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Topic: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
Message: Posted by: mndude (Dec 13, 2014 10:39AM)
"Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg, Batmobile lost the wheel and the Joker got away. "

I realize this does not fit the definition of an urban legend. But since it is a meme that his survived the ages, I would like to explore how such a nonsensical son was able to spread around the world so quickly, and before the Internet no less.

Most of the evidence shows that this song originated around 1967, but where in by whom?

Who were the very first school children who first sang this famous parody?

What citystatecountry and what year did you first hear this song? Let's see if we can get any closer to its origin.
Message: Posted by: Pepsi Twist (Dec 19, 2014 04:31AM)
Wow I never thought of it like that, we used to sing it at school in England as well. Was it on TV or something that made it so popular??
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Dec 21, 2014 03:35PM)
And then of course you have "Happy birthday to you, you live in a zoo, you look like a monkey and you smell like one too." I think any popular verse always has a spoof alternative.
Message: Posted by: innermind (Dec 26, 2014 06:09AM)
The Batman TV series starring Adam West originally ran from 1966 to 1968. Then there were the countless repeat broadcasts throughout the late 60's and early 70's. I would guess the TV series was the primary influence for that jingle. I was born in 1962, and I remember the song from my youth in the late 60's.

Message: Posted by: mndude (Jan 5, 2015 01:25PM)
Adam, can I ask what city you were in when you first heard this song?
Message: Posted by: Wenzelo (Feb 24, 2015 02:32PM)
I think it was in a newspaper cartoon ages ago
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Mar 14, 2015 02:57PM)
I first heard it when I was in elementary school sometime in the early 1970s.
Message: Posted by: Intrepid (Mar 26, 2015 05:21PM)
[quote]On Mar 14, 2015, Leo H wrote:
I first heard it when I was in elementary school sometime in the early 1970s. [/quote]
I grew up in Columbia Maryland and recall this as a kid in the early 70's as well.
Message: Posted by: DaleTrueman (May 10, 2015 04:43PM)
Used to sing it in New Zealand in the mid seventies.
I've noticed this song and a few other kiddies ditties are in Australia too.
Though we did have one that could of only been local as it has local place names in it.
Message: Posted by: Lance Inkwell (May 14, 2015 10:37AM)
Don't know when or who started it, but I'm sure when Bart Simpson sang the Batman version in the first episode of The Simpsons, he played a big part in keeping the parody jingle alive and well.
Message: Posted by: CRash5150 (May 30, 2015 08:35AM)
I grew up in the 70s. We lived in Chicago, until I was 10, then we moved to Tennessee. This was well before the internet. It was odd, to me, that kids were playing the same games like "mother may I" and "Red Rover". I often wondered how kids so far away knew the same games.
Message: Posted by: MJE (Jun 5, 2015 11:26PM)
[quote]On Dec 13, 2014, mndude wrote:
Most of the evidence shows that this song originated around 1967, but where in by whom?

In '67 I think I was in 7th grade. I'm pretty sure we were singing it in elementary school. I could be thinking the Popeye song, though. You know THAT one, right?

I'm Popeye the sailor man.
I live in a garbage can.
I eat all the worms
then spit out the germs.
I'm Popeye the sailor man.
Message: Posted by: EVILDAN (Jun 29, 2015 07:03AM)
I heard the Batman song in the late sixties. I grew up in South River, NJ.
The first time I heard it was when my cousin Steve sang it.
Message: Posted by: Xaa (Jun 29, 2015 11:02PM)
There is a web site and ebook documenting all the old playground songs and rhymes. Comments are allowed so that readers can share their own experiences. The jingle in question is posted there.

Message: Posted by: Quatermass (Aug 5, 2015 08:37PM)
One source claims it can be traced back to the mid 1950s: http://sugargamers.com/origin-jingle-bells-batman-smells-by-rebecca-bonks-rothschild/
Message: Posted by: bbeishline (May 10, 2016 11:08AM)
When I was 6 in '71, I lived for that Adam West Batman show. I did't even realize it was campy, and was somewhat confused at the fact that I was attracted to Julie Newmar's Catwoman when she was one of the Bad Guys. Seems like we knew the Jingle back then, or shortly thereafter. I also remember Bart singing it on the first Simpsons episode, though he makes a slight breach of etiquette by singing "...broke its wheel..." instead of "...lost its wheel..."

