log fireplace.  Meals may be enjoyed at the 1810 Stretcher base table surrounded by comfortable Windsor chairs. The large picture window gives a perfect view of the wooded ravine.  A fully furnished kitchen awaits with a Jenn-Aire range, dishwasher, and all the tools needed to fix that perfect feast. The new custom built cabinetry and wood counter tops make the cooking experience enjoyable.  The newly renovated bath features a large walk in tiled shower and a new custom build cabinet with lots of counter space with an on demand water heater.  Up the loft style staircase there are two very cozy bedrooms with queen size pillow top beds. The décor and beautiful quilts create a very relaxing environment.  The large private deck features a four person hot tub, patio table, and a gas grill and firepit for outdoor enjoyment. From the deck wooded views are all around.  The Schoolhouse Inn has many original features. Those include the heart pine flooring, wainscoating on the walls on the main floor, 7 ft. windows with original glass panes, and belfry with the original school bell.  The Schoolhouse Inn has been decorated and furnished with comfort and relaxation in mind.

Dan Hartman and “Living in America”


Daniel Earl “Dan” Hartman (December 8, 1950 – March 22, 1994) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer, whose songs included “Free Ride” with The Edgar Winter Group, and the solo hits “Instant Replay,” “Second Nature,” “We Are the Young,” and “I Can Dream About You,” his most successful song which reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984, as well as The James Brown song “Living in America,” which Hartman co-wrote and produced and was even more successful, reaching #4 in 1985.  Hartman was born on December 8, 1950, near Pennsylvania’s capital, Harrisburg, in West Hanover Township, Dauphin County. He joined his first band, The Legends, at the age of 13. His brother Dave was also a member of the band. He played keyboards and wrote much of the band’s music, but despite the release of a number of recordings, none turned out to be hits. He subsequently spent a period of time backing the Johnny Winter Band. He then joined the Edgar Winter Group where he played bass, wrote or co-wrote many of their songs, and sang on three of their albums. He wrote and sang the band’s second biggest pop hit, “Free Ride,” in 1972.

Upon launching a solo career in 1976, Hartman released a promotional album titled Who Is Dan Hartman and Why Is Everyone Saying Wonderful Things About Him? It was a compilation disc including songs from Johnny Winter and the Edgar Winter Group. His second release, Images, was his first true album and featured ex-Edgar Winter Group members Edgar Winter, Ronnie Montrose and Rick Derringer and guests Clarence Clemons and Randy Brecker.  From October 21 until November 5, 1977, blues legend Muddy Waters used Hartman’s recording studio in Westport, Connecticut. Hartman ran the recording board for the sessions, produced by Johnny Winter, which created the album I’m Ready.  In late 1978, Hartman reached No. 1 on the Dance Charts with the disco single Instant Replay, which crossed over to No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979 and also reached the Top 10 on the UK charts.

Musicians Hartman worked with on the associated album included Vinnie Vincent and G. E. Smith. This was followed by his second chart topper, 1979’s “Relight My Fire,” which featured friend Loleatta Holloway on vocals.   He was back on the charts again with the single “I Can Dream About You,” which was featured on his album of the same name, I Can Dream About You, as well as the Streets of Fire soundtrack in 1984.  Hartman was featured as a bartender in one of the two videos that were released for the single, which received heavy rotation on MTV. “I Can Dream About You” is sung within the movie Streets of Fire by a fictional vocal group called The Sorels, whose lead singer is played by Stoney Jackson; the actual vocal was performed by Winston Ford.

