This blog post takes a look at significant, identifiable music that appeared/was performed in the Batman TV series and connected projects, other than the underlying scores which are only heard by the audience, and not the characters themselves. I have also not included various TV and radio themes and jingles and unidentifiable music playing on jukeboxes and radios, as their uses were numerous, minimal in length and not majorly significant in a narrative sense.
Miranda by Adam West (March 1966)
This song features Adam West as Batman professing his love for Miranda, and telling her that he would do anything for her but that removing his mask and revealing his identity is something he could not do. Robin even appears at random intervals calling him Bruce! Released as a single, with the B-Side: You Only See Her. You Only See Her is not a Batman related recording. Miranda appears on the 1997 compilation CD, “Batmania: Songs Inspired by the Batman TV Series”.
The Escape by Burgess Meredith/The Capture by Burgess Meredith (March 1966)
This single, both A-side and B-Side form a story with The Penguin escaping prison and laying out his criminal plot and then the B-Side detailing his capture by Batman and him vowing to return.
Both songs appear on the 1997 compilation CD, “Batmania: Songs Inspired by the Batman TV Series”.
Season 1 Episode 25: The Joker Trumps An Ace (6th April 1966)
During an attack on the dynamic duo, The Joker taunts them with a little song describing his henchmen’s attack and taunting them with the potential finality of it all!
Season 1 Episode 28: The Pharaoh’s in a Rut (14th April 1966)
Batman and Nefertiti, King Tut’s Moll are subjected to pebble torture by King Tut, during this they seem to lose their marbles and sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat, How I Wonder Where You’re at”.
After subjecting Batman and his Nefertiti to Egyptian pebble torture, King Tut forces both of them to dance for him, Batman dances his 2nd Batusi of the series, eventually revealing himself to have kept his wits about him by reciting the multiplication tables backwards! To start the dance off, one of Tut’s henchmen puts on a record with a version of the Batman Theme on it!
The Riddler by Frank Gorshin (June 1966)
This song showcases The Riddler rattling off a plethora of Riddles, flanked by a chorus of women who throughout the song promote The Riddler’s brilliance, and ask him the answers to his riddles and near the end ask him some Riddles to which he inevitably knows the answer. The song has The Riddler promoting how proficient he is at Riddles and how brilliant he believes himself to be.
Released as a single with the non-Batman related B-Side: “Never Let Her Go”. The Riddler (song) appears on the 1997 compilation CD, “Batmania: Songs Inspired by the Batman TV Series”.
Batman: The Movie (30th July 1966)
In the restaurant where Bruce and Miss KITKA are dining a violin serenades them with the song “Dark Eyes” this appears on the 50th Anniversary release of the Batman: The Movie soundtrack.
During the dance between Bruce Wayne and Miss KITKA, the song “Plaisir D’Amour” is sung by Julie Gregg. This also appears on the 50th Anniversary release of the Batman: The Movie soundtrack.
A marching Salvation Army Band plays a wordless rendition of the hymn “Bringing in the Sheaves” throughout much of the scene where Batman is trying to get rid of a bomb!
Season 2 Episode 3: Hot off the Griddle (14th September 1966)
Aunt Harriet is dancing to a record. The dance revolving mostly around pretending to scratch like a cat! Apparently the latest craze, called the Catusi! With the band being called Benedict Arnold and the Traitors. This craze, started at a restaurant by the name of the Pink Sandbox. As the scene transitions from Aunt Harriet’s dance and then discussion with Alfred, Bruce and Dick, we then transition to the Pink Sandbox playing the same song, and Batman and Robin looking to order food and then being brought into a trap by Catwoman. Interestingly a band would take up the name Benedict Arnold and The Traitors in the early 1980s.
Season 2 Episode 5: The Minstrel’s Shakedown (21st September 1966)
Being that The Minstrel is a musical themed villain there are predictably musical performances throughout both episodes.
In the first episode The Minstrel introduces himself singing and playing his lute informing and taunting the members of the Gotham City Stock Exchange whose stocks he has manipulated with his electronic genius.
Batman and Robin in their pursuit of The Minstrel are met by the Minstrel, and a variety of gadgets and gizmos made to disorientate them, as they are temporarily blinded The Minstrel bids them a musical fair well and leaves the area.
