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Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells

DigiTrad:
AUSTRALIAN JINGLE BELLS
DASHING THROUGH THE SKY
FARNESOL
JINGLE BELLS
JINGLE BELLS (Australian)
JINGLE BELLS (Vietnam)


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autoharper 11 Jul 09 - 10:01 PM
Azizi 11 Jul 09 - 10:24 PM
GUEST,.gargole 11 Jul 09 - 11:12 PM
Azizi 11 Jul 09 - 11:38 PM
Howard Jones 12 Jul 09 - 08:40 AM
Azizi 12 Jul 09 - 08:56 AM
autoharper 12 Jul 09 - 09:10 AM
Azizi 12 Jul 09 - 09:22 AM
Howard Jones 12 Jul 09 - 09:33 AM
Azizi 12 Jul 09 - 10:08 AM
Paul Burke 12 Jul 09 - 03:56 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jul 09 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,Seth in Olympia 12 Jul 09 - 10:06 PM
Tug the Cox 13 Jul 09 - 07:57 AM
GUEST 05 Dec 09 - 09:07 PM
The Fooles Troupe 19 Apr 10 - 12:05 AM
Rapparee 19 Apr 10 - 11:10 PM
GUEST,Mallefrost 16 Nov 10 - 09:16 PM
GUEST,Mallefrost 16 Nov 10 - 09:17 PM
CheshireCat 17 Nov 10 - 03:44 AM
GUEST,Alby1 04 Dec 10 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,Dan 20 Jan 11 - 02:46 PM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 21 Jan 11 - 10:50 AM
GUEST 04 Nov 11 - 05:24 PM
Stewie 04 Nov 11 - 09:39 PM
Greg B 04 Nov 11 - 09:47 PM
GUEST 17 Nov 11 - 03:59 PM
Marc Bernier 17 Nov 11 - 04:38 PM
C-flat 17 Nov 11 - 04:51 PM
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Subject: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: autoharper
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 10:01 PM

One of the most widespread children's folksongs that is alive and well in 21st century American oral tradition is the schoolyard parody "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells." I am curious to know what is the earliest year you can remember hearing or singing this parody? Did it exist before the "Batman" television series (1966-68)? Has it appeared in print prior to the publication of "Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!" by Barbara Park and Denise Brunkus in 2009?

I have heard a variant sung in South Carolina in the 1950's that goes:

"Jingle bells, shotgun shells, BBs all the way,
Oh, what fun it is to ride in a suped-up Chevrolet"

When did Batman become the song's protagonist?

-Adam Miller


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 10:24 PM

I can't pinpoint when I first heard this rhyme, but it certainly seems to be well known in the USA since at least the 1990s.

Here's some information from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jingle_Bells

A well-known children's playground song uses the "Jingle Bells" melody of the parody of Batman:

Jingle bells, Batman smells,
Robin laid an egg;
The Batmobile lost a wheel,
And the Joker got away! (Joker did ballet Or "Batman did ballet!" usually with a shout of 'Hey' at the end)

This particular version was sung (by the Joker himself - as voiced by Mark Hamill) in "Christmas with the Joker", an episode of Batman: The Animated Series. The Joker also adds the line while escaping Arkhum Asylum:

Crashing through the roof,
In a one horse open tree (the Joker was using a rocket powered tree).
Busting out I go.
Laughing all the wee-he-he

-snip-

The Wikipedia page for the "Batman" tlevision program http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_with_the_Joker#Season_One_.281992-1993.29 gives November 13, 1992 the date for that particular episode.

For what it's worth, I've never heard or read any children, teens, or adults recite the Joker's version given above.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: GUEST,.gargole
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 11:12 PM

Thank You autoharper

Nice frist time contribution to the "Stone Soup" the Mudcat menague.

What you have contributed is EXCELLENT because:
Location: noted
Time Period: noted

While Azi - wants to spin into another - (who knows what)???

Your posting and lyric are unique because of the term...
suped-up Chevrolet

There is a powerful connection to USA commercial jingles of the time that might have become enmeshed in children's lingo.

Thank You Again for a true folkoric USA posting.

Sincerely
Gargoyle

Would you like ride...in my Chevrolet?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 11:38 PM

Autoharper, I didn't realize that was your first post on Mudcat.

Welcome!

To clarify, when I wrote "For what it's worth, I've never heard or read any children, teens, or adults recite the Joker's version given above" I meant this verse:

Crashing through the roof,
In a one horse open tree
Busting out I go.
Laughing all the wee-he-he


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: Howard Jones
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 08:40 AM

I can certainly remember singing it as a child in the UK in the 60s:

Jingle bells, Batman smells
Robin's gone away
The Batmobile has lost a wheel
And the Joker's here to stay

I can't remember the date, but I think it would be after the TV series came out over here. Prior to that I don't think there was much awareness of Batman amongst British kids.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 08:56 AM

Here's a further clarification of my post-the Batman television show I referred to was an animated series. Here's this information from that Wikipedia page whose link I had given in that post:

"Batman: The Animated Series is an American television series, which ran from 1992 to 1995 on the FOX Network. It was later shown on Cartoon Network and Toon Disney and currently airs on Toon Disney's successor Disney XD. Each episode is approximately 22 minutes long, excluding commercials."

