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Traditional Catalan Christmas Carol - "Fum fum fum" or "25 de diciembre" (Kathleen Battle)

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Published on Dec 2, 2008

Though Christmas is a bit far away and not truly evident (at least here, in Moscow, as snow disappears as soon as it has fallen), I find myself already looking forward to the holiday and already brushing up on my Christmas carols with this one appearing the most often.

The carol is thought to date back to the Renaissance era. The melody is perky and light, graceful and vaguely baroque, but does not divulge any obvious Spanish style, although guitar versions of the tune do exhibit a slightly more exotic character associated with that idiom. The colorful text urges people to "celebrate in song" at the birth of Christ. One often speculates about what the words (or rather, non-words) "fum, fum, fum" represent: they appear in the second, fourth and ninth lines in each of the three verses. Some have asserted their sound is onomatopoeic in that they are the imitation of a musical instrument, like the guitar. Whether they represent the strumming sounds of that instrument or not, they do give a rhythmic and colorful character to this charming carol.

Here Kathleen Battle provides one of her best recordings complete with a glittering vocal smile and wonderful, not overstated singing. Hope you'll enjoy :).

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