Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques

If you had learnt french in school, I am sure the Headline must have instantly excited you! For others, “Frère Jacques” is a French rhyme. The rhyme is said to be one of the most popular rhymes in the world but I see very few people in India knowing it. So here I am sharing it with my friends in butler English.

I did my schooling in a convent school, a strict school, disciplined students we were. Our school which had its roots from France, is visited every year by vella-kara Akkas’ and Annas’, teachers-in-training, or so I thought, but now that I am an adult, I think there was a possibility they were travelling hippies. Let me remind myself, to verify on that later.

It was our first year of such class, it was staring for the first time, and not only were we fascinated by their pppppink colour skin, we looked forward to their classes. They taught us cool French stuff. I always liked the ones who taught songs. And they usually had guitar, and were lively, danced and walked around the class, even upto to my last bench. Being a tall girl I was mostly in last bench and we girls were always ignored, and they were a hit among us too. One vella-kaara akka, let’s name her Justin, I don’t remember her name, but remember her manja colour sokka, it was too bright for my taste.

So Justin akka taught us this song. Since it was oral, I never understood the lyrics, so mostly we filled the sounds of the words that would most match, when we sang along.

This is the original song.

Frère Jacques, frère Jacques,
Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?
Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines!
Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong.

We sang this again and again and again…and it was fun!

I remember the times peter-utufying that even I know French and singing this song. This song has come to my rescue to act out my innocence as a child.

I never knew the meaning until years later when I googled it out. But we always sang this song for anthaksharis and won, where would you get a song starting with Fa, we had strict rules back then not even Pa as replacement syllable was allowed. I also used to sing this song to my baby cousins when I baby-sit, mostly they cried. However later I came to know it is also used as a wonderful lullaby. Also, it is a nursery rhyme, why would they want to teach a nursery rhyme to fifth standards?, I still don’t know.

Here’s a good rendition of the song.

And what it means?? The song is sung to a church pastor who might have fallen asleep, and telling him to wake up, because the church bells are ringing.

This is supposedly the Tamil translation of the song.

Chinna Thambi, Chinna Thambi,
Nithiraiyo? Nithiraiyo?
Mani adikithu! Mani adikithu!
Ding ding dong, ding ding dong.

Konutaangayya! Konutaainga! Would you be interested to send me the audio of the Tamil version?


One thought on “Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques

  1. Pingback: No Theme | Wannabe Humane

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