This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Saturday Rave: Frairo Jacker.

Last week's rave was a beautiful song full of joy and love.

This week's rave is complete nonsense.

That didn't mean that as a child I didn't sing it with gusto and great delight.

It went like this:

Frairo Jacker, frairo Jacker,
Dormay voo, dormay voo
Sunny lemon Tina, sunny lemon Tina,
Ding dong bell, ding dong bell.

I was under the impression at the time that this was French, and I used to wonder very much about sunny lemon Tina. I was glad she was happy, but I did wish I knew what silly things she kept doing to make herself such a lemon.

Eventually, with the attention of our French teacher, Mr Fisher, the real French words emerged.

Frère Jacques, frère Jacques,
Dormez-vous ? Dormez-vous ?

Sonnez les matines ! Sonnez les matines !
Ding, daing, dong. Ding, daing, dong.

And then I realised with some sorrow that the song wasn't about sunny lemon Tina at all, but about an alarm clock.

What I didn't realise, even then, was that Frère Jacques was a monk who was too lazy to get up for the first church services of the day. Mind you, this service might have taken place at midnight, so I do have some sympathy for the poor man.

Anyway, do you know something? Despite everything I still like the sunny lemon Tina version of Frère Jacques best of all.

Photo by André Karwath

Even if it's nonsense.

Word To Use Today: lemon. This word comes from the Arabic laymūn.


  1. There's a thing! You could write a whole story about Sunny Lemon Tina! It would be brilliant...:))

    1. Thanks, Adele. Perhaps I'll have a think about her and see if she comes real.