Traditional - Frère Jacques

First performance: 29/08/1978


Roy played a snippet of the song 3 times:
during GROWIN'UP
1978-09-06 Uptown Theatre, Chicago, IL
the last "Growin' Up" of the tour, during which Roy plays a snippet of "Frère Jacques".

1978-09-03 Saginaw Civic Center, Saginaw, MI
One of the last performances of "Growin' Up" of this tour - and a great version, Roy plays a snippet of "Frère Jacques" at the beginning.
"Growin' Up" includes Roy playing a snippet of "Frère Jacques" in the introduction.


Frère Jacques, also known in English as Brother John, is a nursery rhyme of French origin. The rhyme is traditionally sung in a round. The song is about a friar who has overslept and is urged to wake up and sound the bell for the matins, the midnight or very early morning prayers for which a monk would be expected to wake. 
Their literal translation to traditional English lyrics are:
Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?
Brother John, Brother John,
Morning bells are ringing! Morning bells are ringing!
Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong.
A possible connection between Frère Jacques and the 17th century lithotomist Frère Jacques Beaulieu (also known as Frère Jacques Baulot, as claimed by Irvine Loudon and many others, was explored by J. P. Ganem and C. C. Carson without finding any evidence for a connection. Francesca Draughon and Raymond Knapp argue that Frère Jacques was originally a song to taunt Jews or Protestants or Martin Luther (see Frère Jacques in popular culture). Martine David and A. Marie Delrieu suggest that Frère Jacques might have been created to mock the Dominican friars, known in France as the Jacobin order, for their sloth and comfortable lifestyles.  

Other cover versions

Bruce on the artist


Frère Jacques,
Dormez-vous ?
Sonnez les matines !
Ding, daing, dong !