Friday, February 03, 2017


A Children's Song

Over ten years ago, in Caganer, Mistletoe, and Sancho Panza, I quoted the following from an Associated Press story:
During the holiday season, pastry shops around Catalonia sell sweets shaped like feces, and on Christmas Eve Catalan children beat a hollow log, called the tio, packed with holiday gifts, singing a song that urges it to defecate presents out the other end.
I added the comment:
I am curious about the word for the sweets shaped like feces, and also about the lyrics of the song sung by Catalan children as they beat the tió, which is apparently similar to the piñata.
Now at last my curiosity is satisfied. Yesterday I received an email from Jaume Ripoll Miralda, who wrote:
Personally, I have never heard of a specific word for such sweets – in Catalan we say llaminadures for any kind of sweet –, even though I have seen them plenty of times. Yet I hope I can bring some insight on the song when beating the tió. I myself used to sing it as a child along with my little brother!

The most common version of the song goes as follows:
Tió, tió, caga torró,
D'avellana i de pinyó,
Si no pots cagar,
Garrotada va!
Which, rendered in English, is more or less the following:
Tió, tió, shit some nougat,
Made of hazelnut and pine nut,
If you can't shit,
Here comes a beat!


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