Christmas Music: Songs from Spain, Catalonia, and Mexico

My friend Monsterrat Wadsworth over at Cranial Hiccups asked if I’d heard the Catalonian song, “Fum, Fum, Fum”. And of course I had. It’s a fun song, I remember it being sung in our choir concerts growing up. The “fum” imitates the sound of the drums, and by the end everyone is singing fortissimo. But as I was searching for a good version of the song. I went down a happy rabbit hole of Spanish language Christmas songs, and I was reminded how much I love the Songs from Spain and other Spanish speaking countries and areas — these songs definitely need more air time, because lets face it, you’re also going to go crazy if you hear “Silver Bells” or “White Christmas” one more time. Here are five songs from Spain, Catalonia, and Mexico.

Fum Fum Fum — sung in Catalan.

Riu Riu Chiu — the nonsense syllables of “riu, riu, chiu”, are the call of the nightingale, protecting the Baby Jesus from wolves which are trying to devour him and his mother.

El Noi De La Mare on classical guitar, also known as “The Carol of the Gifts” (click HERE for a choral version). The first refrain of the song asks, “What shall we bring to the Mother’s Child?” The second refrain answers that we will bring him olives, figs, milk, and honey.

A La Nanita Nana — this is a lullaby sung in honor of the Christ child.

And perhaps my favorite of all is the “Canto Para Pedir Posada” or Las Posadas, which is a reenactment of Mary and Joseph searching for shelter in Bethlehem. I live in New Mexico and grew up in Arizona and so many familiar parts of Christmas for me come from the Mexican traditions. Who doesn’t want to whack a pinata on Christmas Eve?

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