Tico-Tico no Fubá

Last updated
"Tico-Tico no fubá"
Song by Orquestra Colbaz
Written Zequinha de Abreu
Released1931 (1931)
Genre Choro
Label Columbia Records
Lyricist(s) Aloysio de Oliveira

"Tico-Tico no fubá" (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈtʃikuˈtʃikunufuˈba] ; "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 No. 14 on January 27, 1945, and sold nearly two million copies worldwide. [3] [4]

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

In film and television

YearFilmDirector, Performers
1942 Saludos Amigos , "Aquarela do Brasil" segmentNorman Ferguson / Wilfred Jackson / Jack Kinney / Hamilton Luske / Bill Roberts
1942 Rio Rita S. Sylvan Simon, Eros Volusia and her dancers
1943 Thousands Cheer George Sidney
1944 Bathing Beauty George Sidney, Ethel Smith
1944 Kansas City Kitty Del Lord
1944 Abacaxi Azul Ruy Costa
1945 The Gay Senorita Arthur Dreifuss
1945 Club Havana Edgar G. Ulmer
1945 It's a Pleasure William A. Seiter
1947 Copacabana Alfred E. Green, Carmen Miranda
1952 Tico-Tico no Fubá Adolfo Celi
1953 Estrella sin luz Ernesto Cortázar
1958 Yo quiero ser artista Tito Davison
1978 The Muppet Show Annie Sue with other pigs accompanying
1987 Radio Days Woody Allen
1994 Radioland Murders Mel Smith
2004 Ma vie en cinémascope Denise Filiatrault
2006 Zuzu Angel Sérgio Rezende
2013 Behind the Candelabra Steven Soderbergh
2016A LutaBruno Bennec
2020 Hunters Nelson McCormick

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. [8]

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.[ citation needed ]

The title phrase also features in the lyrics to the song "O Pato" made famous by João Gilberto. [9]


See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carlos Lyra</span> Brazilian singer and composer (1933–2023)

Carlos Eduardo Lyra Barbosa was a Brazilian singer and composer of numerous bossa nova and Música popular brasileira classics. He and Antônio Carlos Jobim were the first two music composers, together with lyricists Vinicius de Moraes and Ronaldo Boscoli, to be recorded by João Gilberto on his first LP entitled Chega de Saudade (1959), which was called the first generation of Bossa Nova.

Brazilian rock refers to rock music produced in Brazil and usually sung in Portuguese. In the 1960s it was known as iê-iê-iê, from the Portuguese transcription of the line "Yeah, yeah, yeah" from the Beatles song "She Loves You". English-language Brazilian rock bands such as Sepultura, Angra, Viper, Krisiun, Far from Alaska and Wannabe Jalva have gained popularity in recent years.

"Aquarela do Brasil", written by Ary Barroso in 1939 and known in the English-speaking world simply as "Brazil", is one of the most famous Brazilian songs.

Samba-canção is, in its most common acceptance or interpretation, the denomination for a kind of Brazilian popular songs with a slow-paced samba rhythm.

Música sertaneja or sertanejo is a music style that had its origins in the countryside of Brazil in the 1920s. Its contemporary developments made it the most popular music style in 2000s and 2010s Brazil, particularly throughout the southern/southeastern and center-western countryside Brazil. Subgenres include sertanejo raiz, sertanejo romântico, and sertanejo universitário.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Facção Central</span> Brazilian rap group

Facção Central was a Brazilian gangsta rap group formed in the city of São Paulo in 1989. The rap group garnered significant attention due to the powerful content of their lyrics, which ultimately led to the arrest of its members following the release of the music video Isso Aqui É uma Guerra.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Exaltasamba</span>

Exaltasamba is a Brazilian pagode music group, formed in 1982 in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo. The group began simply playing gigs in restaurants and bars. They later began writing their own songs, eventually releasing an album, "Eterno Amanhecer" in 1992. However, it wasn't until 1996 that they truly became successful, with their 1996 and 1997 albums, "Luz do Desejo and "Desliga e Vem" each going Double Platinum. They released a Live Album with songs handpicked by their fans via E-Mail. In 2003, one of their best known Vocalists, Thiaguinho, joined the group. They continued to release albums. Their 25th Anniversary was in 2010, and they had written new material to perform on this show. The year thereafter, Thiaguinho announced that he planned on leaving the group. They subsequently announced their disbandment after 25 years as a band. Their final concert was in February 2012, and it was broadcast on a channel considered the Brazilian Equivalent to the United States' MTV; Multishow. Or so we thought.

José Carlos Capinam, better known as Capinam or Capinan, is a Brazilian lyricist and poet. He was active in Brazil's tropicália movement in the 1960s, and he wrote lyrics for various tropicália musicians.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Antonio Nóbrega</span> Brazilian singer, dancer and actor (born 1952)

Antonio Nóbrega is a Brazilian singer, dancer and actor whose work features cultural traditions from Pernambuco.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mário Negrão</span> Musical artist

Mário Negrão Borgonovi is a Brazilian composer, drummer and percussionist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wando (singer)</span> Brazilian singer-songwriter

Wanderley Alves dos Reis, better known as Wando, was a Brazilian singer-songwriter.

Dr. Silvana & Cia. is a Brazilian rock musical band, formed in Rio de Janeiro.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Monsueto</span> Musical artist

Monsueto Campos de Menezes, better known as Monsueto, was a Brazilian sambista, singer, composer, drummer, painter, and actor. He was a part of the samba de morro school, and helped popularize it along with other artists such as Cartola, Nelson Cavaquinho, Clementina de Jesus, Silas de Oliveira, Mano Décio da Viola, and Zé Keti. His musical output, though small, is considered very valuable to the history of Brazilian music.

Dulce Quental is a Brazilian singer and composer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1931 in Brazil</span> Brazil-related events during 1931

Events in the year 1931 in Brazil.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Almir Sater</span> Musical artist

Almir Eduardo Melke Sater is a Brazilian singer-songwriter and actor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fernando Brant</span>

Fernando Rocha Brant was a Brazilian poet, lyricist and journalist, born in Caldas, Minas Gerais.

The Jet Black's was an instrumental rock band from São Paulo, Brazil. The band was formed in 1961 by Jurandi (drums), Orestes, Ernestico (saxophone), and José Paulo (bass), and Cat/Gato joined the following year. Their first single was "Apache"/"Kon-Tiki", followed by "Hully-Gully" (1962), and "Twist/The Jet Black's Again" (1963).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Laufer (musician)</span> Brazilian musician

Carlos Laufer, better known mononymously as Laufer, is a Brazilian musician, songwriter and record producer.

José Eduardo Homem de Mello, best known as Zuza Homem de Mello was a Brazilian musicologist and journalist, specialized in the Brazilian popular music history.


  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. 1 2 Gilliland, John. (197X). "Pop Chronicles 1940s Program #20 - All Tracks UNT Digital Library". Digital.library.unt.edu. Retrieved 2021-02-06.
  8. "Anitta - Tico-Tico no Fubá | Abertura Rock In Rio Lisboa 2018". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-14. Retrieved 2021-02-06.
  9. "O Pato – João Gilberto". Letras.mus.br. Retrieved December 11, 2016.