Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
Frère Jacques
(French Kids Song)

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Frère Jacques
Brother John
Chanson enfantine
(French)
Children's Song
(English)

Frère Jacques - French Children's Songs - France - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Intro Image


Frère Jacques,
Frère Jacques,
Dormez-vous?
Dormez-vous?
Sonnez les matines.
Sonnez les matines.
Ding, ding, dong.
Ding, ding, dong.

Are you sleeping,
Are you sleeping,
Brother John?
Brother John?
Morning bells are ringing.
Morning bells are ringing.
Ding, dong, ding.
Ding, dong, ding.

Notes

The English "translation" above is actually the English version, not the literal translation. Here's the literal English translation of Frère Jacques:

Brother James,
Brother James,
Are you sleeping?
Are you sleeping?
Ring the morning bells,
Ring the morning bells,
Ding ding dong,
Ding ding dong.

Comments

Here's a recording of Frère Jacques sung in both French and English (by Ezwa).

The CLasse d'INitiation de Mons-en-Baroeul/Lille Fives in France has a Frère Jacques page that contains videos of students and teachers singing Frère Jacques in different languages. Click here to visit the page.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Illustration by Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel (1851-1913) from Vieilles Chansons pour les Petits Enfants: Avec Accompagnements / de Ch. M. Widor (1844 - 1937); Illustrations Par M.B. de Monvel. Paris: E. Plon, Nourrit et Cie, [1883]. The image was graphically edited by Lisa Yannucci.

First recording of Frère Jacques is by Ezwa for Librivox (edited down by Mama Lisa).

Many thanks to Monique Palomares for singing Frère Jacques for us in the 2nd recording!

Many thanks to Susan Pomerantz for playing this tune on piano in the 3rd recording.

Thanks so much!

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