The Secret History of “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells”

Long before there was an Internet to generate memes, weird cultural tchotchkes spread the old-fashioned way: by word-of-mouth. One of the most enduring pre-Internet memes is the bastardized version of “Jingle Bells” that goes

Jingle bells, Batman smells
Robin laid an egg
The Batmobile lost a wheel
And The Joker got away

Where the hell did that come from? Brent points us to this article at

If you grew up anywhere in the English-speaking world (and quite a few places outside it), you heard some version of this parody as a kid. I don’t even remember when I heard it for the first time, but I’ve talked to people in their 40s and 50s who recall learning it when they were kids. This is a joke children have been telling for generations.

When I started researching this article, I came across another writer, Rob Weir. He’d started down the same path, waaay back in the foul, black days of 2006.

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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