John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

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"John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt" is a traditional children's song that originates from the United States of America. The song consists of one verse repeated over and over again while increasing in volume (or decreasing, except for the closing "da da da..." phrase) for each iteration. There are other ways of singing this song such as increasing (accelerando) or decreasing (ritardando) in tempo after each repetition. The lyrics of the song depend on who is singing.

Lyrics and melody[edit]

There are various lyrics to the song; for example, the following is one version, which is repeated several times, often while altering the tempo or pitch:[1]

    \key d \major \time 4/4
     \repeat volta 2 { fis'2 e'4 d' 
     a8 g'8 g'8 fis'8 g'4 r
     g'8 g'4 g'8 a'4 e'4 
     fis'2. r8 fis'8
     a fis' fis' eis' fis'4. ais8
     b8 g' g' fis' g'4 fis'8 g'
     a'4 a'8. b'16 a'8 g' fis' e'
     d' a' a' b' a' g' fis' e' }
   \addlyrics {
John Ja-  -cob Jin-  -gle-  -hei-  -mer Schmidt!
His name is my name, too! 
When- -ev-  -er we go out, 
The peo- -ple al- -ways shout!
(There goes) John Ja- -cob Jin- -gle- -hei- -mer Schmidt!
(Ya da da da da da da...)


While the origins of the song are obscure, some evidence places its roots with vaudeville and theatre acts of the late 19th century and early 20th century popular in immigrant communities. Some vaudeville acts during the era, such as the work of Joe Weber and Lew Fields, often gave voice to shared frustrations of German-American immigrants and heavily leaned on malapropisms and difficulties with the English language as a vehicle for its humor.[2] Further, "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt" shares many characteristics with "My Name is Jan Jansen", a song that can trace its origin to Swedish vaudeville in the late 19th century.

By the mid-20th century, the song appears to have already become widely known. In 1931, the Elmira Star Gazette, a newspaper in upstate New York, reported that at a Boy Scout gathering at Seneca Lake, as scouts entered the mess hall "Troop 18 soon burst into the first camp song, 'John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith.'"[3] A 1941 Milwaukee Journal article also refers to the song, with the same alternate spelling of "John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith."[4]

The song can be sung in an infinite loop, like "The Song That Never Ends", "My Name is Jan Jansen" or, "Michael Finnegan".

Versions of this song also appear in other languages, such as the Spanish rendition; "Juan Paco Pedro de la Mar".

Notable appearances[edit]

  • Daddy Dewdrop released a version of the song, entitled "John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith", as the B-side to his 1971 single, "Chick-A-Boom (Don't Ya Jes' Love It)".[5]
  • Comedy sci-fi movie RocketMan (1997)
  • Disney animated movie Recess: School's Out (2001)
  • The Andy Griffith Show episode "Back to Nature" (1964, season 4, episode 31).
  • The song is featured in a scene of the 1994 film In The Army Now starring Pauly Shore, David Alan Grier, Andy Dick, and Lori Petty.
  • In the TV show Psych episode “Romeo and Juliet and Juliet” (2010, season 5, episode 1), Shawn uses the closely related "Jonathan Jacob Jingly Smith" as he introduces Gus, only to be challenged by the character’s incredulous, “You're saying his name is John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt?”
  • “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt” is the name of Robin Williams’ character in the 1995 movie, “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar”.

Note and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Bug Juice Days" Lynch, Dan
  2. ^ Wasson, Andrew. "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt is not a Person". Dairy River.
  3. ^ Elmira Star-Gazette "Scouts Open Camp Seneca Term Sunday," , . July 6, 1931, p. 8. Retrieved on October 9, 2014.
  4. ^ Milwaukee Journal. "Youth Finds Fun at Fair". August 17, 1941, p. 4. Retrieved on July 3, 2014.
  5. ^ Daddy Dewdrop, "Chick-A-Boom (Don't Ya Jes' Love It)" single release Retrieved February 14, 2016.

External links[edit]