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Origins: Schnitzelbank

DigiTrad:
A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD
BRAHMS' LULLABY
BUMM! BUMM!! BUMM!!!
CORPORAL SCHNAPPS
DIE GEDANKEN SIND FREI
DIE GUTE KAMERAD
DIE LAPPEN HOCH
DIE MOORSOLDATEN
EDELWEISS
GORCH FOCK LIED
HANS BEIMLER
HEISE, ALL
LILI MARLEEN
MARIA DURCH EIN DORNWALD GING
ODE TO JOY (GERMAN)
YAW, YAW, YAW


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toadfrog 27 May 01 - 11:58 PM
Wolfgang 28 May 01 - 03:58 AM
SeanM 28 May 01 - 06:30 AM
Giac@Brian's 28 May 01 - 08:39 AM
MarkS 28 May 01 - 03:37 PM
toadfrog 28 May 01 - 06:04 PM
Uncle_DaveO 28 May 01 - 06:16 PM
Rollo 28 May 01 - 06:46 PM
toadfrog 28 May 01 - 07:14 PM
Wolfgang 29 May 01 - 04:46 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 29 May 01 - 04:12 PM
Marc 29 May 01 - 04:20 PM
Marc 29 May 01 - 04:22 PM
Rollo 29 May 01 - 07:15 PM
toadfrog 30 May 01 - 01:34 AM
Joe_F 30 May 01 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,psuedo German from MN 24 Sep 07 - 11:54 AM
Joe Offer 24 Sep 07 - 05:30 PM
EuGene 24 Sep 07 - 06:20 PM
Snuffy 25 Sep 07 - 08:55 AM
Rapparee 25 Sep 07 - 09:11 AM
Jim Dixon 26 Sep 07 - 06:47 PM
Joe Offer 26 Sep 07 - 07:00 PM
Wolfgang 27 Sep 07 - 08:26 AM
EuGene 27 Sep 07 - 05:19 PM
Brakn 27 Sep 07 - 06:04 PM
Wolfgang 28 Sep 07 - 07:15 AM
GUEST,Jon 25 Apr 09 - 01:48 PM
Joe Offer 25 Apr 09 - 02:00 PM
Bill H //\\ 25 Apr 09 - 04:47 PM
Ebbie 26 Apr 09 - 02:46 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Apr 09 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,AL 12 Feb 11 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,Grishka 13 Feb 11 - 07:29 AM
Brakn 13 Feb 11 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,Ron F. 27 Feb 11 - 10:05 AM
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Subject: Schnitzelbank
From: toadfrog
Date: 27 May 01 - 11:58 PM

O.k. Does anyone know anything about this song, in particular whether it is German or American? I have heard it called Pennsylvania Dutch. The word order ("ist das nicht ein ______") I have never seen in German in any other context. I sang it once for a German friend, and she immediately responded, "das ist kein deutsches Lied." Meaning that counting songs, like this one or say, "Green Grow the Rushes," are completely alien to German tradition.

SCHNITZELBANK
Traditional

Ist das nicht ein Schnitzelbank?
Ja, das ist ein Schnitzelbank.
Schnitzelbank!
Ei du schöner, ei du sch schöner, ei du schöner Schnitzelbank.

Ist das nicht ein Kreuz und Quer?
Ja, das ist ein Kreuz und Quer!
Kreuz und Quer! Schnizelbank! Ei du schöner, ei du sch schöner, ei du schöner Schnitzelbank..

Ist das nicht ein Hin und Her?

Ist das nicht ein Hochzeitsring?

Ist das nicht ein gefährliches Ding?

I know this song is mentioned in an earlier chain. I tried reviving that one, and got no response, probably because of the title. So this is a second try.O.k. Does anyone know anything about this song, in particular whether it is German or American? I have heard it called Pennsylvania Dutch. The word order ("ist das nicht ein ______") I have never seen in German in any other context. I sang it once for a German friend, and she immediately responded, "das ist kein deutsches Lied." Meaning that counting songs, like this one or say, "Green Grow the Rushes," are completely alien to German tradition.

