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Information About Are You Sleeping?
'Are You Sleeping?' is the English translation of the French nursery song Frere Jacues. It is also called 'Brother John' or 'Brother Peter'. It is an old nursery melody that is usually sung in a round.
It's origins are unclear, as it could have been published as early as 1780 or as late as 1869. It could also be older, since it is linked to an Italian song 'Fra Jacopino' that was published in 1615, because it shares the same melody.
There's a possible connection to a 17th century lithotomist Frere Jacques Beaulieu. It also might have been written to mock Dominican monks, known as Jacobin in France.
The song uses a repeating canon, similar to the one used in the 3 Blind Mice song. In fact, the melody has spread so completely in Chinese culture, that it could also be considered a Chinese folk song as well.