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A French educational website for young children.
... Online since 19.06.2004 ...
Back to songs list. Hear the tune
Frère Jacques Brother John
Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques,
dormez vous, dormez vous,
Sonnez les matines, sonnez les matines,
ding, dang, dong, ding, dang, dong.
Brother John (Jack), Brother John (Jack),
Are you sleeping, are you sleeping?
Morning bells are ringing, Morning bells are ringing,
Ding dang dong, ding dang dong.
Notes,
Why Brother John and not Brother Jack!?
Someone e-mailed me to say that as Jack is a diminutive of John, but apparently Jacques is the French form of James.
Perhaps it is more likely that John rhymes with dong, and that the only reason why.
A recent e-mail from a Sam Maltby helpfully directed me to a wikipedia artile which has more detail than I can honestly include here.

This ditty is meant to be sung as a round for four people. The second starts when the first has finished the first line etc, exactly as London's burning.