Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Singing Nun
Genres: Folk, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
The #1 album in the United States at the end of 1963
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 11/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you want to stump somebody with music trivia ask them who is the only Belgian born artist to hit #1 on the charts in the United States. The answer, of course, is the Singing Nun, "Soeur Sourire" ("Sister Smile"), who was born Jeanine Deckers in Belgium in 1933 and took the name Sister Luc-Gabrielle when she became a Dominican nun at the Fichermont Convent in Belgium. In the 1963 she became one of the unlikeliest pop stars in history when her song "Dominique" topped the charts. The singing nun was just trying to raise some money for her Dominican order and had paid a recording studio to record an album she could give out as a gift. But when "Dominique" became famous around the world her obscurity was at an end. Everybody liked the song even if they never bothered to find out what she was singing about. The chrous might surprise some people:Dominique, oh Dominique
Over the land he plods along
Never looking for reward
He just talks about the Lord, he just talks about the Lord, he just talks about the LordThe song, which won the Grammy Award for Best Gospel or Other Religious Recording, Musical, was obviously a tribute to the founder of her Dominican order and was originally a present for her Mother Superior. This same Mother Superior had to be convinced to let a tape of the Singing Nun singing her hit song be aired on "The Ed Sullivan Show." The Mother Superior was upset that the song treated the order's founder with "familiarity and a touch of impertinence." Within a few years the Singing Nun had changed her name to Luc Dominique and was writing a song praising God for inspiring the invention of the birth control pill. Her life ended tragically after she left the order to run a school for autistic children. The Belgian government went after her for back taxes on her royalties, which, of course, had been donated to the convent, and she killed herself as part of a suicide pact. Hard to believe any of that when you listen to these delightful songs, especially if you have ever seen the movie "The Singing Nun," which made a syrupy confection out of this woman's real life. Obviously the fact that she was a nun played into her success, otherwise "Dominique" would never have kept "Louie, Louie" out of the top spot (how is that for an irony contrast?). But at the end of 1963 in the wake of JFK's assassination, folk music was the dominant genre on the charts, where Peter, Paul & Mary's first two albums were in the Top 10 along with albums by Washington Square and Trini Lopez. "The Singing Nun" has 12 folk songs, with the only accompaniment being the guitar and some sparse backing vocals. The only percussion are some handclaps during "Soeur Adele" ("Sister Adele"). There is a simple children's songs "Mets ton Joli Jupon" ("Put on Your Pretty Skirt"), but most of what is here is in a religious vein (e.g., "Resurrection," "I Have Found the Lord"). However, you would never know that from listening to these songs, which boil down to pleasant folk tunes sung in French. I mean, the "Lament for Marie-Jacques" ("Complainte de Marie-Jacques") does not SOUND like a "lament." "Dominique" is far and away the best song on the album, which overall qualifies as a pleasant listening experience."
She Will Sing Forever
Michael G. Batcho | McAdoo, PA (USA) | 09/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard "The Singing Nun" when I was fifteen years old and I heard her song, "Dominique" on the radio. Those were the days when radio played all kinds of music, not one genre only.
I then watched her perform her music thanks to Ed Sullivan and "The Ed Sullivan Show". He had his crew film her at her Dominican Convent in Belgium and aired it on his Sunday night show.
I don't speak much French . . . but I love to hear the language sung. . . and i truly enjoy hearing this voice singing it.
I love "Fleur de Cactus". But I treasure "Resurrestion". And the album couldn't have had a better choice for its final track than, "Among The Stars".
Sadly this nun, after leaving the convent and operating a nursery school, because of supposed tax/money problems committed suicide and left our world. But she hasn't left our lives and she remains in these songs which are captured on disc now forever. "Soeur Sourire" now herself is "Among The Stars".
I'm grateful to her for her songwriting and for her singing. And I thank her for recording these tracks way back in 1964. Here we are in 2003 and still get to enjoy her voice and her talent and her songs."
One of the best sing-along albums ever recorded!
Lawrance M. Bernabo | 04/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought the LP of this album in the 1960s when all we heard on the radio was Dominic! to my delite it contained even better songs which I found inspiring and uplifting and it even inspired me to take up the guitar. My LP is old, worn out, and I can no longer listen to it as my new stereo does not have a turn table. So you can imagine how great my thrill to find this cd on Amazon. I am ordering now, and can not wait to sing along with my favorites like Resurrection and Lament for Marie-Jacques. I learned every lyric phonetically and can mimic the french accent perfectly. Thank you, thank you, Amazon."