by the Singing Nun |
Philips, 40152, Single, 1963
Entre les étoiles
40163, Single, 1963|
Les pieds des missionaires
"Farewell ardent Flamencos, Andalusian and bullfights, pretty guitar, my companion, Adele will be your name."
And so begins the story of Soeur Sourire, "the nun with the smile" and her guitar Adele.
The brief journey from Brussels to Fichermont was crowded with thoughts of the life she was leaving and the new life that lay ahead. The Belgian sun had touched the horizon when she reached the huge concrete gates. She gathered her luggage, paid the driver, and paused pensively before entering the portals. She looked bad; on the low plains of Fichermont where once cannons boomed and blood stained the soil the very Waterloo in fact, where Napoleon met his defeat. She shuddered at the thought. Then her glance turned towards the Convent, tall, serene, and inspiring. A last ray of sunlight catching in windows turned them to gold. The great tower bells were pealing out evening benedictions. The roaming wind caught perfume from flowers and orchards and. spead across the dimming plain to scent the evening hours. The young gin touched the fret of her guitar, Adele. "May God make something worthwhile of my life," she humbly prayed.
The young novice enthusiastically embraced convent life and this life gave back warmth and love, direction, purpose.
After mass in the crisp early mornings, Soeur Sourire and her companion nuns would spade and rake and hoe in the flower and vegetable gardens surrounding the convent. Whether a stately tulip or a shy violet, a capricious daisy. or a pert, humble cactus, each green leaf knew the tender care of Soeur Sourire. "Who knows.," she asked a bush red rose, twinkling with morning dew, "who knows what you, Adele, my guitar, and I might do together."
And when the rich warmth of the sun brings forth the fruit of the sister's care, harvest becomes a gala time at Fichermont. Into the orchard go the nuns, their skirts and veils tucked in, their spirits high. Soon leaves will be turning red and gold, and the fruit must be gathered and stored and made into jellies and preserves before the roaming wind strips bare the branches of winter.
And there is a time for play. The tractor is quiet by the field, the garden tools set aside; and happy nuns give thanks for work well done. The wind is caressing, the clouds are dose, the flame in our hearts so warm - let us sing and be merry... "And the meadows sing, and the flowers sing, Joy is in my heart, and the meadows sing, I have my joy in the Lord."
And Soeur Sourire's days are filled with study. In the wide, airy galleries of Fichermont where the sisters take up the study of their chosen vocation: Dominican missionaries to the peoples of the world in need. Long study tables, rich reference libraries, excellent teachers to drill them in psychology, sociology, religion, the art of teaching; to give the tools of education that will help in their missionary duties. Soeur Sourire sang quietly as she closed her textbook for the day.
"Dominic just went away, a poor wanderer, und singing on the highways, everywhere preaching of the good Lord."
And when the roaming wind is sighing through the eaves, when rain drops tap on roof - and window panes, the sisters gather in the recreation room for music or embroidery or talk of the day's events. Soeur Sourire takes up her guitar and weaves into melody and verse her faith in the ways of the Lord, seen in all things around her.
"I found the Lard on the beach, I found the Lord in a white sea shell, I found the Lord upon the strand."
And at special times of the year, to Fichermont come groups of young girls to make their retreat. In the evenings, their spiritual studies and contemplation over, they gather on the garden grounds to laugh and skip and give vent to youthful zest, to make happy banter with the sisters. One evening Soeur Sourire began to sing and strum her guitar. One by one the girls became silent and drew closer. A magie spell held sway.
"Put on your pretty skirt, my soul, for I have a rendezvous. I have a rendezvous, oh Lord, with Thee."
The vibrant voice of the young novice, the pulsing chords of the guitar, drifted into the night. When song and music ceased, each girl sat mute in her reverie.
The girls begged fan an encore. "Could we have a recording made to take home with us?" they pleaded. Soeun Sourire was astonished, the other nuns were intrigued. Why not share this gift of song and music? With Reverend Mother's permission, the decision was made.
And so Soeur Sourire, Adele, the guitar, and an accompanying nun found themselves off to Brussels on the grand adventure. When they reached the bustling city, with its massive buildings and giant statuary, they felt quite like two dwarfs, and their courage weakened.
They found the recording studio and were courteously admitted. The Philips technicians assigned Soeur Sourire to an audition booth and adjusted their instruments. When the "ready" signal was given, Soeur Sourire began to sing. Her voice and her faithful guitar were at their best.
"Your mourning will change into a joyful dance. Fresh glance, outstretched hands, heart full of music.
"Toward the waiting city, you will go radiantly, to labor in the workshop of noble human endeavor"
The voice and music ceased. The studio was hushed. "Can we not let the world hear this voice, so pure and strong?" the Philips directors asked.
