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Tico-Tico no Fubá

Composer: Abreu Zequinha de

Tags: Chorinhos Dance



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"Tico-Tico no fubá" [ˈtʃiku ˈtʃiku nu fuˈba] ("sparrow in the cornmeal", or, literally, "rufous-collared sparrow in the cornmeal") is a Brazilian choro song written by Zequinha de Abreu in 1917. Its original title was "Tico-Tico no farelo" ("sparrow in the bran"), but since Brazilian guitarist Américo Jacomino "Canhoto" (1889–1928) had a work with the same title, Abreu's work was given its present name in 1931, and sometime afterward Aloysio de Oliveira wrote the original Portuguese lyrics.
Outside Brazil, the song reached its peak popularity in the 1940s, with successful recordings by Ethel Smith, The Andrews Sisters (with English-language lyrics by Ervin Drake), Carmen Miranda and others.
The first recording of the work was made by Orquestra Colbaz (Columbia 22029, 1931).
Ethel Smith performed it on the Hammond organ in the MGM film Bathing Beauty (1944), after which her recording reached the U.S. pop charts in November 1944, peaked at #14 on January 27, 1945, and sold nearly two million copies worldwide.
Carmen Miranda and Ray Conniff both made popular recordings of the song.
The song was recorded by The Andrews Sisters on March 7, 1944 and it briefly reached the charts. The song was recorded by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians in 1956 (Decca DL8221) on the album, "A Visit to Disneyland".
The flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía performed this song in 1967.
In 2006, the Brazilian singer Ney Matogrosso recorded a version for his album Batuque. In 2009, Daniela Mercury recorded the song on her album Canibália.
In 2015, the Japanese band Ali Project recorded a version with new lyrics written by Arika Takarano, the singer.
Other recordings have been made by:
Eros Volusia and her dancers dance to "Tico-Tico" in 1942 Rio Rita. Ethel Smith performed "Tico-Tico" onscreen in Bathing Beauty (1944). Carmen Miranda performed "Tico-Tico" onscreen in Copacabana (1947); It was also featured in the "Aquarela do Brasil" segment of the Walt Disney film Saludos Amigos (1942) and in Woody Allen's Radio Days (1987).
In Quebec the song has been used for several decades in commercials for Sico paint.
In season three of Mama's Family episode "An Ill Wind," an intoxicated Iola briefly sings the song's chorus before passing out onto a bed.
This song can be heard on various episodes of the Belgian Kabouter Wesley cartoon.
In season one of Narcos: Mexico, episode 3 ("El Padrino”), the orchestral version of the song is played by a band during a reception.
This song was often performed by the Grateful Dead during their tuning jams between songs. It was also played as an instrumental by James Booker with the Jerry Garcia Band.
This song was used in Tom and Jerry in the episode Muscle Beach Tom, where Tom's rival, Butch is seen dancing with a female cat.
This song was performed in the closing ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics.
This song was adapted to the 2016 video games Just Dance 2017 and Civilization VI.
This song was remixed with a baile funk melody during the opening of Brazilian pop singer Anitta's set for Rock in Rio Lisboa 2018.
A biographical movie about Zequinha de Abreu with the same title, Tico-Tico no Fubá was produced in 1952 by the Brazilian film studio Companhia Cinematográfica Vera Cruz, starring Anselmo Duarte as Abreu.
The title phrase also features in the lyrics to the song "O Pato" made famous by João Gilberto.
The complete version of Aloysio de Oliveira's original Portuguese lyrics:
O tico tico tá, tá outra vez aqui, o tico tico tá comendo o meu fubá. Se o tico tico tem, tem que se alimentar, Que vá comer umas minhocas no pomar. O tico tico tá, tá outra vez aqui, o tico tico tá comendo o meu fubá. Eu sei que ele vem viver no meu quintal, e vem com ares de canário e de pardal.
Mas por favor tira esse bicho do celeiro, porque ele acaba comendo o fubá inteiro. Tira esse tico de lá, de cima do meu fubá. Tem tanta fruta que ele pode pinicar.
Eu já fiz tudo para ver se conseguia. Botei alpiste para ver se ele comia. Botei um gato um espantalho e um alçapão, mas ele acha que o fubá é que é boa alimentação.
Loose translation of the original lyrics:
The tico tico is here, it is here again, the tico tico is eating my cornmeal. If that tico tico has to feed itself, it better eat a few earthworms at the orchard. The tico tico is here, it is here again, the tico tico is eating my cornmeal. I know that it comes to live in my yard, and that it puts on airs like a sparrow and a canary.
But please take this animal off my granary, because it will end up eating all the cornmeal Throw that tico out of here, from the top of the cornmeal (heap), it has so much fruit to eat from.
I have done everything to see if I could, Threw it canary feed to see if it ate it. Let a cat loose, and (even) set up a trap, but it finds cornmeal to be good nutrition.
English version (not a translation, as sung by The Andrews Sisters):
Oh tico-tico tick! Oh tico-tico tock! This tico-tico - he's the cuckoo in my clock. And when he says: "Cuckoo!" he means it's time to woo; It's "tico-time" for all the lovers in the block. I've got a heavy date - a tête-à-tête at eight, so speak, oh tico, tell me is it getting late? If I'm on time, "Cuckoo!" but if I'm late, "Woo-woo!" The one my heart has gone to may not want to wait!
For just a birdie, and a birdie who goes no-where, He knows of ev'ry Lovers' Lane and how to go there; For in affairs of the heart, my Tico's terribly smart, He tells me: "Gently, sentiment'ly at the start!"
Oh-oh, I hear my little tico-tico calling, Because the time is right and shades of night are falling. I love that not-so-cuckoo cuckoo in my clock: tico-tico tico-tico-tico tock!