SCHNITZELBANK
Traditional

Ist das nicht ein Schnitzelbank?
Ja, das ist ein Schnitzelbank.
Schnitzelbank!
Ei du schöner, ei du sch schöner, ei du schöner Schnitzelbank..

Ist das nicht ein Kreuz und Quer?
Ja, das ist ein Kreuz und Quer!
Kreuz und Quer! Schnizelbank! Ei du schöner, ei du sch schöner, ei du schöner Schnitzelbank..

Ist das nicht ein Hin und Her?

Ist das nicht ein Hochzeitsring?

Ist das nicht ein gefährliches Ding?

I know this song is mentioned in an earlier chain. I tried reviving that one, and got no response, probably because of the title. So this is a second try.O.k. Does anyone know anything about this song, in particular whether it is German or American? I have heard it called Pennsylvania Dutch. The word order ("ist das nicht ein ______") I have never seen in German in any other context. I sang it once for a German friend, and she immediately responded, "das ist kein deutsches Lied." Meaning that counting songs, like this one or say, "Green Grow the Rushes," are completely alien to German tradition.

SCHNITZELBANK
Traditional

Ist das nicht ein Schnitzelbank?
Ja, das ist ein Schnitzelbank.
Schnitzelbank!
Ei du schöner, ei du sch schöner, ei du schöner Schnitzelbank..

Ist das nicht ein Kreuz und Quer?
Ja, das ist ein Kreuz und Quer!
Kreuz und Quer! Schnizelbank! Ei du schöner, ei du sch schöner, ei du schöner Schnitzelbank..

Ist das nicht ein Hin und Her?

Ist das nicht ein Hochzeitsring?

Ist das nicht ein gefährliches Ding?

I know this song is mentioned in an earlier chain. I tried reviving that one, and got no response, probably because of the title. So this is a second try.

(Approximate translation: Is that not a saw horse? Yes, it is a sawhorse. Oh, you beautiful, beautiful sawhorse! (cross, teeter-totter, wedding ring, dangerous thing)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 May 01 - 03:58 AM

I remember having heard that song. It is a song with an infinite number of verses made up on the moment. Here's another version on the web incluning tune. I don't know about it's origins.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: SeanM
Date: 28 May 01 - 06:30 AM

This is by no means a scholarly source, but an ex-girlfriend of mine spent a year or so as an exchange student in Germany, and also has several German relatives...

We ran into this on a cartoon TV show, 'Animaniacs'. They do a version that's basically a weird take of the lyrics, but they leave the tune alone.

Upon seeing it, she'd said that her younger cousin (or something like cousin) knew it and sang it, and she was I think five-ish?

In any case, I dis-remember her saying she thought it was an old song from her stepfather's youth as well...

Like I said, nothing solid, but I hope it helps.

M


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Giac@Brian's
Date: 28 May 01 - 08:39 AM

Also not a scholarly response, but, for what it's worth, I learned this song in the mid-40s from an elderly Catholic nun who was from Germany. No idea if she learned it in Germany or the U.S. My father (born in U.S.) was the son of a northern Italian interpreter. When after school I sang Schnitzelbank, my dad recognized it, sang it with me and corrected my pronounciation.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: MarkS
Date: 28 May 01 - 03:37 PM

I've seen this done in needlework in gift shops in the Amish areas of Pennsylvania. Could be of Penna Dutch derivation?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: toadfrog
Date: 28 May 01 - 06:04 PM

Thanks everybody. One place I'm sure the song exists is in college German classes in the United States. A very dubious task, often, speculating about where songs come from. I feel quite sure that Mark S., in correct about it being used by the Penna. Dutch (even though I know nothing else about them. That "Ei du Schoener" seems to come from a dialect I can't identify. So does "Schnitzelbank," which would seem to mean a saw horse. I never heard that word, and can't find it in any dictionary.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 28 May 01 - 06:16 PM

"SCHNITT" has to do with cutting. "Schnitzel" I take it would be a little cut, as in "wienerschnitzel", a pork cutlet. "Bank" is a bench.

