Christmas Traditional

Fum, Fum, Fum (Catalan)

    Description by Robert Cummings

    This is a traditional Catalan Christmas carol that could date back to the Renaissance era. It is one of the few popular ones of Spanish origin in English-speaking countries. One often speculates about what the words (or rather, non-words) Fum, Fum, Fum represent here. They appear in the second, fourth, and ninth lines in each of the three verses. Some have asserted their sound is onomatopoeic in that they are the imitation of a musical instrument, like the guitar. Whether they represent the strumming sounds of that instrument or not, they do give a rhythmic and colorful character to this charming carol. The melody is perky and light, graceful, and vaguely Baroque-ish, but does not divulge any obvious Spanish style, although guitar versions of the tune do exhibit a slightly more exotic character associated with that idiom. The melody's lively, festive manner has moved some to suggest that "Fum" in the text should be replaced by "Fun," so spirited and joyful is the music. The colorful text urges people to "celebrate in song" at the birth of Christ. Most listeners interested in Christmas music will find this a most pleasing number.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2014 BYU Music Group YCD 0614LIW
    2013 Summit Records DCD 610
    2013 Revels Inc. 2013
    2011 Rider University / Westminster Choir College WCC 0810
    2011 Altissimo BOL 0301
    2011 Raumklang RKAP 10111
    2011 Sonoma / Sonoma Entertainment SBX 20306
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099962936
    2010 Coviello / Coviello Classics COV 21012
    2009 Marquis Records 81505
    2008 Immergent 81153
    2008 Martingale 700672
    2008 Immergent 81159
    2008 Immergent 81155
    2008 Word Distribution 887759
    2008 Immergent 81151
    2007 Madacy 53090
    2007 Kings Road 64
    2007 Sony BMG 711325
    2006 St Clair / St. Clair 3468
    2006 St Clair / St. Clair 9465
    2005 La Ma De Guido 2062
    2005 Doug Gefvert 2002
    2005 Bergen 7037
    2005 RTVE Classics 65018
    2004 Gia 590
    2004 BMG Special Products 48794
    2004 Madacy Distribution / Madacy 50358
    2004 Mormon Tabernacle 1063
    2004 Lasting Impression Music / Lim 007
    2004 Koch 7582
    2004 BMG / BMG Special Products 484322
    2003 Rattlesby Records / Rattlesby Records 1006
    2003 Gothic Records 49208
    2002 Eroica Distribution 3104
    2001 American Gramaphone Records 1225
    2001 BMG / BMG Special Products 75517457922
    2001 BMG / BMG Special Products 45790
    2001 Eroica Classical Recordings / Eroica Distribution 30732
    2001 Eclectra ECCD-2041
    2000 Afka / Afka 430
    1999 Orchard 3494
    1999 Bonneville Worldwide Ent. (BWE) 9504
    1999 Eclectra 2041
    1999 Eclectra 2041
    1997 Sony Music Distribution 62970
    1996 Falk / Louisville Chorus 03
    1995 EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution CDC-55536
    1994 Telarc Distribution 80377
    1994 ASV / ASV/Living Era CDWHL 2073
    1993 Centaur Records 2168
    1989 Telarc Distribution CS-30202
    1986 EMI Angel / EMI Music Distribution CDC-47587
    Alain Pinel Realtors
    GHF Music
    Orchard
    Skylark Music 9203
    RCA 1217
    Sonoma SBX 20574
    Silver Swan 03102
    Silver Swan 03082
    Summit Records 1001
    Morning Star Quartet
    Linn Kezer and Jessica Summerv
    Eclectra 2041
    Word Distribution 887788
    Madacy 53406