Another week, another list of songs about the least-bashful superhero on the planet, Batman. As I said last week, the most ubiquitous way Batman has infiltrated our popular culture is through Neil Hefti’s theme to the 1960s TV series. Sometimes it seems like everyone who ever picked up a musical instrument has done a cover version of it, but I know that can’t be true. Some of the musicians that have, though, include
Iggy Pop, The Nashville Five, The De Andre Trio, Sam Chalpin, Angular Seizure, The Regulars, The Guano Bats, Ettore Cenci, Bob Kuban and The In Men, Los Monjes, Labert Ellis, Los Mojados, Cracklin Groove, Fat Freddy, Journeyman, Los Daytonas, fast cakes,
Methed Out Space Hookers, The Hamiltones, Hawaiian Samurai, David Jonathan Michael, and Geoff Love.
Next week is Batman Part 3, and if you enjoy this list of songs about Batman, please take a look at Part 1 and also the previous superhero song list series which features Superman and family.
Johann K. – Der Bätmän bin i
I’d sure love to know what this German singer is on about in this country singalong. The title translates to “The Batman Am I,” which sounds like the kind of song you’d hold up your stein to and bellow along with in the beer garden late one night. Johann K. is not his real name, he is actually renowned Austrian football player Hans Krankl who, in the 1980s, shifted gears into a singing career. Maybe this song is about Batman drunk in a beer garden one night, leading a singalong. I’d certainly like to believe it is.
Kinderkoor De Hazestaartjes – Batman
This 1967 Dutch single features a whole chorus of little kids singing very excitedly about the Caped Crusader to the accompaniment of accordion-driven oompah-style music. There’s not much to add, other than their enthusiasm is infectious.
Esa Laukka and Arto Sotavalta – Batman
Anyone speak Finnish? That’s the only way we’re ever going to know what’s being said on this record, which gives us some idea of how different it would be if Gotham City was actually located in Finland. This was released in 1967 and featured Laukka as Batman and Sotavalta as Robin. Aside from anything else, this features some great horns.
Jason Lee and the R.I.P. Tides – Caped Crusader
This lyric-less surf song features some villainous Bat-clips and is highlighted pounding guitar that slips into Batusi mode between the wild surf riffs it screams out. The San Diego-based Lee has become one of the best-known surf guitarists around the country, and you can find him all over YouTube with surf guitar lessons. Buy it here or stream on Spotify
Robert Lund – Life in the Bat Cave
Yes, this is a parody of the Eagles song and I apologize for that. Lund is a member of the Funny Music Project, which gets airplay on the Doctor Demento Show and features about a trillion different people Lund has been named “Utah’s king of the song parody” which I suppose is an achievement. I figure if nostalgia can turn Weird Al into a beloved and respected musical figure, then the door is open for including Batman-themed Eagle parodies in this list. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Buy it here or stream on Spotify
Scotty McKay – Here Comes Batman
This 1966 song incorporates the “Batman!” chant from the TV theme into its chorus, but it’s really a completely original song that warns criminals that someone is out in the night ready to stop their terrible deeds. “He’s the man on the scene in regards to starting trouble, so don’t participate with infractions of the law,” McKay advises. McKay came from a rockabilly background as a member of Gene Vincent’s band in the 1950s under his real name, Max Lipscomb. Dick Clark suggested the name change and his first single as McKay was in 1959. His recording career fizzled out in the ‘70s, though at some point he tried to make it in Christian music before he died in 1991.
Melanie is Demented – Batman Theme
Swedish electro punk Melanie Martinsson contributed this song to a Portuguese compilation called Punk Comix, which featured a couple other comics-related songs that you can surprisingly listen to here. I don’t know what Batman this is supposed to be the theme to, though. Buy it here or stream on Spotify
Memorecks & Jenna Pemkowski – Bruce Wayne
It’s probably hard dealing with a Bruce-Wayne-alike, especially when the dark recesses of his mind are like the Batcave. Memoracks is a Canadian hip-hop producer who teamed up with Pemkowski for the 2015 album that this song came from. Buy it here
The Merriettes – Look Out for The Batman
From the Peter Pan label album Children’s Treasury Of Batman Musical Stories, the Meriettes send out a warning to villains everywhere, and there’s plenty more about Batman where this comes from. For instance there’s “Here Comes The Batmobile” and “The Battiest Car Around.” You can listen to the whole album here, which includes a song called “The Joker Gets Trumped.”
The Mighty Magic Pants – My Mom is Batman
Several songs this week like this one are definitely breaking the mold of so many Batman songs I encountered, most of which were either 1960 party songs that take the TV theme as their starting point, or dark, over-serious metal or hip-hop that overplayed the brooding grittiness of the character so much that it made my eyes roll right out of my head and into the Riddler’s giant cake made out of quicksand.