The clamor and clatter of busy Brussels was seen forgotten as Soeur Sourire returned to the tranquil life of Fichermont. In the dim light of the chapel Soeur Sourire recalled the eve of her entrance into the convent, and the young girl who found a guitar in a shop window found, within herself, the ideal she had been seeking: to serve God in heart, in deed and voice.
"In answer to the divine voice which invited her to the harvest, the silly girl - that's me - left town for the neighboring convent. Adele, the guitar, went with the baggage und began its novitiate, und sang God's praises joyously und with rich voice."
When their studies are completed and the novices have taken their vows, the chapel is decorated with flowers in slim vases and candles lighted. As she arranges the exquisite embroidered linens and Brussel laces upon the altar, with the fragrance of incense clinging to the air, Soeur Sourire's spirits soar into the fan heavens.
"Among the stars the Lord has written your name. Among the stars, way up high in his dwelling place. Among the stars the Land placed your life, among the stars, close to him in Paradise."
And seen the missionary nuns will start on their long journey to distant lands, bringing their faith and spirit and love to all who will listen. And the little boat that carries them to their distant duties will hum with the song the sisters sing.
"Little boat upon the water, float, float. Little boat upon the water, float my soul, toward the most High."
Bon Voyage, Soeur Sourire, Bon Voyage, Adele!
And in the classrooms and hospitals of cities and villages the work of the sisters will continue. And when the duties of the day are finished, when the last. text is closed, the last bead said, when vesper bells have lolled the end of day, somewhere in the world may be heard the quiet rhythm of the guitar and the vibrant voice of Soeur Sourire singing out the beauty of her soul.
"And her songs proclaimed everywhere that serving God was her happiness. Behind the harps und zithers forming the orchestra of Heaven, one day Adele, the humble guitar, will be heard in the abode of God."
The story was written by K. Stanton.
Covertext von der LP "The Singing Nun"
Philips 40165, Single, 1963|
Tous les chemins
Frère tout l'monde
40195, Single, 1964|
Une fleur (A flower)
Avec toi (With you)
"Let us walk through the flowering meadows Adele, down toward the river's edge." Arm in arm with Adele, she makes her way down the much trodden, crocus-carpeted path toward the winding river. The meadows offer me a thousand flowers, Soeur Sourire thinks, and the morning seems to drink of a special May wine of the Lord, and she hums lightly to herself, "My Little Inspiration."
A file of young novices, from the nearby convent approaches Soeur Sourire and waves welcome. A little chat, a few merry nun-like jokes - and the "Little Muse" centers upon the youngest of the group, the lovely little novice from Africa. "Adele, we must sing of my little friend from Africa." Her fingers explore the chords and the song grows. The group of happy nuns smile and applaud. The young African novice makes a graceful curtsy.
Soeur Sourire and Adele watched the nuns in single file, glide back toward the convent gate. "This is a day so lovely Adele, hearts burst forth like leaves and blossoms. We must look back in humility upon those lese fortunate days when we were running along other paths far from the love and plenitude that surrounds us now. Let us give thanks in all humility to the Great Creator - a paean of gratitude, Adele. We shall call it 'Pauvre devant Toi,' Humble Before You."
In deep introspection, Soeur Sourire and Adele continue toward the river. A gentle ram shower suddenly moistens and makes more fecund the sweet smelling earth. Taking shelter beneath a sapling. Soeur Sourire presses Adele closer to her. "Watch the raindrops dance on the water. See the duckling smile with joy as he waddles over the wet grass." The rain ends and Soeur Sourire walks the short slippery distance to the river's edge. She watches the river flowing free through Time, knowing neither youth nor age. "Listen, Adele, to the Song of the river."
Following the flowing stream till the waters slow and the river meets the sea, The Singing Nun, her whole being sentient, sees a flock of seagulls disporting themselves in the sunshine - "Observe them, Adele. They are like people going about the business of their daily existence. See how importantly they walk in pairs to the water's edge to bathe their wings." Her active fingers touch the responsive chords and the sea hears her vibrant song, "The Seagulls."
As the seagulls fluff and dry their feathers, then in concerted rhythm soar toward the sun, Soeur Sourire gazes at the life all around her, the sea, the river, the birds, the little boat with its happy occupants, the boy and gin on the banks enjoying young romance. "Adele," she cries. "The world is like a great store, God's big Department Store. All who need come here and find joy and love, inspiration and beauty."
And Soeur Sourire knows that she is not alone. She travels the path to the river, the river to the sea, the roads of the world with the Great Creator of all life and beauty. Her joy cannot be contained as she sings "With You."
