Made in Belgium: Soeur Sourire

In this Made In Belgium series on Wednesday I must surely include the one and only hit that made it to the number 1 position in the American charts.

In 1963 the nuns of the Dominican Fichermont Convent in Waterloo recorded some songs on a record which they would give out as a gift or sell to visitors in their convent as a source of income. The recording company Philips immediately saw potential in the song Dominique sung by Soeur Sourire and asked if they could launch it as a single, which was permitted.

The Singing Nun became an instant hit in many many countries and Soeur Sourire found herself to be a global celebrity. In 1966 the movie "The Singing Nun" about the life of Soeur Sourire was nominated already for some Oscars.

However that was not the beginning of a fairy tale story. Jeanine Deckers (her birthname) quit the monastical life in 1967 to focus on her music career but failed in being succesfull. With her female friend she founded a school for authistic children.

Nevertheless the Belgian tax authorities went after her to claim income tax on her earned royalties....whome had gone to the convent but she couldn't prove that. So she was broke.
In '82 she recorded a disco version of Dominique , just for once again under the name Soeur Sourire which she had previously given up, in order to gain money to pay of her debts but that wasn't succesfull either. She committed suicide with her friend in 1985.

Dominique - 1963

Dominique - 1982


zusjesenzo said…
Grappig, ik heb hier onlangs dat liedje nog met de kinderen zitten beluisteren op youtube, kweet zelf niet meer hoe ik er bij kwam, maar ze vonden het in elk geval super grappig en hebben het de rest van de dag lopen zingen.
Brian Miller said…
this one is interesting...smiles.

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