Tico-Tico no Fubá

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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, [1] 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.

Notable recordings

The first recording of the work was made by Orquestra Colbaz (Columbia 22029, 1931). [2]

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. [3] [4]

Carmen Miranda and Ray Conniff both made popular recordings of the song.

The song was recorded by The Andrews Sisters on March 7, 1944 [5] and it briefly reached the charts. [6] 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:

In film and television

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.

Other uses

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. [7]

References to the song

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. [8]


See also

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  1. "Américo Jacomino Canhoto – Discografia". Dicionário Cravo Albin da Música Popular Brasileira. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  2. "Orquestra Colbaz – Discografia". Dicionário Cravo Albin da Música Popular Brasileira. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  3. "Disks With Most Radio Plugs" (PDF). The Billboard. 27 (4): 16. January 27, 1945. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  4. Ankeny, Jason. "Ethel Smith – Biography". AllMusic.com. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  5. Sforza, John (2000). Swing It! - The Andrews Sisters Story. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky. p. 226. ISBN   0-8131-2136-1.
  6. Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954 . Wisconsin, USA: Record Research Inc. p.  28. ISBN   0-89820-083-0.
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9-06HAX6e0
  8. "O Pato – João Gilberto". Letras.mus.br. Retrieved December 11, 2016.