Music History

Published on December 24th, 2015 | by Alan Cross

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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 Cracked.com.

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.




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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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