This song is by a children’s music group that released an album of superhero songs in 2017. This song about Batman and his maternal side, which is actually the title track, is the only song about an actual existing superhero that we all know. And for this kind of thing, it’s pretty catchy and funny, though I can’t decide how insulting it is to the mom that the kid doesn’t think she could fit in Wonder Woman’s costume. Buy it here or stream on Spotify
Miracle of Sound – The Mind of the Bat
This is by an Irish guy named Gavin Dunne who does a lot of songs about gaming apparently, and it’s a darn catchy song about the psychology of the Caped Crusader, specifically his internal dialogue analyzing his actions and choices. It sounds heavy and dark, but it’s not, nor is it a humor song. It’s just … good? Yeah. Actually, yeah. Good going, Gavin Dunne. Buy it here or stream on Spotify
Emilio Pasquez – Sounds From The Pink Sandbox
This is so 1990. Though the title doesn’t indicate it, this is a silly dance song built around Batman audio samples along with other sources, a sequencer, and some parts from the Batman TV theme thrown in. Pasquez only released this one single under his own name and most of the time was a producer, though I don’t see anything of note that he produced beyond remixes.
The Plaid Jackets – Adam West is Batman
The definitive statement on all the 75th Anniversary lists that have been popping up online ranking the screen Batmans and dared to not list Adam West as the number one, the greatest. “There’s only one man who fights the great white shark with an aerosal spray can,” the song explains and instantly wins the argument by adding, “Adam West can.” This Fayetteville, Arkansas band definitely gets it. Buy it here or stream on Spotify
The Plunderers – Batman
This 1966 single is the only release you’re ever going to find by The Plunderers, but if you were cursed to only one 45 rpm worth of proof you were ever a real band, this isn’t a bad one. Mostly rocking surf-psychedelia, there’s a great slow, organ driven refrain in the middle there, complete with claps.
Popera Cosmic – Batman
Straight from 1969 France is this psychedelic treatment of the Caped Crusader, heavy with organ, as you would expect. All I can picture is Batman being secretly slipped some acid on a discoteque dance floor, and the flashing colored lights providing strange visions of the go-going French dancers next to him. Played by Adam West, of course. The album this is taken from, Les Esclaves, is considered a milestone of French psychedelia, spearheaded by French songwriter François Wertheimer and composer Guy Skornik, who would later work with Alejandro Jodorowsky. Buy it here or stream on Spotify
Radio AM – Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader
I don’t have any info on Radio AM, but they sure have a lot of info on Bruce Wayne, as this introspective song shows. Bruce is brooding over his whole super identity, confused about his identity, lamenting “A rat with wings is such a funny thing.” He’s right. It is. But being Batman isn’t.
Robin & the Batmen – Batskinner
This 1966 single gets an A+ for originality. Are you familiar with the song “Muleskinner Blues”? My personal favorite version is the one by The Cramps. It was written and first recorded by country legend Jimmy Rodgers in 1930 and has one of the most infectious laughter choruses ever. The Fendermen had a big hit with it in 1960. In this version, the monologue of the unlucky muleskinner has been transformed into one by Batman conversing with Commissioner Gordon to find out his law enforcement needs for the day. And then laughing like a muleskinner, an affectation that I think would vastly improve all recent Batman movies.
The Robins with the Avengers – Batman
“He’s the red, white, and blue ideal,” warbles one of the Robins, and I have no clue who these odd-voiced singers are, since they didn’t even record a complete single, just one side. The other side features the Avengers’ meandering surf-psychedelia instrumental called “Batarang” that I actually think would be better if the Robins were on it.
Sapp – Batman & Robin
Calypso music from 1980, all I can tell you is that it comes from Trinidad, but I can’t find out anything more about Sapp or the song’s writer, Garfield George. The only other things I can tell you is that Batman sure does move around a lot in this song — up and down the wall and coming from behind — and he also apparently seeks verdicts in Trinidadian justice. Spider-Man is mentioned near the end.
The Scaffold – Goodbat Nightman
This 1966 song is such a hilarious find. The Scaffold were a comedy music trio from Liverpool. One of them was a guy named Mike McGear, also known as Paul McCartney’s brother. There was also poet Roger McGough, who co-wrote this song with McGear, as well as John Gorman, a British comedian and actor who, among other things, played “Second Peasant” in Terry Gilliam’s Jabberwocky. Starting with a cello piece that reminds me of the Game of Thrones theme, of all things, the music becomes a nice bit of chamber pop describing Batman’s mission against crime and then segues into Batman and Robin saying their prayers (God blessing, among other people, Aquaman and Aquawoman). Uses the word “Batjamas” so it wins. Buy it here or stream on Spotify