<BGSOUND src="http://www.terriau.org/music/frerejac.mid" LOOP="2">LA BONNE CHANSON

HISTORY This little song has been used by French, Acadian and French Canadian teachers for several centuries as a playful singing exercise. It is said that the song originated in a French monastery. The song is sung 'in the round' by up to four groups of singers each starting one line later than the other. It is a fun singing exercise. Try it, next time you get the family together.
INTERPRETATION The lyrics are the words of the Abbot or Father Superior at a monastery where Brother John who apparently is noted as a late-sleeper is the bell ringer for the monastery. The Abbot is asking "Brother John are you sleeping?Get going and ring the morning bells!" The english version takes some poetic license and therefore presents a different story. In that version, Brother John is being told to get up because the morning bells are ringing.
LYRICS Fre-re Jac-ques, Fre-re Jac-ques,
Dor-mez vous? Dor-mez vous?
Son-nez les ma-ti-nes, Son-nez les ma-ti-nes,
Ding, din, don! Ding, din, don!

Are you sleep-ing, Are you sleep-ing,
Bro-ther John? Bro-ther John?
Morn-ing bells are ring-ing, morn-ing bells are ring-ing,
Ding, din, don! Ding, din, don!