Soul song with "Frere Jacques" intro?
June 11, 2010 1:26 PM   Subscribe

What is the soul(/funk) song that begins with the horn section playing "Frere Jacques" ("Are You Sleeping")?

They play the melody straight once, then it modulates into a minor or a different mode or something. It's not used in the rest of the song. The singer sounds vaguely James Brown-esque, though I am pretty sure it's not him. Unfortunately I didn't catch any lyrics to Google. It's not mentioned here, either.
posted by ism to Media & Arts (7 answers total)
Hmm, are you positive it was Frere Jacques? Because your description of the track made me think of Sir Nose D'Voidoffunk (Pay Attention- B3M) by Parliament. It's a long shot, but maybe...

that said, I'm sure someone with the actual answer will be along shortly
posted by Vervain at 2:05 PM on June 11, 2010

Best answer: I do believe you're looking for "Underdog" by Sly and the Family Stone. It's on the album "A Whole New Thing".
posted by prinado at 2:28 PM on June 11, 2010

Response by poster: That's not it, thanks though. Need more Parliament in my life.
posted by ism at 2:32 PM on June 11, 2010

Response by poster: The Sly it is -- thanks, prinado! It starts on what I hear as a minor-key version of the song.
posted by ism at 2:36 PM on June 11, 2010

Some versions of "Try A Little Tenderness" start with the horn section playing something not unlike Frere Jacques.

Otis Redding
At about 2:35 : from the film "The Commitments", with Andrew Strong on vocals
posted by Pallas Athena at 2:36 PM on June 11, 2010

I was thinking the Bar-Kays' "Soul Finger," but that's actually "Mary Had A Little Lamb" at the start.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:55 PM on June 11, 2010

Just adding that the whole A Whole New Thing album is great:

Issued in 1967, Sly & the Family Stone's debut album, A Whole New Thing, should have shocked the entire country. Its single, "Underdog," was the perfect blend of James Brown-style funk, hard Atlantic-style soul à la Otis Redding, gospel-styled backing vocals, psychedelic rock, and solid, hip vibes exploding out of San Francisco. That it took another album and "formula" for Sylvester Stewart -- former manager of many bands, including the Beau Brummels, and wildly successful disc jockey, songwriter, and arranger -- to pump it up and make it simpler is of no consequence because decades later A Whole New Thing remains just what it says it is; the simple truth is fortified, formulaic radio stations had no way of fitting it into a groove their stations could utilize, despite the fact that the LP was, in itself, pure groove sophistication...
posted by mediareport at 11:22 AM on June 13, 2010

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