"But now, the sun is almost mid-noon. We must hurry back to Fichermont." Back over the crocus-covered foot path, Soeur Sourire and Adele retrace their steps toward the convent. In a flower-studded meadow Soeur Sourire spies a carefree child, merrily picking daisies- "Adele, we shall make music for the innocent, happy child. We shall call him Petit Pierrot."
Entering the convent gate, Soeur Sourire wonders how her heart can contain such joy and she meditates upon the Heart of Hearts, source of all the loves of the world, all friendships, all betrothing, and her heart sings.
Lost in her thoughts, Soeur Sourire accidentally crushes a yellow flower with her heavy nun shoe. Tenderly she disengages the bruised flower and from her gentle soul a melody springs.
Soeur Sourire pauses before an elderly couple in the autumn of their life, sunning themselves upon a convent bench. Her thoughts become a hope, a prayer and a song.
At evening benediction where silent candles flicker like evening stars, where incense perfumes the chapel - and only the litany's chant breaks the silence, Soeur Sourire's thoughts drift to distant lands, to the Southern Cross, and to all those in need no matter where they may be.
Covertext von der LP "Her Joy, Her Songs"
Choeur des Enfants de Montmartre: Dominique - The Singing Nun's Song
Palace M 767, PST 767, LP, 19??
Sambre et Meuse
Churs des Girondins
Ave Maria (Schubert)
Canon à boire
Ave Maria (Gounod)
Singing Nun - Original Movie Soundtrack|
MGM 1 E - 7 ST, LP, 1966 - gesungen von Debbie Reynolds
Beyond the stars
It' a miracle
I'd like to be
A pied piper
Put on your pretty skirt
Dibwe diambula kabanda and kyrie (aus "Missa Luba", gesungen von Les troubadours du Roi Baudoin, geleitet von Père Guido Haazen)
MGM Golden Circle, EP - gesungen von Debbie Reynolds|
Beyond the stars
| MGM K 13
492, Single - gesungen von Debbie Reynolds|
MGM K 13 528, Single - gesungen von Debbie Reynolds|
It's a miracle
from the Motion Picture by Joe Cain and his Orchestra|
Metro MS - 569, LP
|Orietta Berti: The Songs of Soeur Sourire (The Singing Nun) including Dominique sung in Italian
London International TW 91418 Mono, SW 99418 Stereo, LP, 1965
Mi vestiro' di blu (Put on your pretty skirt)
Ho incontrato il signor (I have found the Lord)
La mia musa (My little muse)
Io vorrei (I wish I were)
Fior di cactus (Cactus Flower)
Guarda quelle stelle (Among the stars)
Ogni Strada (All the roads)
Fior di bambu (Raddish leaves)
Basta un fior (The flower)
Con te (With you)
condensed from McCaIl's May, 1967 Issue.
Three years ago, a bespectacled, rosy-faced Belgian nun known as Sister Sourire beguiled millions singing her own ballad "Dominique" on the Ed Sullivan show. "The Singing Nun" became a public personality overnight. The haunting melody jumped to the top of the hit parade, earned $100,000 for the Dominican order to which she had dedicated her life, and inspired a movie' starring Debbie Reynolds' which Sister Sourire gently called "a film of fiction." "I am not a singer who happens to be a nun. I am a nun who likes to sing," Sister Sourire said at the time, "My missionary work is my life."
Then abruptly' in 1965, the singing stopped, and the doors of the Convent of Fichermont swung shut on Sister Sourire. Photographers were barred from the grounds; interviews were forbidden. The Mother Superior told visitors that Sister Luc-Gabrielle, as she was known inside the convent, would be devoting all her time to her studies.
Early last fall, the world was surprised to learn that she was leaving the convent. A small announcement, tucked away on the last page of the convent bulletin, said that Sister Luc-Gabrielle would enter the world - singing - "with the full accord of her religious superiors. She will continue functioning as a Dominican nun, active particularly in the world of arts and letters. Let us wish that she may spread the Word by every means of artistic expression, and thereby reveal the Love of God while living in the midst of the world. A Mass has been celebrated in this intent July 4 at the Dominican Chapel at Fichermont, Waterloo."
As plain Jeanine Deckers, the thirty-one-year-old Singing Nun took up residence in a modest fifth-floor walk-up in a small Brussels suburb near the Catholic University of Louvain, where she had studied for her religious science degree during her stay at Fichermont. The coif that hid her head, the long white woolen robes were gone.
The outer changes were so dramatic that McCall's Magazine wrote a feature article seeking to know what inner conflicts had persuaded this unworldly young woman to leave the convent and embrace a secular life for which she had no experience.
