Thursday, February 15, 2007

Batman on the Volga River

Holy Russian folk music, Batman!
I was recently watching an episode of the 1960's Batman TV show series called "The Ogg and I." While that entire series was slightly ridiculous, in this particular episode the writers clearly flipped their gourd. Egghead and Olga, the Cossack Queen (?!?) from Bessarovia (?) kidnap Commissioner Gordon and hold him ransom for an egg tax. While Batgirl, with Alfred's help, sniff around Gotham city for the scent of curry root in Gordon's aftershave, Batman and Robin get caught by Olga, et. al., and are being prepared to be cooked in a traditional Bessarovian Wedding Borscht "made from captured prisoners." Oh, and Olga refers to Batman and Robin as Batushka and Robonchick. And Egghead uses as many "egg" puns as possible (eggstatic, eggsquisite, eggcetera). Truly, truly absurd.
Now, all this is fine, ridiculous, and dandy, but hardly bloggable. However, whilst preparing the borscht, the cook starts singing:

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[Direct MP3 link, 298kb]

Yes, "The Volga Batman." Some long-time readers may recall a post from over a year ago, when I discussed the "Gremlins from the Kremlin" song, a.k.a "Song of the Volga Boatmen." Well, this is the same song, but with different words. And, keeping up with the usual string of terrible puns and alliterations on the show, the cook switches 'Batman' for 'Boatmen'. Terrible.

But it gets better. Batgirl shows up to save the day, and we get the fight scene, complete with "Pow!"s, "Zap!"s and "Oof!"s. But the background music is noteworthy:

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[Direct MP3 link, 468kb]

This is a Batmanized version of Glière's Russian Sailor's Dance, from his ballet "The Red Poppy." I had actually heard something that I thought was reminiscent of this song elsewhere in the episode, but this part was unmistakable. Compare it to the original Russian Sailor's Dance:

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[Direct MP3 link, 3MB]

After these two bits, I can't help but wonder if the other Russian sounding soundtrack bits are other Russian songs, that I just don't know.

And, if you'd like to watch the whole episode, here are YouTube links:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3 [The key bits are in this part]


  1. I yes I remember that episode (Last summer I went on a Eli's hard drive marathon, watching tons of the things he has on them, icluding somewhere around 70 hours of bugs bunny cartoons), what I didn't know was that Egghead was played by Vincent Price who of course did an eggceptional job of it.

  2. Eli, you realize the music was cut from the YouTUBE version.

  3. You're right, notElon! I didn't realized that the Volga Batman was cut! I'll see if I can upload a clip of that.

  4. "Bessarovia" is distorted "Bessarabia", the region in the south-west of modern Ukraine ))