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In a Pitchfork article (Alvvays: Antisocialites Album Review), I came across this word bum-bum, and I can't work out what it means. Here's the sentence in which it appears:

Better yet, in a similar vein, is “Not My Baby,” an aching and ethereal song that bum-bums like the answer to the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.”

Out of several online dictionaries I tried, only Wiktionary had an entry for bum-bum, and it said:

  1. (Brazil, childish) buttocks

The word used in the Pitchfork quote looks to be a verb though, and if it derives from this noun I wonder what hip-related action it might denote and how that can fit into the sentence.

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"Bum bum", "dum dum" etc are imitative expressions intended to represent a musical beat.

From the book Blacktime Song by Rosalie Wolfe, which I found on Google Books:

At the strum of his guitar, she opened her eyes and stared blankly into the darkness. The notes were soft... With her toes she kept time to outdoor rhythms...

I ain't nothing but a pun, hun

dee dee dum, bum bum

I ain't nothing but a gun, hun

...dee dum dum, bum bum

James K. rightly points out that in your example, "bum-bum" has been adapted as a verb:

Better yet, in a similar vein, is “Not My Baby,” an aching and ethereal song that bum-bums like the answer to the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.”

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  • Good, so here "bum-bum" is being used as a verb.
    – James K
    Oct 20, 2017 at 21:06

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