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Are you sleeping? Well, are you?
December 28, 2007 2:03 AM   Subscribe

Frère Jacques! Frère Jacques!

Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?

Everyone has their own version sung to this tune.
posted by oxford blue (13 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nope, I'm wide awake. Getting all the playable videos going at the same time on your 2nd link results in a likable multi-level melodicism, and since the video clips loop, it never has to end!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:33 AM on December 28, 2007


The Icelandic version I learned goes:

Meistari Jakob! Meistari Jakob!
Sefur þú? Sefur þú?
Hvað slær klukkan? Hvað slær klukkan?
Hún slær fimm! Hún slær fimm!

Translated it's

Master Jacob! Master Jacob!
Do you sleep? Do you sleep?
What [time] sounds the clock? What [time] sounds the clock?
It sounds five! It sounds five!

The version on wikipedia says that the clock sounds 3. It's probably more common, because of the rhyme of þú and þrjú.
posted by Kattullus at 2:34 AM on December 28, 2007


Four French singers, brothers André and Georges Bellec, François Soubeyran and Paul Tourenne formed a comedic singing group in 1944 known as the Frères Jacques, even though none of them were named "Jacques".

I heard the Ramones also played around with a similar idea, even though none of them were named "Frères."
posted by three blind mice at 2:46 AM on December 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


Oddly I only ever learnt the French version as a kid (see also 'Sur le pont d'Avignon')
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:29 AM on December 28, 2007


I can't be the only one who was disappointed that the "more inside" wasn't "Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?"
posted by No-sword at 4:43 AM on December 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


My cousin, who was 4 months older than me, taught me the song wrong when we were kids. She heard "Sonnez les matines!" as "Someone ate a peanut!" and passed that on to me. I kinda like that version better to this day.
posted by piratebowling at 5:41 AM on December 28, 2007


Fun post! I'm listening to the Matthew Shipp Quartet's version (on Pastoral Composure) as we speak.
posted by languagehat at 5:45 AM on December 28, 2007


Guess what John and George are singing in the background of the second verse of Paperback Writer? You guessed it.
posted by edverb at 6:02 AM on December 28, 2007


This is good. It brings to mind a friend who liked to yell out "Frere Jaques!" at concerts instead of "Freebird!"
posted by TedW at 6:38 AM on December 28, 2007


edverb: Guess what John and George are singing in the background of the second verse of Paperback Writer?

Hitler.
posted by Kattullus at 7:45 AM on December 28, 2007


The minor-key German (or at any rate Austrian) equivalent "Bruder Martin" melody figures prominently in the third movement of Mahler's "Titan" Symphony, too.
posted by pax digita at 9:50 AM on December 28, 2007


Great.
Now I'm going to be looking for 'Frere Jacques' in the background of everything, just like I obsess over the number 23.
Thanks, guys.
posted by eclectist at 11:54 AM on December 28, 2007


Wow, that "reggae" version confused me. It started out like something from the Disneyland Electrical Parade (noooo!) and then once the singing started it turned into something by Raffi.
posted by miss lynnster at 12:49 PM on December 28, 2007


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