-snip-

Here's another link that provides more information about that Joker/Batman Christmas edition:

"Christmas with the Joker...November 13, 1992
Summary: After escaping Arkam asylum on its very own Christmas tree,The Joker takes over Gotham's airwaves and terrorizes the city during Christmas. He's hiding in a TV studio, holding Commissioner Gordon, Detective Bullock, and Summer Gleason hostage. He challenges Batman and Robin to find him and save the hostages before midnight, or else Joker will give them a very un-merry Christmas."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: autoharper
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 09:10 AM

To paraphrase professor Tom Lehrer, "Those who are willing to obtain their scholarship from Wikipedia are entitled to all the fakelore they can memorize." (This propensity for cutting and pasting, instead of sharing personal experience, is one of the most discouraging aspects of Mudcat Cafe.)   I have posted on this list for a decade as a guest (see Blue Mountain, Springfield Mountain, Morningtown Ride, etc.) Just search "Adam Miller" in "lyrics and knowledge".

My question was: in what specific year did you first hear or sing "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells." I can remember singing (in 1971 in Pacific Grove, CA):

"Jingle Bells, Batman Smells,
Robin laid an egg
The Batmobile
Lost its wheel
And The Joker got away."

I have yet to find anyone who can tell me the year prior to 1971 that these lyrics were sung. The various versions (and source locations) already posted here attest that this is a true folk song, and subject to regional and individual changes.

In 1999 my step-son taught me a variant with a different last line:
"The Joker did ballet."

I do 175+ school assemblies each year, from the Everglades to the Arctic Circle and I have found that, in 2009," Jingle Bells, Batman Smells" is as widespread and well known to American public elementary school students as "This Land is Your Land."

-Adam Miller
Folksinging.org


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 09:22 AM

The Batman television show starring Adam West aired in the USA from 1966-1968.

It will be interesting to see if there are any parodies of this rhyme that feature Batman,Robin, and the Joker before 1966.

**

Here's a parody of "Jingle Bells" that includes a reference to "Chevrolet". Note that the person posting it indicates that he (or she) remembers singing this in "elementary school". Unfortunately, the poster doesn't provide any date for when he or she attended elementary school. Also note that the poster indicates that he or she added more to the elementary school rhyme-without indicating where the remembered version ends.

"Some kids would sing this one on the bus when I was in elementary school, so I elaborated a bit on it & sent it in. Merry Christmas! Frohe Weihnachten! Buon Natale! Wesołych Świąt!
Dashing through the snow
In a beat-up Chevrolet,
Over the roads we go,
Honking all the way.
Plowing through the snow,
Pushing it aside,
What fun it is to ride & sing
A Chevy song tonight!

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a beat-up Chevrolet!
Hey! Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a beat-up Chevrolet!

We're driving down the road
In our beat-up Chevrolet,
It's snowing left & right,
But it won't hurt our day.
Plowing through the snow,
Pushing it aside,
What fun it is to ride & sing
A Chevy song tonight!

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a beat-up Chevrolet!
Hey! Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a beat-up Chevrolet! "

http://www.amiright.com/parody/misc/christmassongs6.shtml


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: Howard Jones
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 09:33 AM

I'm sure I was singing it before 1971. I would have been 17 then, and probably thought myself far too grown-up for such childishness. It was the Adam West TV series I was thinking of, which was first shown in the UK in 1966. My guess is the song followed soon after.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 10:08 AM

This propensity for cutting and pasting, instead of sharing personal experience, is one of the most discouraging aspects of Mudcat Cafe.
-Adam Miller

Hello, Adam.

It seems to me that cutting & pasting information from various Internet websites can provide information and clues that can help people suss out when a rhyme or song was composed, or how, and why the text of a rhyme or song changed.

Furthermore, the Interent-including Wikipedia-can provide information about television shows and movies which can help pinpoint how certain characters may have replaced other references in a particular rhyme or song.

I don't take what I read on Wikipedia as indisputable truth. But I do acknowledge the possibility that I can learn something from that website and other websites-such as Mudcat.

As to people sharing their personal experiences-such recollections can be posted on other forums besides Mudcat. And those recollections which were posted elsewhere could then be copied and posted to this site so that Mudcat members and guests could have the opportunity to read them, learn from them, and perhaps enjoy them.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: Paul Burke
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 03:56 PM

Known it since the early 60s at least:

Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin ran away,
Uncle Billy lost his willy on the motorway

Which dates this variant (very funny - to a 10 year old) to after about 1959.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 03:58 PM

Like a previous writer I can remember it from my early teaching years c1970s in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It went something like

JB Batman smells, Robin's flown away,
The Batmobile's only got one wheel
......................blown away?