Put 'em all together, they man a cobbler's bench. (For cutting leather."

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Rollo
Date: 28 May 01 - 06:46 PM

This song is originally a bavarian folksong that might be brought to america by immigrants. I got a version from a bavarian folk band called "bayerisch-diatonischer Jodelwahnsinn", and your version is nearly the same, although bavarian dialekt says "hobibank" instead of "Schnitzelbank".

it goes as following:
    Is das nicht a Hobibank?
    Ja, das ist a Hobibank!
    Ist sie nicht ganz blitzeblank?
    Ja, sie ist ganz blitzeblank.
    Hobibank, Blitzeblank...
    Oh du schöne Hobi-Hobibank,
    Gestern hamma g`suffa, und heite samma krank!

    Transl.:
    Isn`t it a workbench?
    Yes, it is a workbench!
    Isn`t it so nice and clean?
    Yes it is so nice and clean!
    Oh you wonderful Workbench,
    Yesterday we went to drink and today we are sick...
The stanza about the "Hobibank" is something like an induction, because this kind of song is meant to be sung with selfmade, often improvised stanzas of satirical and sometimes very ordinary contents. so "bayerisch diationischer Jodelwahnsinn" follow up with stanzas like the following:
    "Ist das nicht die Allianz?
    Ja das ist die Allianz!
    Die versichern jeden Schwanz,
    Die versichern jeden Schwanz!
    Allianz, jeden Schwanz,
    Oh du liebe Alli-Allianz, den Kopf ham mir versichert, doch ist er nicht mehr ganz!"

    translated:
    Isn`t that the "Alliance"?´[big german insurance corporation]
    Yes, it is the Alliance!
    They insure every cock,
    They insure every cock!
    Oh dear, dear alliance, we did insure the head, but it is broken...

there are a lot of such songs in bavaria. If I remember right, they are called "Schnaderlhüpfer". But me coming from northern germany, there is no guarantee on this.

- The word order "Ist das nicht ein..." is quite normal german, a question looking for confirmation, the same expression as the english "isn`t it..."

- "schnitzelbank" and "Hobibank" both are local expressions for "Hobelbank", a woodworker`s workbench.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: toadfrog
Date: 28 May 01 - 07:14 PM

Rollo: Thanks very much. Quite logical that the word is a local expression ("dialect term"?) for Hobelbank, which is a familiar word. But how do we know it is originally a Bavarian song? It is sung in the United States by Pennsylvania Dutch, who so far as I am aware come from the Rheinpfalz, in or around 1750. Are you sure about originally Bavarian?

Oh boy! "Gestern hamma g'suffa"! Kern-bayrish!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Wolfgang
Date: 29 May 01 - 04:46 AM

I'm not sure Rollo has nailed it. All your translations so far have been far from the mark (mine would have been too, yesterday) for you have been translating the word 'die Schnitzelbank' instead of the probably correct 'der Schnitzelbank.

While searching for the roots to this song I found another meaning of the word 'Schnitzelbank' which was completely new to me. It fits fine here and explains the lyrics beautifully: Schnitzelbank = 'Bänkelsängerverse mit Bildern' ('more or less bad verses for ballad-singers with pictures'). This word has the article 'der' and not 'die'. And now the lyrics start making sense: 'Ist das nicht ein Schnitzelbank' is completely correct German and means roughly 'Isn't that here a succession of bad verses' whereas 'ist das nicht eine Schnitzelbank' would mean what has been posted above.

Der Schnitzelbank in that sense is still well known in Switzerland and in the very south west of Germany as a term for a succession of verses depicting local or global happenings in a humourous manner not only but especially during the carnival season. If you want to read more you have to go here: Woher kommt der Schnitzelbank?

'Schnitzelbank' is related to 'Bänkelsänger', an old German expression for 'ballad singer' . It was to be heard at weddings as well (to kid the persons present) and that might explain the wedding angle in the lyrics.