Speaking in rhyme and accompanied by his lute, The Minstrel expresses his disdain that the Gotham City Stock Exchange members have not given in to his blackmail, and taunts Batman and Robin that he will defeat them.
As Batman and Robin rotate on a spit, The Minstrel taunts them with another quick song on his lute, sure of their impending demise.
Season 2 Episode 6: Barbecued Batman? (22nd September 1966)
This episode opens with another taunt whilst Batman and Robin are on the spit, to the same tune as the one at the end of the previous episode.
The Minstrel having gotten away after Batman and Robin’s escape, appears again on a monitor declaring he’ll not engage in fisticuffs but will return when he holds “all the trumps”. The beginning of this is to the tune of the Gilbert and Sullivan song, “A Wandering Minstrel I”.
The Minstrel appears again to the Gotham City Stock Exchange in another instance of speaking in rhyme and playing the lute to explain his demands and plot to the Gotham City Stock Exchange, Batman, Robin and Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara.
The Minstrel appears on the screen again, speaking and playing the lute, whilst also appearing in person in disguise at the Gotham City Stock Exchange.
As The Minstrel was arrested he was granted an interview which turned into a song vowing his return and the Death of Batman!
Season 2 Episode 11: The Clock King’s Crazy Crimes (12th October 1966)
Sammy Davis Jr. appears in a window cameo and as Batman and Robin leave the frame, he returns to his rehearsal and starts singing the beginning of the song “The Birth of the Blues”. This song is available on his first album “Starring Sammy Davis Jr”, and was also released as a single.
Season 2 Episode 15: The Devil’s Fingers (26th October 1966)
At the beginning of the episode Aunt Harriet is seen starstruck that she is rehearsing with the great Chandell (portrayed by Liberace), but he reassures her she has the voice of a nightingale and reminds her it is for the Annual benefit for the Wayne Foundation. He then proceeds to play the piano to set the mood, he then is interrupted by Doe, Rae and Mimi playing the bagpipes in such a way that knocks out Chandell.
Throughout discussions with Doe, Rae and Mimi and then separately with his identical twin brother Harry, Chandell plays with the piano.
Later on we see Bruce camping out with some chums. Chandell performs “Danse Arabe” on the piano, originally by 19th Century composer, Tchaikovsky, and it is in missing a note in this performance, when usually he is note perfect, that tips Bruce, listening on his radio, to realise that something is afoot!
The cliffhanger ending to this episode has Batman and Robin being put through a machine for perforating piano rolls, with music from the nearby piano feeding the necessary chords into the machine…
Season 2 Episode 16: The Dead Ringers (27th October 1966)
…The episode begins with Batman and Robin about to be perforated and then singing seemingly random notes, which are revealed to have been to the correct chords so that the machine would punch around their bodies!
Later, Batman coaxes Robin into recalling the performance that made Chandell famous, realising how precisely like the original by Paderewski it is, realising it is being “performed” using a player piano roll cut by Paderewski himself, provided by his evil brother Harry’s music roll company.
The next scene we see Chandell singing and playing “Auf Wiedersehen, My Dear” for Aunt Harriet. A song originally by Lloyd Keating.
Later, Aunt Harriet is seen singing accompanied by Harry, posing as Chandell.
Near the end we see Chandell and his lawyer having been tied up by Harry, ready to be fed into the perforating piano roll as Batman and Robin had been in the previous episode.
At the end of the episode, when locked away in prison, Chandell, (portrayed by Liberace), sings the first verse of the song, “The Prisoner’s Song”, a song originally by Vernon Dalhart, released in 1924.
Season 2 Episode 17: Hizzoner the Penguin (2nd November 1966)
The Penguin, in his fund-raising campaign when he runs for Mayor against Batman, employs the services of Paul Revere and the Raiders. The Penguin and 3 of his young female supporters sing and Paul Revere and the Raiders perform to the tune of “Yankee Doodle” a catchy campaign song to convince voters to vote for The Penguin. A shorter song just prior was a musical accompaniment to a belly dancer. Also of note is Penguin’s supporters singing “For He’s A Jolly Good Penguin” near the beginning.
