"John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt" is a traditional children's song of obscure origin. The same verse is sung more and more softly in repetition. The lyrics of the song depend on who is singing. For example, the following is one version:
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, His name is my name too. Whenever we go out, The people always shout, "there goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt!" Na na na na na na na na (or other folderol)
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, That's my name too. Whenever I go out, The people always shout, "There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt!" Da da da da da da da da
The mock German name celebrated in the song suggests that English-speaking children find long northern-European names to be inherently funny words. The surname "Schmidt" and the surname suffix "-heimer" are of Germanic origin. Schmidt is one of the most common surnames in German heritage.
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. 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 Lake Seneca, as scouts entered the mess hall "Troop 18 soon burst into the first camp song, 'John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith.'" A 1941 Milwaukee Journal article also refers to the song, with the same uncommon alternate spelling of "John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith."
Psych season 5 episode 1 "Romeo and Juliet and Juliet", July 14, 2010.
Best Ed season 1, episode "Nightmare on Sweet Street": a ghostly figure named The Breadsless Northsman is scared away by using this song. Ed sings a line in a happy tune, while Buddy cries the next line.
In "The Duck Who Cried Wolf" on PB&J Otter, it is performed as "John Jacob Jingle Otter Breath."
The song has been featured in several episodes of the popular children's series Barney & Friends.
In the episode "Little Bunny Foo Foo" of the series No Evil, Calamity sings the second verse of the song.
^Lynch, Dan (1991-06-23). "Bug Juice Days". Albany Times Union. p. B4. Retrieved 2009-08-11.