'Hobibank' in my eyes is an intrusion from singers who were not familiar with the other meaning of 'Schnitzelbank'. If we want to infer the origin of that song from the meaning of 'Schnitzelbank' we have to go to the very south west of Germany or Switzerland or Alsace. These regions share a dialect of German which is termed 'Alemannisch' (I've never seen an English translation of that). And this is the only dialect in German in which 'Ist das nicht ein Schnitzelbank' makes perfect sense and is understood as being correct German.

Not a proof, I know, but a strong suspicion.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 May 01 - 04:12 PM

Rick at Robokopp says that there are a number of German songs that list things including zoo animals and even nationalities. Others, like Ja, Ja, Ja, are parodies of German songs that poke fun at the German-speaking immigrants. Schnitzelbank almost certainly originated in a German-speaking part of Europe, probably Bavaria or that general area. There are interesting songs from all over on Rick's site. One of the best!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Marc
Date: 29 May 01 - 04:20 PM

I don't speak german at all, but would like to add to Wolfgangs post. There is a Schnitzelbank tradition associated with Basel Fastnacht(Carnival in Basel, Switz.). During the carnival these guys in masks (everyone wears masks) go from pub to pub with a large Sandwich board or easle,on which is drawn funny pictures or diagrams. In the pubs they sing songs or tell stories about current politics or events for the enjoyment of other carnival particapants. These guys are called Schnitzelbanke, which is what drew my attention to this thread. Once again I don't speak german, but have spent a ton of time figuring out menues and signs, this song does not look like Basel Deutch to me, maybe a simalar german dialect from close by.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Marc
Date: 29 May 01 - 04:22 PM

I just reread Wolfgangs post and realize how redundent mine was. Sorry!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Rollo
Date: 29 May 01 - 07:15 PM

Dear Wolfgang,

I bow to the superior being! *GGG* Yes, this use of the word "schnitzelbank" brings most sense into all that...

I had just imagined the "wrong" use of "der" instead of "die" was degenerated dialect influenced by the english-speaking neigborhood. Or a cut in order to fit the word into the metrum like in "Es ist ein Ros` entsprungen".

About the "Hobibank" version: maybe the origins lay in the southwest, but it is as typical it can be for bavarian folk. Thats all I can say about it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: toadfrog
Date: 30 May 01 - 01:34 AM

Wolfgang: That is very persuasive and v. impressive! One reason I put this on was that I had seen your messages in earlier threads, and was sure you would have somethint to say worth hearing! And the pronunciation your clicky gives ("Ei du scheener")fits the idea I had somehow aquired about about how it was pronounced. (By the way, we Americans virtually never discuss the Alemannen, thus the absence of a word for them.)

Rollo:
I had thought that "Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen (aus Jesses Wurzel Art)" was originally a mispronunciation of "Es ist ein Reis entsprungen," which makes sense if it relates to the passage which reads, in English:

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,
And a branch shall grow out of his roots:
And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and might [Etc.]
Isaiah 11:1 et seq. If the passage is read to predict the birth of Christ (which is how lots of people read it) it makes sense to say, a "shoot" out of Jesse's roots

My Wildhagen defines "Reis" as "twig, sprig or shoot," So that "ein Reis entsprungen aus Jesses Wurtzel Art," sounds a lot like "a branch grown out of his roots." "Rose," on the other hand, seems to make no sense in this context. But of course, I'm not German, perhaps someone knows better.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Joe_F
Date: 30 May 01 - 09:43 AM

The New Song Fest has:

Kurz und Lang, und Schnitzelbank.

Lichtputzcher, Hin und Her.

Krum und Grad, Wagenrad.

Goldener Ring, Schoenes Ding.

Gute Wurst, Grosser Durst.

Herbergsmutter, Gute Butter.

Besenstiel, Automobil.

Herbergsvater, Gigger-Gagger.

Helles Licht, Affengesicht.

