…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
Somewhere in my recent reading I came upon a mention of The Singing Nun and her 1963 hit song Dominique. I remembered the song but nothing else; not that I ever knew. At that time I was young and naïve.
Jeanne-Paule-Marie Deckers became a nun of the Missionary Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of Fichermont in 1959, when she was twenty-six years old. The order, based in Waterloo, was founded to assist the Dominican friars in their mission in the Belgian Congo. Her assistance included writing and singing her own songs so well, that she was allowed to record an album at Philips. Dominique became an international hit and was the first Belgian song to be a number one single in the USA. In 1966 a movie Sœur Sourire (Sister Smile) was made about her. She did not like it.
Now the bad part. The money were taken by Philips, her producer and her convent, which she left in 1967. She moved in with Anne Pecher, also a former Dominican sister. She could not use her stage name Sœur Sourire because the convent owned the rights and refused permission. Her second album I Am Not a Star in Heaven was a failure. Later the Belgian government tried to sue her for owing taxes. Later she became an advocate for contraception and under the name Luc Dominique she rerecorded a song “Glory Be to God for the Golden Pill”. In March 1985 both she and Pecher commited suicide.
But the song is good.