Saturday, December 24, 2016

The History of Jingle Bells, Batman Smells

Version #01: The version I grew up singing.
Jingle Bells, Batman smells
Robin laid an egg.
The Batmobile lost a wheel
and the Joker got away. Hey!
 
 Extra Verse
Batman's in the kitchen
Robin's in the hall
Joker's in the bathroom,
peeing on the wall.


In "Christmas With the Joker", the Joker, during his escape from Arkham Asylum, adds in the extra verse:
Alternate-Verse
Crashing through the roof
In a one-horse open tree
Busting out I go
Laughing all the WHEE! 
Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
In 1999's Kids' WB! Kooky Karolfest  the Joker sang an extended version of the song.
TV Version: 
Joker: 
Jingle bells, Batman smells
Robin laid an egg
Batman bites
In his grey tights
Batgirl's got chubby legs! 

Batgirl:  
Hey!
Joker: 
Jingle bells, Batdumb bells
Batjet's led astray
Batmobile
Lost a wheel
And Joker got away 

Batman:
Not this time! [drops a cage on Joker]

Version #02:
Jingle Bells, Batman smells
Robin laid an egg,
The Batmobile lost a wheel,
and the Joker joined ballet. Hey!

Version #03
Jingle bells, Batman smells,
Robin flew away.
The Batmobile lost one wheel,
All on Christmas Day
. Hey!

Version #04
Jingle Bells, Batman smells,
Robin flew away.
Uncle Billy lost his willy,
On the motorway
. Hey! 

Version #05
Jingle Bells, Batman smells,
Robin flew away.
Uncle Billy lost his willy,
For a Milky Way. Hey! 

Version #06
Jingle Bells, Batman smells
Robin laid an egg.
The Batmobile lost a wheel
and the Commissioner broke his leg. Hey!

Version #07
Jingle Bells, Batman smells
Robin laid an egg.
Mr. Freeze cut the cheese
and the Joker got away. Hey!

Version#08
Jingle Bells, Batman smells
Robin flew away
Lost his pants while over France
and found them in bombay. Hey!

Version#9
Jingle Bells, Batman smells
Robin flew away
Done a fart behind a cart
And blew up the IRA
. Hey!

Version #10
Jingle Bells, Batman smells
Robin flew away
Wonder Woman lost her bosom
Flying TAA(*)
. Hey!

(* TAA is an airline, it's name changed to Australian Airlines in the 80s)

Extended Full Version by Steven Wilson
In Gotham you can hear the sound of Christmas cheer,
But Batman’s found no friends around, no one will come near.
Everybody knows he doesn’t wash his clothes,
With smelly socks and stinky jocks, Batman’s on the nose. 


CHORUS
Oh, Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, Robin flew away,
Batmobile lost a wheel and the Joker got away, hey.
Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, Robin flew away,
Batmobile lost a wheel, oh Happy Christmas Day.
 

Batman says “Let’s go.” Robin says “No, no.”
“If you don’t wash your socks by gosh they’re gonna start to grow”
It’s no dynamic deal, your bouquet lacks appeal,
I can’t abide the smell inside your yuletide batmobile.”
 

Dashing through the night in three wheeled ‘batmo trike’.
Batman looks for Gotham crooks, the smell will win the fight.
The Joker he then spies, takes him by surprise,
Zap! Kapow! with BO now the Joker chokes and dies.
 

Santa in a trice arrives with good advice,
“For Christmas Batman from this Fatman, a gallon of Old Spice.”
Rudolf gives a scream, “My nose is turning green.
Can someone try to teach this guy some personal hygiene.”
 

Batman sees no hope, Dynamic Duo broke,
But back at cave the day is saved, there’s Santa with the soap.
Robin’s got the hose, Santa peg on nose.
They scrub hero from head to toe, he’s smelling like a rose.


Dork Note: The song parody "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells" is considered a, "the subversive folklore of children". Meaning the author and year created/first sung is a mystery. Some people claim to have sung it as far back as the 50's while other claim it was first sung in the 60's with the airing of the Batman TV series.

The song first appeared in print in 1971 in a book by Frank Rutherford titled, “All the Way to Pennywell.” Seen Left
 
"Jingle Bells, Batman Smells" by Jay Mechling:

This parodic folksong is representative of the "culture"—texts, toys, uses of technology, social practices, and shared meanings—young people create when they selectively incorporate commercial products into their peer activities. Borrowing from cultural traditions (the song "Jingle Bells") and contemporary media/material objects they find in their everyday lives (Batman products), the inventive remixing children engage in frequently inverts the powerlessness they experience in relation to adult authority and institutions. In this song the belittlement of the Dynamic Duo's heroic status, the breakdown of their super car, and the celebration of the escape of their enemy, the Joker, playfully challenges the moral order of right and wrong that organizes social behavior. Another variant of the song more explicitly challenges adult authority by changing the last line to: "And the Commissioner broke his leg."

The song "Batman smells" exhibits common themes found in children's folklore. Batman's odor is an example of grosslore that allows children to pursue the curiosity they have about their own bodies. A fartlore variant of the song celebrates another villain in the last line: "And Mr. Freeze cut the cheese." The pun of Robin laying an egg is a rich example of many common features of childlore: (1) it demonstrates children's inventive play with, and contravention of, the rules of language; (2) it fantastically and nonsensically (as a challenge to adult insistence on rationality and reality) transforms Robin into an animal; and (3) it may be interpreted as an example of the common theme of food. If the adult authority invested in the hero status of Batman and Robin is challenged in this song, so too does the song undercut their masculinity. Variants of the song feature a last line that has Batman, Robin, or the Joker doing ballet. 

Given the inventive, appropriative nature of children's culture, it is probable that "Batman Smells" is part of a longer tradition of folk parodies. It is likely that it was preceded by parodies of "Jingle Bells" dating from the publication of that song in 1857.

2 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Best Christmas wishes to you!

The Dork said...

Thanks! You too!