Tico-Tico no Fubá

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This article is about the song. For the footballer, see Tico-Tico.

Tico-Tico no Fubá [ˈtʃiku ˈtʃiku nu fuˈba] is the title of a renowned Brazilian choro music piece composed by Zequinha de Abreu in 1917. Its original title was Tico-Tico no Farelo, 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.

Choro (literally translated meaning lament) is also popularly known as chorinho in the affectionate diminutive form of Brazilian Portuguese. "Fubá" is a type of maize flour, and "tico-tico" is the name of a bird, the rufous-collared sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis). Hence, "Tico-Tico no Fubá" means "Sparrow in the Cornmeal". "Farelo" is bran.

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 performed "Tico-Tico" onscreen in Copacabana (1947); she and Ray Conniff both made popular recordings of the song. 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).

A biographical movie with the same title Tico-Tico no Fubá was produced in 1952 by the Brazilian film studio Companhia Cinematográfica Vera Cruz, with Anselmo Duarte playing the main role as Abreu.

The title phrase also features in the lyrics to the song "O Pato" made famous by João Gilberto.[5]



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. In Quebec the song has been used for several decades in commercials for Sico paint.

The song was recorded by The Andrews Sisters in 1944. The song was recorded by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians in 1956 (Decca DL8221) on the album, "A Visit to Disneyland". In the season three Mama's Family episode "An Ill Wind," an intoxicated Iola briefly sings the song's chorus before passing out onto a bed.

The flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía also performed this song in 1967. This song can be heard on various episodes of the Belgian Kabouter Wesley cartoon.

In 2005, tubist Kyle Turner recorded a version for his album "Expressions - The Heart of the Tuba." In 2006, the Brazilian singer Ney Matogrosso recorded a cover version for his album Batuque. In 2009, Daniela Mercury recorded the song on her thirteenth studio album Canibália.

In 2015, the Japanese band ALI PROJECT recorded a version with new lyrics written by Arika Takarano, the singer.

This song was performed in the closing ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Notable performers[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Discography of Américo Jacomino Canhoto, Discography of Américo Jacomino Canhoto 2
    CD reissue: Violão Imortal – Canhoto Américo Jacomino; Rvpc 008; Revivendo
  2. ^ CD reissue, Orquestra Colbaz, Gravações Raras, 1
  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. Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  5. ^ "O Pato" ; João Gilberto, letras.mus.br

External links[edit]