Mention of the Herbergsmutter & -vater suggests that this is a version sung in youth hostels. "Affengesicht" (monkeyface) would then be a taunt hurled at one or the other when he or she showed up with a lamp to tell the boys to shut up & go to sleep.

It is easy to imagine appropriate gestures to go with most of the images, perhaps creating Freudian allusions & adding to the hilarity. How the Schnitzelbank might fit into that scheme, I leave to the Freudians.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: GUEST,psuedo German from MN
Date: 24 Sep 07 - 11:54 AM

There is an Oktoberfest every year in Longville, MN. We just sang this crazy song (many beers needed). The owners of an authentic German restaurant (The Wabedo Inn) brought the song to the town years ago. There is even a nice poster that goes with the song, so that you can remember what verse you are on. The poster came from Mader's, which I believe is a German restaurant in Chicago.

Leader: Ist das nicht ein.... (is this not your....)
Group: Ja, das ist ein... (yes, this is your ...)
leader: Ist das nicht ein...
Group: Ja, das ist ein....

1. Schnitzelbank (whittle bench)
2. Kurz und Lang (short and long)
3. Hin und her (back and forth)
4. kreuz und quer (criss cross)
5. Schiess gewehr (shot gun)
6. Wagen rad (wagon wheel)
7. Krumm und grad (bent and straight)
8. Grosses glas (big glass)
9. oschsen blas (ox bladder)
10. Haufen mist (manure pile)
11. Schnickel fritz (Silly Fritz)
12. Dicke Frau (Obese woman)
13. Fette Sau (fat pig)
14. Langer Mann (tall man)
15. Tannenbaum (Christmas tree)
16. Hochzeits ring (wedding ring)
17. Gefaehrliches ding (dangerous thing)

Chant backwards through the list:
Chorus Eine Schoene (a beautiful one), Eine Schoene,
Eine Schoene Schnitzelbank.
(sing chorus between each refrain)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Sep 07 - 05:30 PM

Chicago??? CHICAGO??????
I beg your pardon....Mader's, often referred to as America's best-known German Restaurant, is on Third Street in Milwaukee.

Back in My Day, the John Ernst Cafe (closed in 2001) was the German restaurant preferred by the locals.

Karl Ratzsch's was another German restaurant the Milwaukee locals favored - Mader's was good, but mostly for the tourist trade. Click here for more information on Milwaukee German restaurants. Oh, and check out the Usinger's Sausage Website.

I used to have one of those Mader's Schnitzelbank posters. I threw it out once I started studying German and found out the song wasn't "real" German.

-Joe Offer, displaced Wisconsinite-


Oh, and the famous German restaurant in Chicago is The Berghoff. They also have a not-so-German restaurant in the United terminal at O'Hare Airport. I often stop there for a beer and a brat if I have a layover on my way home to California. I see that the Berghoff is now closed - I never got a chance to visit their historic restaurant.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: EuGene
Date: 24 Sep 07 - 06:20 PM

Pseudo German from MN:

I had to dig around all my junque, Fibber McGee closet stuff, etc., but finally I located my old "Schnitzelbank" chart, and by golly, you hit all 17 things on the chart, and in the right order.

I don't speak German, but my Father's family was German, and when I was a child and went to family gatherings, my Great Uncle would bring out his embroidered Schnitzelbank chart and pointer stick, then lead all us kids through the song.

Meanwhile, all the elderly generation from the old country would all sit around (men in one room, women in another) chatting away in German. The last of them, my Great uncle died in the 1960's, and with his demise, great Grand-dad's schnitzelbank (yes, the latter was a cobbler in Germany and brought his bench with him to the USA) disappeared. It was a nifty saw-horse style work bench where you sat astraddle a narrow part at one end and worked on the wider workbench area in front of you.

It had an neat clamp that you operated with a foot pedal (like a drummer uses to whack the bass drum) connected to a rod that came up through a hole in the workbench, arched over and pointed down toward the workbench. Then all you had to do is place an item under the end of the clamp rod, step on the pedal to bring the rod down against the item, and the item would not move while you worked on it. You could turn the item around, flip it over, change items, etc. instantly just by lifting your foot then reclamping. A very quick & simple little vise indeed!

