Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg.
The Batmobile lost a wheel, and the Joker got away.
These childish lyrics start innocently enough with a recognition of the season. Bells are prevalent and wonderful, they ring from church towers, they are played by choirs, they are a significant part of the festive decor adorning doorways and trees.
But then, without warning, and surely for its iconoclastic shock-value, bell gives way to smell. The Caped Crusader is said to be malodorous! This is surely an adolescent attack on all that is True, Good, and Beautiful. The listener recoils realizing that Evil doesn’t take a holiday. That there is never a respite from attacks upon authority figures and do-gooders in general. This is especially heinous since the person singled out here is a man who has risen from personal tragedy and has dedicated his life to fighting bad guys only to be denigrated by the suggestion that he doesn’t use deodorant! This is preposterous since we all know that Bruce Wayne could afford a trainload of Right Guard!
This ditty goes on to absurdity in suggesting that Batman’s partner, Robin laid an egg. This is, of course, physically impossible. But does suggest, allegorically, that by “egg,” it is meant that the Boy Wonder made a colossal mistake? Could there be a connection between verse three and verse four which might imply how the Batmobile lost a wheel? Was Robin responsible for rotating the tires? Perhaps what is suggested by this horrible song is that Batman doesn’t actually stink but that his choice of taking Robin on as a sidekick is what is being criticized. In other words, the Joker got away due to the fact that Robin is incompetent when it comes to automobile maintenance and the world’s greatest detective is somehow blind to this glaring fact.
I don’t buy this interpretation. I do not believe that there is a connection. There is no proof based upon all the comics that I read (during the Silver Age), or the classic TV show, that Robin was ever a grease monkey. No, I think that verses two, three, and four serve as a literary carpet-bombing on the character and performance of the Dynamic Duo.
What is telling about the person responsible for these lyrics that is the light and lilting way this song is sung. The last verse ends with a triumphant tone; a crescendo that embraces lawbreakers getting away with their crimes. This is a celebratory hymn from the very pit.
It wasn’t always so. The original song is one of joy and laughter where a group of friends are on a horse-led sleigh, dashing along snow-filled roads, which has the effect of making their spirits bright.
Then someone comes along and creates this abominable parody that is utterly sinister simply because it is composed to appeal to the youngest of children! They gleefully sing this antithetical “jingle-bells” without the capacity to discern the destructive worldview they are exposing themselves and other minors to. Like a pandemic, this easily remembered ditty is now in every corner of the world!*
I think that one way to correct this double assault on holiday cheer, as well as on fictional heroes, is to supplant the bad with good. To that end, I suggest we appropriate the scheme of this corrupt composition with an amended version. If we present this is a cool and hip way, we will be well on our way to—not just correcting—but also propagating a correct understanding of Right and Wrong.
Check out this awesome reworking by yours truly:
Jingle Bells, Batman’s swell, Robin’s not a hood.
The Batmobile has chick appeal, And the Joker is in jail.
Yet the seasons of Advent and Christmas are no less buried under competing storylines and subjective meanings.
This is the time of year that we celebrate the coming of the King. Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Lord.
To quote a lyric from a better song, “Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light. The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.”
From everyone here at Highlands Ministries, Merry Christmas!