A Catalan Christmas Carol called “Fum fum fum – A vint-i-cinq de desembre” (On the 25th of December)

This Catalan Carol, sometimes called Fum Fum Fum, is thought to have been written in the 16th or 17th century. There’s a version that’s very popular in the Spanish speaking world too. Here’s an English version, followed by the original Catalan lyrics, with a midi.

On the Twenty-fifth of December
(English)

On the twenty-fifth of December
Fum, fum, fum
A little baby was born
Blond and pale
Son of Virgin Mary
Was born in a cowshed
Fum, fum fum

There, at the top of the mountain
Fum, fum, fum
There are two little shepherds
Well bundled up, well bundled up
In a skin and a cloak
They’re eating eggs and sausage
Fum fum fum

Overnight, the sun goes out
Fum fum fum
They see the glowing angel
Who tells them:
Now was born, in a cowshed
The Infant God, son of Mary
Fum, fum, fum

On the twenty-fifth of December
Fum fum fum
Is Christmas day
Very important
When morning mass is over
We’ll eat very nice food
Fum fum fum

May God give us some holy celebrations
Fum fum fum
Be it cold, be it hot
It’ll be best, it’ll be best
Let’s make Jesus a great celebration
So he’ll want to give us Glory
Fum fum fum

Midi of A vint-i-cinq de desembre – Fum Fum Fum

A vint-i-cinq de desembre
(Catalan)

A vint-i-cinq de desembre
Fum, fum, fum
A nascut un minyonet
Ros i blanquet, ros i blanquet
Fill de la Verge Maria
N’és nat en una establia
Fum fum fum.

Aquí a dalt de la muntanya
Fum, fum, fum
Si n’hi ha dos pastorets
Abrigadets, abrigadets
Amb la pell i la samarra
Mengen ous i botifara.
Fum, fum, fum

Nit enllà el sol desperta
Fum, fum, fum
Veuen l’angel resplendent
Que els va dient :
Ara es nat a l’establia
Deu infant fill de Maria
Fum, fum, fum

A vint-i-cinc de desembre
Fum, fum, fum
És el dia de Nadal
Molt principal
En sortint de les Maitines
Menjarem cosetas finas
Fum, fum, fum

Déu nos dó unes santes festes
Fum, fum, fum
Faci fred faci calor
Serà el millor, serà el millor
De Jesús fem gran memòria
Perqué ens vulgui dar la Glòria
Fum, fum, fum

It seems that “Fum, fum, fum” is imitating either the sound of strumming on a guitar or the beating on a drum.

Many thanks to Monique Palomares at Mama Lisa’s World en français for sending me the lyrics to Fum Fum Fum and for the English translation.

Come visit the Mama Lisa’s World Catalan Page for more Catalan Children’s Songs

This article was posted on Tuesday, December 20th, 2005 at 11:16 am and is filed under Catalan, Catalan, Catalan Children's Songs, Children's Songs, Christmas, Christmas Songs, Countries & Cultures, Fum, Fum, Fum, Holiday Songs, Holidays Around the World, Languages, Midis, Recordings of Songs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “A Catalan Christmas Carol called “Fum fum fum – A vint-i-cinq de desembre” (On the 25th of December)”

  1. Ginger Says:

    Thank you so much for posting this song. I was led here by another site when I tried to find the origin of the Christmas song I grew up with.

    If you’re interested, here are the lyrics to the first verse, as translated by a Belgian into English:

    On December 25th sing-
    Fum Fum Fum
    On December 25th sing-
    Fum Fum Fum

    On that night a child was born
    All pink and white at break of morn’
    In a stable dark and dreary
    Came the Son of Virgin Mary

    Fum Fum Fum
    Fum Fum Fum

    Thanks for your part in solving a generations old mystery in my family!

  2. Afra Says:

    In fact, “fum fum fum” means “smoke smoke smoke”. I suppose that’s because in Catalunya, in december is when people makes fire and sits next to it to sing and talk.

  3. Ted Figlock Says:

    This carol was reported to be a favorite of St. Ignatius Loyola, a Basque. Isn’t it nice to imagine him, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), usually pictured as a pretty stern looking character, enjoying Christmastime and singing carols? And it is yours to enjoy, too.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe without commenting