Eu


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Snuffy
Date: 25 Sep 07 - 08:55 AM

The middle section of Spike Jones' Der Fuhrers Face seems to be based on Schnitzelbank:

Are ve not der Super Men, Aryan-pure Super Men?
Ja! Ve iss der Super Men, Super-dooper-super men.
Iss der Nazi land so goot? Vould you leave it iff you could?
Ja! Dis Nazi land iss goot. Ve vould leave it iff ve could.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Rapparee
Date: 25 Sep 07 - 09:11 AM

Schnitzelbank.

Also called a "shaving horse."

You sit at the end of the long end and wedge a piece of wood under the club-like upright, keeping it tightly wedge by pushing forward on the pedal with your foot. Then you can use a drawknife or other wood-shaving tool with both hands. Quite ingenious, actually.

My grandfather had one. I wish I did.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Sep 07 - 06:47 PM

Rapaire: If that's a shnitzelbank, then I don't think it has anything to do with making shoes. I've seen those things many times, mainly at historical sites where people demonstrate mostly bygone skills like candle making, blacksmithing, and so on. I didn't know what they were called though. Your description of how they are used is very accurate.

Here are more pictures of shaving horses from Google Images.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Sep 07 - 07:00 PM

Here's a Google Image link for Schnitzelbank.

When I was in high school there was a copy of the Bildwörterbuch from Das Grosse Duden. This was a German picture dictionary, and I really liked the antiquated pen-and-ink drawings used to illustrate the words. I looked for a copy of that book for mysef for years, and finally found a copy for $8.50. The book locates "eine Schitzelbank" in a shoemaker's shop, and it fits the description and photo given by Rapaire. I wonder if it's used for shaping the soles of shoes.
Click here for a rather small image of Mader's "Schnitzelbank" poster - and here (click) for one that you can actually read that apparently comes from Amana, Iowa.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Wolfgang
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 08:26 AM

Many fine pictures of "die Schnitzelbank".
And here's a picture of der Schnitzelbank

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: EuGene
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 05:19 PM

Jim Dixon:

Like the varieties of vises used in modern workshops, the schnitzelbank was made in various styles and sizes, depending upon the purpose to which it was to be used, My great grandfather's schnitzelbank was more like the red-colored examples in the images provided by Repaire and Joe Offer.

It had the arched type clamp rather than the large block that pushed down on a separate clamping board. The type with the arched clamp did not have a powerful clamping action, but was useful for working with small items . . . that style was often used by cobblers, as well as other craftsmen doing light work, such as clockmakers, wood carvers, luthiers, etc.

. . . er, Wolfgang, that looks like one of my old family photos? How did you come by it?

EuGene


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Brakn
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 06:04 PM

Has this got anyhting to do with it. I have the sheet music somewhere. Apologies if it hasn't.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 07:15 AM

EuGene,
very easily with a google image search for "Schnitzelbängg" but I think "Schnitzelbangg" also leads to these images. The difficult first part of the search was to find out that "Schnitzelbank" is not a good search term and by what to replace it.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 25 Apr 09 - 01:48 PM

Yes, I have it on good authority that Schnitzelbank is an authentic German song, primarily from southern Germany. I learned this song in high school from my German teacher: a German native from the Swartzwald (black forest) area. The song was prompted through a poster that showed all the song images, very much like the one I found at http://www.schnitzelbank.com/poster.htm.

