Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cliff notes for a soul.


Thanks to the blog "I'm learning 2 share" for sharing the amazing life and tragic death of The Singing Nun. I urge you all to check out that blog. The link is to the right in the links list doncha know.


THE LIFE OF THE SINGING NUN: A BRIEF CHRONOLOGY

1933, October 17.....................Jeanine born in Brussels to a patissiere

1953..................................................Teaches high school art.

1953- 1956....................................Studies art with Paul Delvaux at La Cambre.

1959..................................................Buys her guitar, "Sister Adele"

1959, September.........................Enters the Fichermont convent in Waterloo. She takes the name Sister Luc Gabriel.

Composes the song "Dominique" for the Reverand Mother's All Saints' Day celebration.

1962..................................................Records the song "Dominique."
Philips executives dub her "Soeur Sourire" -- "Sister Smile."

1963-1964....................................."Dominique" and the album "The Singing Nun" soar to the top of the charts in the U.S.A., beating out Little Stevie Wonder and the Beatles.

She wins a Grammy Award -- the only nun ever to do so.

1964, January 5...........................Jeanine appears on The Ed Sulivan Show.

1965..................................................Jeanine and her convent close the doors on the stardom of Soeur Sourire and Jeanine concentrates on her studies at Louvaine.

1966..................................................Jeanine leaves the convent and moves in with Annie Percher, a childhood friend.
She resumes her singing career, only this time she will be known as "Luc Dominique." It is announced that her first album will feature a song with the lyrics "Sister Smile is dead... God is the only star" and another witty ditty, "La Pilul D'Or" -- "The Golden Pill," a song which gives praise to the birth control pill. Soon after, the Vatican comes out against the Pill and Jeanine pulls the song from the album. The album does not do well.

1967..................................................She tours Quebec with her music; at one particular low point she plays in a strip club.

1968..................................................She Publishes a book of inspirational thoughts, "Vivre Sa Verite." The book does not sell well.


1968- 1982....................................She is hit with a tax bill for the profits on "Dominique." She explains to the Belgian government that the money from "Dominique" went to the convent. The government holds her responsible for the taxes.

Annie and Jeanine open a school for autistic children. Jeanine begins to paint again, and also teaches guitar.

Jeanine suffers from depression and has "nervous breakdown after nervous breakdown."

1983..................................................Jeanine releases the disco version of "Dominique." It does not do well.

Unable to keep up with expenses, Annie must close the school. Soon Jeanine gets a pink slip from her job.

1985, April 1.................................Jeanine and Annie commit suicide in their apartment in Wavre, Belgium. As per their last request, they are buried together in holy ground. The tombstone contains both their names and the name of Soeur Sourire. There is also an inscription in French, possibly a quote from one of her songs: "J'ai vu voler son ame a travers les nuages."




"Jeanine... is in constant depression and only lives for me. I live for her. That can't go on. We do suffer really too much... We have no more place in life, no ideal except God, but we can't eat that. We go to eternity in peace. We trust
God will forgive us. He saw us both suffer and he won't let us down.

It would please Jeanine not to die for the world. She had a hard time on earth.
She deserves to live in the minds of people."

~Annie Pecher
from Jeanine and Annie's suicide note 1985

Although their death was by suicide they were allowed a church service.


"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 Lord

At a time when John Lackland
Over England was the king
Dominic was in the backland
Fighting sin like anything

Now a heretic one day
Among the thorn forced him to crawl
Dominic with just one prayer
Made him hear the good Lord's call

Without horses or fancy wagon
He crossed Europe up and down
Poverty was his companion
As he walked from town to town

To bring back the straying liars
And the lost sheep to the fold
He brought forth the Preaching Friars
Heaven's soldiers brave and bold

One day in the budding Order
There was nothing left to eat
Suddenly two angels walked in
With a load of bread and meat

Dominic once in his slumber
Saw the Virgin coat unfurled
Over Friars without number
Preaching all around the world

Grant us now oh Dominic
The grace of love and simple mirth
That we all may help to quicken
Godly love and truth on earth"

3 comments:

Junk Thief said...

Death is all around...

Gavin Elster said...

I'm singing that to the tune of the Mary Tyler-Moore show theme.

EmmaPeel007 said...

Is it bad that it reminds me of "Airplane!"

"There is only one river...."