It is thought to have originated in the 16th or 17th century. The word “fum” means smoke in Catalan, and it may simply refer to the smoke rising from a chimney as seen from afar, or, as indicated in the New Oxford Book of Carols, “may imitate the sound of a drum (or perhaps the strumming of a guitar).” (source)


On December five and twenty, fum, fum, fum. (repeat)
Oh, a child was born this night
So rosy white, so rosy white
Son of Mary, virgin holy
In a stable, mean and lowly,
fum, fum, fum.

God will send us days of feasting, fum, fum, fum. (repeat)
Both in hot months and in cold
for young and old, for young and old.
We will tell the holy story
Ever singing of his glory,
fum, fum, fum.

See also

Extras for Plus Members

  • Song with chords (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen