Fortean Times

Say SumMa numMa


The meat of this story took place in the spring and summer of 2021. It was an unusual time, as my family and I had a cluster of odd experience­s, although I’ll only describe a couple here. Some of my siblings have had distinctly abnormal experience­s as children, and half of my family come from a part of the world where the supernatur­al is more accepted as a part of life than it is here.

The root of the following sequence of events lies in a memory of the early 1990s, when I was around seven years old. I was in a Mini Cooper with my aunt and two younger siblings, twin brother and sister. On the radio played a song that we three siblings found hilarious, as a man seemed to be singing “Say summa numma”. I’m sure we joked about it a lot afterwards, but it had certainly faded from our memories by the time we reached adolescenc­e, and we had no cause to discuss – or even think about – it in the ensuing years.

Fast forward to the spring of 2021, and our extended family had gathered to celebrate my oldest brother’s 50th birthday. At one point during the gathering, I sat with my two younger siblings, my brother, out of the blue, brought up the memory of that song. We had a brief debate over the make of my aunt’s car and the lyrics of the song, before moving on.

Fast forward again to summer 2021, and my two younger siblings along with my mother had come to visit me for my birthday. We happened to find ourselves discussing the paranormal, as my sister had recently visited a medium out of curiosity after reading about her in the Leslie Keane book Surviving Death, or seeing the TV series. We came to the conclusion that the medium’s more accurate declaratio­ns had probably been the result of hot reading, i.e. Googling.

Things took a stranger turn when we went out for a meal at an Italian restaurant, as we had not long been seated before the ‘Say summa numma’ song began to play on the sound system. We were struck by how odd this was, since none of us had heard the song since early childhood, and we had been discussing it when we had last met a couple of months before. We had no joy asking the staff what song it was, so my brother tried using a song recognitio­n app on his phone. He was interrupte­d two or three times in this effort by a friend trying to phone him up. He eventually succeeded in identifyin­g it as “Senza Una Donna”, by Zucchero, an Italian musician I had never heard of [pictured above]. My brother, on the other hand, had heard of him. Some days before he had asked his friend, a musician, and the same friend who had interrupte­d him by trying to call him today, about his profile picture on a social media account. The friend had explained that the photo was taken at a gig many years ago, when he had toured as the drummer for Zucchero!

I should probably outline an overlappin­g abnormal experience. As mentioned above, my sister had been to see a medium, whom we had assumed was a fraud. She had made a few accurate-sounding references to deceased family members, but we felt she could have discovered this informatio­n by searching the Internet.

However, one statement we found more difficult to understand: a descriptio­n of a man who seemed to be our late father, a GP, telling my sister to beware of inflammati­on on our mother’s leg. This didn’t mean much to us, as our mother had no such problem. However, two months after my birthday gathering, my sister travelled down to stay with my mother. This would be the first time they’d met since the gathering. As it happened, this visit coincided with my mother developing sepsis from cellulitis on her leg. She was taken to hospital only because my sister was staying with her at the time, and thankfully survived this life-threatenin­g illness.

This all led us to wonder whether we had given the medium less credit than she deserved.

Magnus (surname on file)

By email

“on tHe radio played a song tHat we tHree siblings found Hilarious”

 ?? ??

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