"'Tra' is closer to the Latin 'tract', which means pull. The line is supposed to 'pull you along' to the next sung article," explained Fr. Paul Moses, OP. "A misguided young lad in 17th century Britain changed the syllable to the more singable 'Fa'. But everyone then missed the intent of the word. With everyone singing 'Tra', I'm certain they'll get it now," explained the priest, who has a PhD in Classics and a MA in Liturgy.
When asked about the meaning of "la", Fr. Moses admitted the "la"s were just for fun. "Plus singing nine 'tra's is a real challenge. Lots of unintended spit," he admitted.
Macy's clerk Joanna Sundstrom, with other employees, plans to wear a large button that says "Fa!" in protest on Friday. From her website, SaveTheFa.com: "They can make me listen to it, but they can't make me sing it. They are taking away our happiness on the most difficult sales day of the year. As for my and my house, we will sing Fa, forever and ever, Amen!"
There are other changes to the Christmas song as well, significantly "Deck the Halls with offshoots of berries," but the Fa-Tra exchange seems to be the straw that broke the