Formerly Jeanine Deckers, Sister Luc-Gabrielle, Sister Sourire, she is now known as Luc Dominique, Dominique for the founder of her order and Luc for the patron saint of artists. "I only submitted to the one of Sister Sourire," she says, smiling wryly.
Three years ago, Luc Dominique was happy to sing to bring money to her mission. She was happy just to be heard. Now she wants to be heard.
"Although it may not immediately look so, I am still living the religious life. I pray two hours a day and go to Mass regularly. Yesterday afternoon, during a break in the recording session, I was glad of the opportunity to pray. It didn't embarrass me to have the musicians realize that I am still a nun. God is my accomplice. I talk to Him a lot. I share everything with Him."
What made her finally decide to leave the convent?
During her last two years at Louvain University, Jeanine had gradually come to feel she could make the best use of her talents for God, her order and herself by living outside the convent, coping with some of the real problems in the world.
Her songs now, are concerned with underdeveloped countries, poverty, the Pill, the Bomb, all seen with God ever present, of course. Says one Philips recording director, "you might say she could be Europe's Bob Dylan, plus God."
Concerning her future direction Luc Dominique says, "I'm not sure yet what I'm going to accomplish - or how. What I am sure of is that I want to help people communicate with each other and thereby with God. My music is my way of evangelizing, of revealing the living Christ to living people."
How does she feel about John Lennon's comment that Jesus Christ was less known in the world today than the Beatles? "He's absolutely right," she answered impatiently. "General de Gaulle is better known than Christ in the world today. I may not feel this is right, but it is certainly undeniable."
She is fully aware - and a bit fearful - of the problems her new celebrity may bring. "I'm afraid some people may use me for their own ends. But I'm prepared for it. And I do have God to sustain me," she added quietly. "He'll make it easier."
Jeanine laughs off the theory that she became a nun because of the lack of strong men in her life. "Oh, these amateur psychiatrists! Heaven knows, I'm not against marriage. But most of the marriages I've seen are depressing, because the people involved share nothing except practical problems. If I'd married my fiancé, I'm sure our marriage wouldn't have worked, either. He lacked a sense of - adventure. I don't mean wanting to perform great deeds, but adventure in the sense of excitement about living, about giving, about asking the right questions even it no one has the right answers. I wonder it he ever married.
"I like the idea of Protestant ministers' marrying. Who knows what will happen in my own lifetime? With the way the Church is heading today, members of the Dominican Order may one day marry among themselves. Maybe I'll marry a nice Dominican priest, and we'll have Dominican babies. It's not as unlikely as it sounds."
She feels she is not yet ready to face live audiences. When she begins her U. S. tour this spring, she will do most of her singing on taped television snows. "I'm sure I could never stand the strain of live stage performances."
"Sister Luc always has had a questioning, independent spirit," says Mere Marie-Michele, the mistress of novices at Fichermont, Luc Dominique's superior.
"Today she is still our sister even though she 18 living outside our walls, subject to another discipline than that of our Mother Superior. But she is continuing her mission, and she may yet decide to take her final vows.
People tend to think - when they think about us at all - that our life, the religious life, must be all very simple. They think that once we have made our choice, we just sit back and serenely pray for the rest of our lives. But it's not like that. Being a nun means living a continuous internal struggle. Yes, it is exalting. Yes, it is noble. But it is hard. It must be worked at - all the time."
Covertext von der LP "Luc Dominique: I am not a star"
dorées Vol. 14|
Le Petit Ménestrel ALB 174, EP
Le petit cheval hurluberlu
Do ré mi
Soleil en fleur
Au printemps joli
The Singing Nun|
Collector's Choice Music CCM 072, CD/MC, 1999
Sister Adele (Soeur Adele)
Cactus Flower (Fleur de Cactus)
Lament for Marie-Jacques (Complainte de Marie-Jacques)
I Would Like (Je Voudrais)
All the Paths (Tous Les Chemins)
Plume de Radis
Put on Your Pretty Skirt (Mets ton Joli Jupon)
I Have Found the Lord (J'ai Trouve le Seigneur)
Among the Stars (Entre les Etioles
MGM 0 2761 61391 6 0, Laserdisc, 1998
Philips 40 512, Single|
Entre les étoiles
PHGT 114 X, Single|
Alleluia ( hallelujah )
Tous les chemins
|Luc Dominique chante six
Select SMS 733 053, EP
Zusätzliche Diskografie-Informationen: Soeur Sourire (1933 - 1985) von Ghislain Debailleul und Denis Menage (merci beaucoup!)
© 2000-2011 by Martin Fuchs, updated 14-07-2011 / Mehr Tote? / Zurück zu den Lebenden?