“Dominique” is a 1963 French language popular song, written and performed by Jeannine Deckers of Belgium, better known as Sœur Sourire or The Singing Nun. “Dominique” is about Saint Dominic, a Spanish-born priest and founder of the Dominican Order, of which she was a member (as Sister Luc-Gabrielle). The English-version lyrics of the song were written by Noël Regney. In addition to French and English, Deckers recorded versions in Dutch, German, Hebrew, Japanese, and Portuguese.
“Dominique” reached the Top 10 in 11 countries in late 1963 and early 1964, topping the chart in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It reached the Top 5 in Norway, Denmark, Ireland and South Africa, with the song making it into the lower reaches of the Top 10 in the Netherlands, West Germany, and the United Kingdom. The song reached and stayed at No. 1 on WLS for the last three weeks of November, then both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and “easy listening chart” (since renamed the Adult Contemporary chart) for the four weeks in December of 1963. It was the second foreign language song to hit #1 on the Hot 100 in 1963, the first being “Sukiyaki” by Kyu Sakamoto. For the next ten years or so, although there were a number of hits with most of the vocals in a language other than English (e.g., The Sandpipers’ “Guantanamera”, Rene y Rene’s “Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero”, etc.), no other purely foreign language song reached the Billboard Hot 100’s top 40 until the Spanish language hit “Eres tú (Touch The Wind)”, which entered the top 40 on 16 February 1974 and peaked at No. 9 on 23–30 March 1974.
Deckers never again reached the same success and continued to lead a colourful, but tragic life. She and her companion of ten years, Annie Pescher, both committed suicide in 1985, as a result of financial and tax problems stemming from the recording of the song.
“Dominique” outsold Elvis Presley during its stay on the Billboard Hot 100; it was the second to last No. 1 hit before the British Invasion.