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                                                    Chico Rotico

                                                                                           (Bob Nolan)


Chico, chico rotico,
Little boy, Sonora’s joy, come singing,
Singing songs with a beat slow.
Chico, chico rotico, mine.
 
Chico, chico rotico,
Nut brown nose, your daddy’s clothes come clinging,
Clinging to you, mi niño.
Chico, chico rotico, mine.
 
When the shades of nighttime fall,
You’ll hear the sandman call.
 
Chico, chico rotico,
You may grow but Mexico comes ringing,
Ringing bells where your feet go,
Chico, chico rotico mine.
 


    The title of this song has been spelled variously over the years because there was nothing written to go by. It was a popular little tune on stage and for radio transcriptions but was never commercially recorded. The registered name is Chico Rotico and it does not have a literal English translation. Bob, introducing the song himself on the Teleways Transcription #152, clearly says, “chico rotico”, rolling the “r”. The word "rotico" is possibly a local endearment for children. In fact, Jorge Canez from Guadeloupe, Mexico, suggests Bob heard the word wrong when he was growing up in Tucson, or perhaps it was mispronounced in schoolyard slang. Jorge suggests that “Chico Loquito” would fit the lyrics admirable. “Loquito”, when referring to a child, means “little imp” or “little devil”.

    Bob attended high school in Tucson where, at that time, over 50% of the students were Spanish-speaking. He picked up a working knowledge of the language and we understand from Wayne Perryman that his pronunciation was excellent. When a solo in Spanish was called for, Bob was often the soloist. We often hear Bob and Ken Carson sing Spanish lyrics en duet.

 

Recording:

Teleways Transcription #152
 

TRANSCRIPTIONS:

10-2-4 Time (September 20, 1944) Show#419

Teleways Transcriptions #2-10-41-110-152-234