However, I sincerely doubt this version is German: "Ei der schoene..." might be Pennsylvania Dutch, Yiddish, or some other dialect. In German "ei du schoene" would mean "egg you pretty": which is fairly non-sensical in the context of the song. In the version I learned from my Swartzwald German teacher, the chorus was "O der schoenheit an der Wand, ja das ist ein Schnitzelbank." (you'll note, that's the chorus indicated on the top of the poster. It means, "As displayed upon the wall, yes that is a cobblersbench."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Apr 09 - 02:00 PM

...or Plattdeutsch (Low German). I'm sure there must be a Low German dialect where "Ei der schöne" might be correct. Hochdeutsch (High German) is quite standardized (by law, in fact), but Plattdeutsch covers a wide range.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Bill H //\\
Date: 25 Apr 09 - 04:47 PM

When I went to camp many years back the line was OH DU SCHONE( cannoat dfo an umlaut on this machine) etc;

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Schnitzelbank
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 Apr 09 - 02:46 PM

The Amish sing this song. In fact, John Schmid of Berlin, Ohio, recorded it when he put out two CDs of Amish songs, called "Going to the Dutch". He, himself, is not Amish but grew up amongst them and speaks the dialect.

The Amish, by the way, came originally - back in the 1700s- from the Alsace region.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DIE SCHNITZELBANK
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 05:47 PM

From Aus der Kinderstube: Niedersächsisches Kinderbuch, ein Reim- und Liederschatz für Eltern und Kinder by Ludwig Grote (Hannover: Selbstverl., 1872)

DIE SCHNITZELBANK

Das ist kurz und das ist lang,
Und das ist die Schnitzelbank.
Das kurz und lang, die Schnitzelbank:
Ei du schöne, ei du schöne, ei du schöne Schnitzelbank.

Das ist hin und das ist her,
Und das ist die Lichtputzscheer.
Das hin und her, die Lichtputzscheer,
Das kurz und lang, die Schnitzelbank:
Ei du schöne, ei du schöne, ei du schöne Schnitzelbank.

Das ist krumm und das ist grad,
Und das ist das Wagenrad.
Das krumm und grad, das Wagenrad,
Das hin und her, die Lichtputzscheer,
Das kurz und lang, die Schnitzelbank:
Ei du schöne, ei du schöne, ei du schöne Schnitzelbank.

Und das ist die Ofengabel,
Und das ist der Storchenschnabel.
Die Ofengabel, der Storchenschnabel,
Das krumm und grad, das Wagenrad,
Das hin und her, die Lichtputzscheer,
Das kurz und lang, die Schnitzelbank:
Ei du schöne, ei du schöne, ei du schöne Schnitzelbank.

Das ist gut und das ist schlecht,
Und das ist der Müllerknecht.
Das gut und schlecht, der Müllerknecht,
Die Ofengabel, der Storchenschnabel,
Das krumm und grad, das Wagenrad,
Das hin und her, die Lichtputzscheer,
Das kurz und lang, die Schnitzelbank:
Ei du schöne, ei du schöne, ei du schöne Schnitzelbank.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Schnitzelbank
From: GUEST,AL
Date: 12 Feb 11 - 08:36 PM

Hi:

I think I can verify the association of the Schnitzelbank song with the carnival season. I recently purchased an old framed black and white photograph showing a small band of (clown) performers with face
make-up,costumes and musical instruments, holding a sign in German with the words, "Schnitzelbank" written on it and the beginning verse of the Schnitzelbank song, plus small cartoon characters or vignettes on the sign. There is no date or other identifying markers on the photo to indicate time or place, but I feel very strongly that it dates to at least to the 1910's. I think this might even be Pennsylvania Dutch, and not German, because one of the clowns wears a bowler hat with s small metal badge with the word, "Police" on it.

                           AL


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Subject: RE: Origins: Schnitzelbank
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 07:29 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Schnitzelbank
From: Brakn
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 07:50 AM

A bit of a naff version on You Tube.

The intro verse should be

We used to sing a Snitzelbank song that we would love so much,
And now we sing it once again, but with a modern touch.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Schnitzelbank
From: GUEST,Ron F.
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 10:05 AM

Hey, Al!

Your photograph of the clowns and Schnitzelbank sign has me intrigued! I have been studying the early history and evolution of the Schnitzelbank song and would love to see a copy of the photo. Would you be willing to take a photo or a scan of the photo and email it to me? I can share more information with you, if you'd like.


Thanks!

Ron


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