On the Verisimilitude of John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

From the lyrics to “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt,” we can assume the following:

George Clinton

1. There are two men both named John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. While it is possible for the narrator of the song to be female, there is not enough evidence to support this; the unlikelihood of a woman with two names socially considered “male” would create such an occasion notable enough to mention, and without such a mention, the likelihood is that both narrator and subject are male.

2. They are related by neither blood nor marriage. If this were a family name, the circumstances of the song’s narrator and his companion sharing a name would not be presented as a special fact worthy of song. The novelty is in the coincidence.

3. The two men live in roughly the same neighborhood. The lyrics imply the two men are in the area with enough frequency to be recognized by the locals, especially when the two are together. If the two men did not reside within somewhat close proximity of each other, such joint excursions would be more difficult to coordinate and therefore less common.

4. The two men are local celebrities of a sort. Whether their fame is derived merely from their shared name or from some other cause is unclear but irrelevant.

5. The locals are so overtaken by the mere sight of both men, they are taken to yelling. No one appears to be able to control the volume of their vocalized observations. There are no exceptions to this occasion.

6. The locals are collectively involved in some long-standing in-joke. Each local repeats the same sentence upon sight of the Jingleheimer Schmidts, and that sentence refers to a single Jingleheimer Schmidt. As it is not probable that all the locals are equally unable to distinguish singular from plural, we can assume their common statement is presented with some level of ironic humor.

Frankly, the odds of all six factors existing simultaneously strains credibility, and I view this song as an insult to one’s intelligence.

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