Millie and Max tell us about Frère Jacques

Frère Jacques This rhyme is about a monk who possibly consumed too much mead the night before, and slept in – making him unable to do his job waking up the rest of the monks by ringing the morning bells.

Besides the more common French and English names, ‘Brother John’ is also known by a whole bunch of different names: in Afrikaans, he is ‘Vader Jakob’; ib Croatian, he is ‘Bratec Martin’; in Danish, he is ‘Mester Jakob’; in Dutch, he is ‘Broeder Jacob’; in Finnish, he is ‘Jaakko kulta’; in Hebrew, he is "אחינו הנהג"; and in Spanish, he is ‘Fray Santiago’.

If a monk actually fell asleep and didn’t wake up his fellow monks in time for morning prayer, he could have been kicked out of the monastery!