In 1984, Hartman also performed Heart of the Beat under the band name 3V with Charlie Midnight for the soundtrack of Breakin,’ directed by Joel Silberg and, in 1985, scored a third Number 1 single on the Dance Music charts, “We Are the Young.”  The single “Second Nature” also charted during this period. Also in 1985, Hartman’s song “Talking To The Wall” was featured on the soundtrack to the film Perfect starring Jamie Lee Curtis and John Travolta.  “Living in America” is a 1985 song composed by Hartman and Charlie Midnight and performed by James Brown.  The song was prominently featured in the 1985 film Rocky IV. In the film, Brown sings the song before Apollo Creed enters the boxing ring, in reference to the character’s patriotic image. It was released as a single in 1985 and reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The song entered the Billboard Top 40 on January 11, 1986, and remained on the chart for 11 weeks. It also became a top five hit in the United Kingdom, peaking at number 5 on the UK Singles Chart; it was his only top 10 single in the UK. It was his first Top 40 hit in ten years on the US pop charts, and it would also be the last of Brown’s 44 hit recordings to appear on the Billboard Top 40 charts. In 1986, it was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song and won Brown a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. It appeared on the Rocky IV soundtrack album. The full version of the song (nearly six minutes long) was included on Brown’s 1986 Hartman produced album, Gravity.

In 1985 and 1986 Hartman worked on what was planned as his subsequent studio album, White Boy; he wanted the album to have a darker and more mature sound than his previous work. The album was completed in 1986, but the record label, MCA, thought it was too dissimilar to Hartman’s previous work, especially “I Can Dream About You”, and refused to release it. White Boy has never been released.  One song from the album, “Waiting to See You”, was used in the 1986 film Ruthless People and its accompanying soundtrack album, and was subsequently released as a single.

In 1988, Hartman co-wrote the song “Why Should I Worry?” with Charlie Midnight, for the Walt Disney Animation Studios film Oliver and Company.  During the next decade he worked as a songwriter and producer, and collaborated with such artists as Tina Turner, Dusty Springfield, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Tyler, Paul Young, James Brown, Nona Hendryx, Holly Johnson, Living in a Box, the Plasmatics, and Steve Winwood.   In 1989 he released his last studio album New Green Clear Blue, an instrumental new age-styled album. In 1990, he co-wrote with longtime collaborator Charlie Midnight 9.95 for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie. It was performed by Spunkadelic. In 1991, Hartman recorded “(That’s Your) Consciousness” for the soundtrack to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.

Hartman was never married and had no children.  He died on March 22, 1994, at his Westport, Connecticut, home, from a brain tumor. His remains were cremated. At the time of his death, both parents, a brother, and a sister were all still alive.  Following his death, his music began enjoying a revival of sorts:.  A cover version of “Relight My Fire” became a British number-one hit for Take That and Lulu. Sales of Hartman’s solo recordings, group efforts, production, songwriting, and compilation inclusions had exceeded 50 million records worldwide.  In 1994, the album Keep the Fire Burnin’ was posthumously released, a compilation featuring remixes of earlier hits, including his recording of Living in America and previously unreleased material. The album spawned two singles; “Keep the Fire Burnin'” – a duet featuring Halloway – and “The Love in Your Eyes.”

My collection includes the following work by Dan Hartman:

“Living in America.”

10/2018 Home School Book Review news

Home School Book Review Blog ( ) is the place to go for over 3,500 book reviews, primarily of children’s and youth literature both old and new, from a Biblical worldview.

Books reviewed in September of 2018 include:

September 21, 2018–Hello, the Boat

September 18, 2018–That’s Life, Too: A Second Helping of Wit and Wisdom

September 17, 2018–Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

September 16, 2018–Loyola Kids Book of Catholic Signs and Symbols: An Illustrated Guide to Their History and Meaning

September 15, 2018–Penn

September 10, 2018–Shhh…God Is in the Silence: A Story for All Ages

September 9, 2018–The Curse of the Vassal Fruit: Book One in the Frog Prince Adventures

September 6, 2018–Pecos Bill: The Greatest Cowboy of All Time

The winner of our Book of the Month Award for September, 2018:


The Curse of the Vassal Fruit: Book One in the Frog Prince Adventures by Erik Sietsema

Books that we are currently reading and will review in the near future are:

Mason Jar Mayhem by Tricia Goyer and Cara Putnam

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

Every Young Man’s Battle by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker

Boy with a Pack by Stephen W. Meader