Chiho Sunamoto plays Tico-Tico no Fubá - "Chiho Style!"




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Published on Apr 23, 2009

The fantastic Chiho Sunamoto plays "Tico Tico" at the packed Burgess hill Keyboard Club on Friday 20th March 2009. Chiho plays the latest top of the range, state of the art, all singing, all dancing electronic Yamaha Organs and Clavinova that sound one minute like the Berlin Philharmonic and the next like Deep Purple. She also sings like an angel and has a smile that would melt Mount Fuji. Her love of music and performing, combined with her sunny personality, guarantee that anyone attending one of her performances will have an enjoyable time. Her diverse musical tastes that includes classical composers through Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff to Frank Sinatra, ensures there is something for everyone in her performances.

Tico-Tico no Fubá is the title of a renowned Brazilian choro music piece composed by Zequinha de Abreu in 1917.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 "tico-tico on the cornmeal". Tico-Tico no Fubá was recorded and made popular internationally by Carmen Miranda (who performed it onscreen in Copacabana (1947)) and Ray Conniff. Another well known recording was made by first lady of the organ, Miss Ethel Smith on the Hammond organ. A biographical movie by the same title was produced in 1952 by the Brazilian film studio Companhia Cinematográfica Vera Cruz with Anselmo Duarte playing the main role. The song 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).

Lyrics: English Version

Oh tico-tico tick!
Oh tico-tico tock!
This tico-tico - he's the cuckoo in my clock.
And when he says: "Cuckoo!" he means it's time to woo;
It's "tico-time" for all the lovers in the block.
I've got a heavy date -
a tête-à-tête at eight,
so speak, oh tico, tell me is it getting late?
If I'm on time, "Cuckoo!" but if I'm late, "Woo-woo!"
The one my heart has gone to may not want to wait!

For just a birdie, and a birdie who goes no-where,
He knows of ev'ry Lovers' Lane and how to go there;
For in affairs of the heart, my Tico's terribly smart,
He tells me: "Gently, sentiment'ly at the start!"

Oh-oh, I hear my little tico-tico calling,
Because the time is right and shades of night are falling.
I love that not-so-cuckoo cuckoo in my clock:
tico-tico tico-tico-tico tock!

The complete version of Aloysio de Oliveira's original Portuguese lyrics:

O tico tico tá, tá outra vez aqui,
o tico tico tá comendo o meu fubá.
Se o tico tico tem, tem que se alimentar,
Que vá comer umas minhocas no pomar.
O tico tico tá, tá outra vez aqui,
o tico tico tá comendo o meu fubá.
Eu sei que ele vem viver no meu quintal,
e vem com ares de canário e de pardal.

Mas por favor tira esse bicho do celeiro,
porque ele acaba comendo o fubá inteiro.
Tira esse tico de lá, de cima do meu fubá.
Tem tanta fruta que ele pode pinicar.

Eu já fiz tudo para ver se conseguia.
Botei alpiste para ver se ele comia.
Botei um gato um espantalho e um alçapão,
mas ele acha que o fubá é que é boa alimentação.

Loose translation of the original lyrics:

The tico tico is here, it is here again,
the tico tico is eating my cornmeal.
If that tico tico has to feed itself,
it better eat a few earthworms at the orchard.
The tico tico is here, it is here again,
the tico tico is eating my cornmeal.
I know that it comes to live in my yard,
and that it puts on airs like a sparrow and a canary.

But please take this animal off my granary,
because it will end up eating all the cornmeal
Throw that tico out of here, from the top of the cornmeal (heap),
it has so much fruit to eat from.

I have done everything to see if he's gone,
Threw him canary feed to see if it ate it.
Let a cat loose to scare it off, and (even) set up a trap,
but it has found out that cornmeal is a good feed.


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