Season 2 Episode 30: The Bat’s Kow Tow (15th December 1966)
In this story Catwoman steals the voices of English musical duo Chad and Jeremy. Chad and Jeremy play themselves in this episode and the previous one, “The Cat’s Meow”. In this episode they perform the songs; “Distant Shores” and “Teenage Failure”. Both of these songs were A-Sides for singles. “Teenage Failure” was originally released as a non-album single. On the special edition of the album “Distant Shores”, however, both songs are included.
Season 2 Episode 40: That Darn Catwoman! (19th January 1967)
Lesley Gore performs a song in each episode of this 2-parter, and each time performs them to Catwoman’s henchmen with the accompaniement of a record providing the backing music. This episode features the Lesley Gore song, “California Nights”. California Nights premiered on this episode of Batman. Lesley Gore portrays Pussycat, Catwoman’s protege. Catwoman insists that she give up her dreams of being a singer and focus on her crime career. This song is available as a single.
Season 2 Episode 41: Scat, Darn Catwoman! (25th January 1967)
Maybe Now by Lesley Gore is performed in this episode. Both this track and the previous one are available on the album, California Nights. This song is also available as a B-Side on the single “Treat Me Like A Lady”. Interestingly on the back of the orignal release of the album there’s a little blurb which talks about Lesley’s career and briefly talks about her then-recent role on Batman, which is erroneously credited as the character “Pink Pussycat”.
Season 2 Episode 56: Caught in the Spider’s Den (16th March 1967)
Batman sings “I’m Called Little Buttercup” from the Gilbert and Sullivan musical, HMS Pinafore. Robin has asked him to sing so that his mind is occupied. Robin uses this distraction to free Batman from the Black Widow’s mind control.
Season 3 Episode 10: Surf’s Up! Joker’s Under! (16th November 1967)
In this episode we have a performance from Johnny Green and the Greenmen. They perform, “Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)” which accompanies footage of surfers surfing and the appearance of Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara in their disguises as Buzzy (Gordon) and Duke (O’Hara), who, due to the Greenmen’s green hair, presume they have a connection to the Joker!
Batman and Robin by Adam West/ The Story of Batman by Adam West (21st May 1976)
Both the A-side and B-Side of this single have choruses singing to the brilliance and legend of Batman. Both however are mostly spoken word. “Batman and Robin” features an adventure against dreaded arch-villain, The Tickler. “The Story of Batman” has Batman telling us how to use the record to camouflage and protect ourselves against “perilous Z-Rays”. Both songs appear on the 1997 compilation CD, “Batmania: Songs Inspired by the Batman TV Series”.
Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt (9th March 2003)
During the dance between Adam West and Julie Newmar, her using the pseudonym, Arizona, we hear a rap remix of the Batman Theme performed by J Flexx. I have talked about this song previously in my wish list blog post.
Various Batman 66 Comics (2013-2019)
Whilst in her 2 episodes of the Batman TV series The Siren’s powers to bring men under her power presented as a high-pitched monotone drone, in the comics her powers have developed into her singing words she makes up on the spot, a welcome change that would’ve been interesting to see on the show.
The Siren appears in Batman 66 Issues 2, 3 and 5, and in Batman 66 Meets The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and Archie Meets Batman 66.
Batman 66 Issue 5 (20th November 2013)
In this issue, the Eartha Kitt version of Catwoman is singing to herself, appropriately, the song she is singing is “I Want to be Evil” by Eartha Kitt! This song was released as a single in 1953. Subsequently released to many compilations, this song appeared on the album “RCA Victor Presents: Eartha Kitt”.
Batman 66 Issue 11 (21st May 2014)
Chandell and The Siren perform together (as they did in Issue 2) quickly, as part of “Patient Pageant Night”, where the Arch-Criminals can show off their particular talents.
Batman 66 Issue 12 (25th June 2014)
After leading the dynamic duo into a trap The Minstrel performs a quick song on an instrument of his own device called “the Decomposer”, which, mixed with his singing he believes to be the correct frequency to dismantle the oncoming Batmobile, Batman and Robin however are using a different model of Batmobile than normal and as such it has no effect!
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (10th October 2016)
The musical guests for the show Gotham Palace were scheduled to be a group by the name of Hector and the Ho-Daddies. The group however was ambushed and replaced by The United Underworld, The Penguin, The Riddler, Catwoman and The Joker. We hear the United Underworld play out of tune for a short period. This is included as a 21 second bonus track on the CD soundtrack release of the film.