Connor Taylor, 7, Male

Caucasian, English, Student

Clayton, MO

20 March 2008

Song: Jingle Bells Revised Chorus

“Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg, Bat mobile lost a wheel, and joker took ballet.”

Connor advised me that he learned this song at his elementary school when he was around five or six years old. He learned the remake of the tune “jingle bells” in Clayton, Missouri, where his school is located. He said he learned it when he overheard many students and even teachers performing the song instead of singing the original lyrics. When I asked him when it is performed, he told me that it is primarily sang in the winter months, especially around Christmas time when many classes are singing holiday jingles in their music classes. He said most students have learned this song and that it is sang regularly to make people laugh and have fun. The rest of the song is performed with quiet voices and proper lyrics but the chorus, which is the remade folk version, is sung loud for all to hear.

When I asked Connor what this song meant to him, he said it really did not have a meaning. Instead, it was just used to poke fun at the classic jingle bells song. Instead of singing the “boring” lyrics as he mentioned, students like to sing different versions to make the performance more exciting. He said it uses comic book characters because that is what students his age are familiar with. If they used any other characters, he said, it would not be as much fun.

The song basically makes no sense as it randomly fluctuates from characters and ideas. It does not go in any particular order as it seems it was only created to rhyme with the original version of the song. In my opinion, the song is just a way for elementary school students to feel rebellious by singing a different version. The song has no meaning but they sing it to stand out and be different from the rest of the group. There is no harm in singing this song but it is usually only sung when students are having fun. In a serious performance in front of parents, I do not believe they would sing this version. Overall, this song encourages students to have fun, but only whenever the timing allows for it.

This song can also be seen in American Children’s Folklore, which is a book written by Simon J. Bronner that discusses many types of folklore. Within this book, there are also many different versions of the “Jingle Bells” tune.

Annotation: Bronner, Simon J. American Children’s Folklore. Little Rock: August House Inc. 1988.