Frère Jacques (Are You Sleeping?)

Children’s Song, France.

“Frère Jacques” is one of the most famous children’s songs (comptines) and has been established as a sleeping song because of its lyrics.

This French song for kids is about a 17th century monk – an actual person – called Jacques (Jacob – John, in the English translation of the song) who has to wake up and sound the bells for the “matines” (monastic services), but, obviously, oversleeps, so the song calls him to wake up.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 vote(s), average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...

 

Sing-Along Video


 

Original French lyrics

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

Literal translation of the French lyrics to English:

Brother Jacob, brother Jacob,
Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?
Ring the morning bells! Ring the morning bells!
Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong.

 

English Version

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

 

German lyrics

Bruder Jakob, Bruder Jakob,
Schlafst du noch? Schlafst du noch?
Horst du nicht die Glocken, horst du nicht die Glocken?
Ding dang dong, ding dang dong.

 

Spanish lyrics

Martinillo, Martinillo,
¿Donde estas? ¿Donde estas?
Suenan las campanas, Suenan las campanas,
Ding dang dong, ding dang dong.

 

Italian lyrics

Fra Martino, campanaro,
Dormi tu? Dormi tu?
Suona le campane! Suona le campane!
Din, don, dan.  Din, don, dan.

 

Dutch lyrics

Vader Jacob, Vader Jacob,
Slaapt gij nog, slaapt gij nog, (or “slaap jij nog, slaap jij nog”)
Alle klokken luiden, Alle klokken luiden,
Bim, bam, bom.  Bim, bam, bom.


 

Click on the button to watch a karaoke video and download a PDF file with lyrics to this song for free.


 

Free karaoke MP3 download (version 1)

To download your free instrumental mp3 of this song, click or tap on the following button, then choose “Save link as…”

“Frère Jacques (Version 1)” free mp3 download (instrumental, 2:51 – 4/4 – 86 bpm)

 


 

Free karaoke MP3 download (version 2)

To download your free instrumental mp3 of this song, click or tap on the following button, then choose “Save link as…”

“Frère Jacques (Version 2)” free mp3 download (instrumental, 2:48 – 4/4 – 86 bpm)

 


Singing Bell 30 Favourite Nursery RhymesBuy our entire album with 30 Favourite Nursery Rhymes
+ 20 Bonus Instrumental versions and save 20$/€!

 


 

MP4 Video File | Free Download (French)

To watch the karaoke video of this song in French on your mobile device, click on the following link to download the video file (mp4 format).

Frère Jacques (French) | Free mp4 Video File Download


 

MP4 Video File | Free Download (English)

To watch the karaoke video of this song in English on your mobile device, click on the following link to download the video file (mp4 format).

Frère Jacques (English) | Free mp4 Video File Download


 

Sheet music in C

To save this free music sheet of “Frère Jacques (Are You Sleeping?)” to your computer, right click (or tap and hold, on mobile devices) and choose “Save Image As…”.

Frere-Jacques_singing-bell


 

Sheet music in F

To save this free music sheet of “Frère Jacques (Are You Sleeping?)” to your computer, right click (or tap and hold, on mobile devices) and choose “Save Image As…”.

“Frère Jacques” Music Score / sheet music in F


 

Free Printable PDF with Lyrics and Sheet Music

To download a ready-to-print PDF of this song for music activities with a music sheet, lyrics and a drawing for kids to paint, right click (or tap and hold) on the following link, then choose “Save link as…”.

“Frère Jacques” free PDF download – Singing Bell


 

Teaching idea

“Frère Jacques” is a round (a kind of canon). That means that the melody can be sung exactly the same by more voices, entering one each other. (see also “Banuwa“, “Row, row, row your boat“, “Jack and Jill” and “Kookaburra”)

For this specific song the round comes every one or every two measure. (see respectively version 1 or version 2 of the mp3)

When teaching a round, or a canon, try to let the children sing by themselves, turn your back to them and start sing the second voice without having explained exactly what was going to happen.

Some of them will keep their voice, others will follow the teacher, but the song sounds already in two voices. At this point you can teach the concept of the canon or round more easily , depending on the age and the level of the class.

 

Frere-Jacques---Singing-Bel

You may also like:

Au Clair de la Lune

Brahms’ Lullaby

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

All the Pretty Little Horses (Hush-a-bye)

Leave a Reply