The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34802   Message #3094287
Posted By: GUEST,Grishka
13-Feb-11 - 07:29 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Schnitzelbank
Subject: RE: Origins: Schnitzelbank
Al, I think the above posts make it reasonably clear, particularly those by Wolfgang:

A Schnitzelbank can be
  1. a traditional workbench for carving etc. (female gender),

  2. a carnival (Fasnet) performance, especially around Basel, Switzerland, originally using such a workbench to display cartoons,

  3. or a person performing it (male gender though nowadays including women).

The meaning in the song may have changed or diversified during the Folk Process, but number 1. seems to be predominant.

The "Police" could indeed be Pennsylvanian, or French in Alsace after 1918.