The Schnitzelbank Variations

Someone who once wrote me had an old vinyl record "Marv Herzog's Schnitzelbank" with the classic Schnitzelbank poster on the cover:

Ist das nicht eine Schnitzelbank?
Ja, das ist eine Schnitzelbank.

Es geht weiter mit:

kurz und lang
hin und her
kreuz und quer
krumm und grad
grosses Glass
Haufen Mist
dicke Frau
fette Sau
langer Mann
gefaehrliches Ding

O - Die Schoenheit an der Wand - Ja das ist eine Schnitzelbank.

Ist das nicht mit einem freundlichen Gruess?
Ja das ist mit einem freundlichen Gruess,
Ist das nicht interessante News? (noos)
Ja das ist interessante News.....

freundlicher Gruess, interessante News, gefaehrliches Ding, Hochzeitsring...
Oh - die Schoenheit an der Wand, ja das ist eine Schnitzelbank.

Or another version:

langer Hund
offener Mund
grosse Kuh
ich und Du
gruene Wiese
Tante Liese
Sprung ins Meer
Bitte sehr
Tasse Tee
Mann aus Schnee
weisse Maus

und, und, und....

Hi!  I've never used this song in class before, but in case you're looking
for another "Americanized" version of the Schnitzelbank song, and you're not
enthused about having the Animaniacs sing about Otto's gut and Otto's butt
in your class (as amusing as I think that song is), I found another version
of the song that you might want to consider.  This version, which is
actually called "Yah Das Ist Ein Christmas Tree", uses the melody of the
Schnitzelbank song (although it doesn't mention the word "Schnitzelbank"),
and is sung, interestingly enough, by Mel Blanc with an exaggerated German
accent.  I found this song on a CD entitled "Christmas Comedy Classics:
Volume Two", copyright 1993 (although I'm sure the song by Mel Blanc is
considerably older).  According to its label, this CD was manufactured by:
                        Priority Records, Inc.
                        P.O. Box 2186
                        Los Angeles, California 90078   

Betreff:           Re: Reply and Thank You
Datum:            Thu, 11 Mar 1999 17:43:57 -0800 (PST)

The Schitzelbank Song is on a large poster with illustrations on it for
each character, and musical score. It would be impossible to send it to
you on E-Mail. To do your inquirers justice tell them to write to:

The Schnitzelbank Restaurant
393 Third Ave.
Highway 162, South
Jasper, Indiana
Phone: (812) 482-2640
FAX: (812) 482-7687
No E-Mail address available

Al Ruppel      

Betreff:           schnitzelbank
 Datum:            Sun, 13 Jun 1999 14:59:41 -0500
    Von:           Jim Krudwig (domain name is, user name is krudwig)

I have an authentic schnitzelbank in working condition
estimated to be at least 100 years old.  Can you provide a ballpark guess as to
its potential value?

Jim Krudwig
West Bend, WI  

11/15/2004 16:48
Back in June 1999, I asked if anyone had an idea of what the value would be of a an approximately 100 year old genuine schnitzelbank. My research describes it as a large vise like device use to work on old wooden wagon wheels.
Around 1956, while at the Amercian Consulate in Hamburg, Germany, I sang the Schnitzelbank song for my German instructor, Herr Hans Brecht (or Brech/Breck). He had never heard of a Schnitzelbank and did some research on it. He determined that it was a very old piece of equipment going back at least one hundred years and no longer in use in Germany in the mid-1950's.
If anyone has a response to my original request regarding its value, please contact me at:
barona and then the at sign and then
Jim Krudwig
West Bend, WI USA


username is jbestman, domain name is
Betreff: Schnitzelbank History
 Datum: Sat, 13 Nov 1999 15:08:07 -0500
    Von: Jim Bestman 


I am very curious about the "100 year old copy of the Schnitzelbank"
that you claim to have.  Can you fill me in as to where you got it and

As far as I have been able to trace, the Schnitzelbank first appeared in
the United States in 1933/34 at the Chicago Worlds Fair.  It was
supposedly invented by Herr Louie and the Weasel.  Herr Louie was a
Bavarian and the Weasel was Irish.  They appeared at  what I have been
led to believed as the Old Heidelburg Restaurant in Chicago.  I believe
they also may have been the famous "Hungry Five."  I received this
information from the wife (still living) of an accordionist (now
deceased) who appeared at the fair and knew them.

They--the husband and wife--appeared at the old Brown Bear Restaurant of
the Held family in Chicago where the first PUBLIC Oktoberfests were ever
held in the midwest in the 1960's.  The garage across the street was
rented and the Lipizzaner horses were brought in as a special
attraction.  It was tremendously successful!  The Oktoberfests, of
course, were always held as closed events by Vereins and parishes, etc.,
but to that time not generally open to the public.  The Brown Bear
Oktoberfest can therefore probably be considered the direct ancestor of
all the Oktoberfests in the midwest including the Milwaukee
Oktoberfest.  By the way, the performing musical family still has the
copy of the original Schnitzelbank in their possession--the one they
used at the Brown Bear.

The Schnitzelbank, in turn, was picked up--according to first hand
information--at the Worlds Fair and transported to at least two places
that we know of--Maders in Milwaukee and the Amana Colonies in Iowa.