A very interesting question though, and I also wonder how it spread and became so ubiquitous. I also recall slightly risque (for a small child, anyway) versions of Yankee Doodle, and I'm sure there are many others I'd recognize if someone brought them up. I wonder if they were all universal, or if some were local.

Message: Posted by: friend2cptsolo (May 26, 2016 02:36PM)

an interesting write up on the possible origin
Message: Posted by: friend2cptsolo (May 26, 2016 02:38PM)
The Diarrhea Song origin???

Some people think it's funny; but it's really dark and runny....
Message: Posted by: A. Evans (Jun 28, 2016 03:22PM)
I am not sure where it originate but my Dad told it to me when I was like 3 (He was born in the 60's) and I am pretty sure his Dad taught it to him.
Message: Posted by: Mark Williams (Jul 8, 2016 08:46AM)
I remember hearing this little ditty around 1967, when I was nine years old. I also remember hearing a version of The Battle Hymn of The Republic, which I can still recite. Funny how these types of things stick with you, well into adulthood.

Best Magical Regards,

Mark Williams
Message: Posted by: friend2cptsolo (Jul 16, 2016 08:36AM)
Mark was that the "Teacher Hit me with a ruler" song.
Message: Posted by: 0pus (Jul 19, 2016 08:08AM)
I like the lines:

"I bopped her on the bean
With a rotten tangerine,"

I don't think I remember the next lines - they are somewhat garbled in my memory. They are the ones that replace "His truth is marching on."
Message: Posted by: friend2cptsolo (Jul 21, 2016 07:50AM)
[quote]On Jul 19, 2016, 0pus wrote:

I don't think I remember the next lines - they are somewhat garbled in my memory. " [/quote]

Yes same here......

Song in the news:
Did you you see G W Bush dancing to this song during a recent funeral?
Message: Posted by: Mark Williams (Aug 5, 2016 08:18PM)
[quote]On Jul 16, 2016, friend2cptsolo wrote:
Mark was that the "Teacher Hit me with a ruler" song. [/quote]

Yes, That was the song we used to sing.

Glory, Glory Hallelujah

Teacher hit me with a ruler...

I would give you the rest our lyrics, but I'm afraid that they might be considered threatening and not PC!!

PM me if you want the rest of the song...

Best Magical Regards,

Mark Williams
Message: Posted by: Seance (Aug 25, 2016 12:09PM)
I remember hearing this around 1967-68, living in Huntsville, Alabama at the time. There was a slightly different ending: "...The batmobile lost a wheel and the Commissioner lost his leg." to make it rhyme. No mention of the Joker.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Sep 5, 2016 04:52PM)
I've only heard it with the Joker.

I remember the Christmas episode of Batman - The Animated Series, where the Joker was putting Christmas decoration together;


Here's an odd one that needs some explanation. The Black Cat is an artist on deviantart who has a series of cartoons on the theme that the sidekicks of superheros are actually their children. As Batman has had THREE Robins, he has three kids (plus a baby Terry McGinnis, who is supposed to be his child through Catwoman.)

Also, he hate, Hates, HATES Green Arrow for copying a lot of his key gimmicks;

Message: Posted by: hypnoman1 (May 28, 2018 12:10PM)
I heard the Batman song in the late seventies. The first time I heard it was when I stumbled on the TV show and was hooked ever since! LOL
Message: Posted by: calamari (Dec 1, 2019 06:48AM)
I heard this first in 68-69 and grew up in Oakland Ca. and have no idea from what source also didn't know how wide spread it was. What an amazing accomplishment for the time. Also the Popeye song as mentioned earlier I had heard differently (I'm Popeye the sailor man I live in a garbage can I love to go swimmin with bow legged women I'm Popeye the sailor man.
Message: Posted by: Matthew St. Cyr (Jun 11, 2020 04:56AM)
The Batman song we used to sing at our elementary school in the early 80's in central Massachusetts.

The Popeye song that calamari mentioned we used to sing too, but a slight different version:

I'm Popeye the Sailor Man
I live in a garbage can
I eat all the worms
And I spit out the germs
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man