My wife added
JB, Bs, R f a
The Batmobile's lost a wheel
on the (M6) motorway

Here's a date clincher for you.

Book 'All the way to Pennywell' by Frank Rutherford, Children's Rhymes of the North East. (i.e. Newcastle area) published in 1971
has the following
JB, B s R f a,
The batmobile's lost a wheel,
And landed in the hay.

Boy, 8, Chester-le-Street, 1967

Here are 2 I recorded in 2008 in East Yorkshire, same school as before.
JB Bs R f a,
He lost his pants in the middle of France
And found them in Bombay.

Usual start
He landed on the football pitch
And didn't know how to play. (Of course being American, he wouldn't)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: GUEST,Seth in Olympia
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 10:06 PM

My wife and I ran a "free school" and an after school program in Berkeley, California from 1970-1975 and all the kids who had been exposed to playground culture knew that song.
seth from Olympia


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 07:57 AM

In the 80's on UK kids TV Timmy Mallet sang
Jingle Bells
batman smells
Robin's gone away,
The Batmobile
has lost a wheel
and the Penguin slides aweay.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 09:07 PM

I was born in 1962. I CERTAINLY was singing it by the time I was 10. I am SURE of that. That would put it certainly in the general lingo by 1972 but I guess it was earlier. It seems like we sang it when Batman was first run, although I can't swear by it.


Micahel


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 12:05 AM

I am sure I heard in primary school, I am sure. That would place it in the early 60s or even from about 1955.

Now Wiki claims the first animated series first aired in the USA in 1966, and that would place me near the end of high school - we did get the show fairly quickly here in Aus after first US airing.

However, in Australia, Batman comics were well known in the 50s - whether the taste for them came from the US armed forces while they were here, I can only guess. I can well remember it as very common while I was in primary school for towels around shoulders, as we played Superman & Batman.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 11:10 PM

We often played Superman and Batman and Green Arrow and Green Lantern and Captain Marvel and the rest when I was in grade school in the 1950s, both at home and at school. We also parodied many songs and especially advertising ditties:

Pepsi-Cola's up to date
It makes you fart and masturbate

(learned from older students -- going to a Catholic grade school we certainly would never have said "masturbate" -- we used the other synonyms).

One specifically about Batman, and I don't remember the rest:

Jingle bells, Batman smells
'Cause Robin cut a fart....


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: GUEST,Mallefrost
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 09:16 PM

Jingle Bell, Batman smells
Robin laid and Egg,
The Batmobile Lost a wheel
and the Joker got away, Hey!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: GUEST,Mallefrost
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 09:17 PM

Robin laid an* egg


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: CheshireCat
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 03:44 AM

"I'm sure I was singing it before 1971" - Howard, I'm sure you were. I can distinctly recall singing it at Junior School in the UK. The year was probably 1967, although it could have been 1966. A variation I recall is:

Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin's just as bad.
The batmobile has lost a wheel, the commissioner's going mad.

I don't recall being all that aware of Batman before the Adam West series reached the UK. Certainly the existence of Robin was a revelation to me when I first watched the TV series.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: GUEST,Alby1
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 04:23 PM

Here's the version I know, from South Texas in the early to mid 1970's:

Jingle bells batman smells, Robin laid an egg.

The batmobile lost its wheel and Batgirl broke her leg - hey!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: GUEST,Dan
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 02:46 PM

Hey all, had this randomly stuck in my head today so came searching for the origin.
I am from Australia and in my childhood in the early 80s we used to sing:

Jingle Bells, Batmans smells
Robin ran away
Wonder woman lost her boots*
Flying T-A-A**

*sometimes substituted with the word boobs if no adults were around
** TAA was an airline in Australia in the early 1980s

Haha, so funny how different the versions are in different parts of the world!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 21 Jan 11 - 10:50 AM

the local version when I was a kid was:

Jingle bells, Batman smells
Robin's flown away
Father Christmas lost his whiskers
On the M4 motorway

This was in Reading (just off the M4), in around 1978.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 05:24 PM

North East England in the 1980s, our version was:

Jingle Bells, Batman smells
Robin flew away
Lost his pants in the middle of France
And found them in Bombay!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: Stewie
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 09:39 PM

The Oldham Tinkers had in one of their children's songs medleys:

Jingle bells, Batman smells
Robin's on his way
Father Christmas lost his trousers
On the Milky Way

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: Greg B
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 09:47 PM

Me, too, 1966 or 7 in Ventura California at Our Lady of the Assumption School.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 03:59 PM

jingle bells batman smells
robin flew away
uncle billy lost his willy
on the open super sleigh


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: Marc Bernier
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 04:38 PM

My family moved from St. Louis to Ct. in '67. I remeber singing this on the Playground in St. Louis.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
From: C-flat
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 04:51 PM

I remember this from my childhood (mid to late 60's)in N.East UK. I would have been 10 in 67, which would be a fit for that style of infant humour.


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