Until this researched information is disproven or added to with earlier
history of the Schnitzelbank, this is the generally accepted story
arount Chicago.  If you can fill me in with another portion of the
history that I have been able to trace.  With this conclusion,  I
believe it is time that credit be given to these world-class
figures--Herr Louis and the Weasel who supposedly invented this world
class song right here in the United States.

With kindest regards,
Jim Bestman
(630) 543-7899
write to Jimmy with the domain name of


I have been told several times that the song was written by emigrated Germans in Michigan in the late 1800's to teach their children German. Most recently by the staff at the Schnitzelbank Restaurant in Heidelberg, summer 1999, where I personally heard the song for the first time. No German I've asked had ever heard of it. All further theories welcome -- please provide bibliographical references if you claim your version is true! The domain name is, you can mail to musicinfo at that domain. Nov. 15, 1999

Also from Frank Petersohn's wonderful

Das ist kurz und das ist lang

Melodie -

Das ist kurz und das ist lang,
Und das ist ne Hobelbank.
Kurz und lang, Hobelbank.

O, du schöne, o, du schöne,
O, du schöne Hobelbank.

Das ist hin, und das ist her,
Und das ist ne Schneiderscher.
Hin und her, Schneiderscher,
Kurz und lang, Hobelbank.
O, du schöne . . . .

Das ist krumm, und das ist grad,
Und das ist ein Wagenrad.
Krumm und grad, Wagenrad,
Hin und her, Schneiderscher,
Kurz und lang, Hobelbank.
O, du schöne . . . .

Das ist eine Ofengabel,
Und das ist ein Storchenschnabel.
Ofengabel, Storchenschnabel,
Krumm und grad, Wagenrad,
Hin und her, Schneiderscher,
Kurz und lang, Hobelbank.
O, du schöne . . . .



2/1/2005 17:30

I saw your posting.

My parents had this song in a book that either my sister or I still have somewhere.  I have a picture of the book sitting on a piano during WWII, and it looked old then.  I believe it was published in either the 20's or the 30's (at one time I knew).  It had the pictures to go along with the words.

The words (and tune) were different from any others that I have seen.  Besides Schnitzelbank, and Kurz und Lang, there were

Rosenmeir,     grosser Eier
grosser Fisch, kleiner Tisch
grosser Stein, schönes Bein

and there may have been one more pair of terms.  Obviously a bit ethnically discriminatory, as the illustration with "Rosenmeir" was clearly that of a bearded orthodox Jew.  Most likely that is why we don't see that version any more.

The chorus was 
O, du Schöne, 
O, du Schöne ,
O, du Schöne, 

The tune, going up from middle C, was
C E G G A A G  (Ist das nicht ein Schnitzelbank?)
C E G E D D C  (Ja, das ist ein Schnitzelbank?)

The chorus used elements from Deutschland über Alles, ich glaube.

If it was created by immigrants, I now know why I haven't been able to locate other references.

Horton Deakins


the Schnitzelbank probably has something to do with Bänkelsänger.änkelsänger



2/1/2005 17:55

Interesting thought about the ballad singer.  The illustration was definitely of some sort of workbench with a vise on it, but I could never find it in a german dictionary.  For many years growing up it was the only source I had for trying to learn german.

Horton Deakins


2/10/2005 16:53

I examined the photo that that had the picture of the book that--I think--had Schnitzelbank (and "Du, Du, Liegst mir im Herzen", plus "Immer Nicht Ein Tropfen") in it.  I found a reprint of this 1935 book on the Web here: .
I am also attaching the image of the cover.  It looks like it already had some damage at this point (sometime between 1940 and 1943).  My father later removed all the pages, punched holes, added reinforcements, and put it all into a binder.  Then he glued the cover onto the binder.  This was one of the books he used when he played his Hammond organ.

I still haven't gotten in touch with my sister yet about the book, but I will soon.  I could be completely mistaken--it could have been a different book--but the time frame is right.

Auf wiederhören,
Horton Deakins

Williams, John M. (compiler)
John M. Williams' Favorite Melodies for the Adult
Boston Music Company, 1935 Paperback. Good. Reprint. Used. 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall. Minor tear; ink stamp on cover.
Bookseller Inventory #0328134 

Price: US$ 7.95 (Convert Currency)  
Shipping: Rates & Speed

Bookseller: Arundel Books, 1001 1st Avenue, Seattle, WA, U.S.A., 98104


 "Speaking to the annual meeting of The Society for the History of
Germans in Maryland in downtown Baltimore on Aprill 23, Dr. William Keel
of the University of Kansas put to rest the myth that the Schnitzelbank
song was invented in America by German immigrants. He traced the song to
a version printed in central Germany in 1830, nearly 59 years before a
printed version appeared in the USA . He also indicated that the song,
in different forms, was actually found in the 1700's in Germany . It is
found not only German, but was used in Holland , Czechoslovakia ,
Hungary and other central European countries."


 See also:

I'm starting to think that it's related to another kind of song where you have to make up the text as you go, I can't remember now what it's called.  Nothing to do with Fasching though.  Reminds me of the Biermösl Blosn.


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