"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 additional than English (e.g., The Sandpipers' "Guantanamera", René y René's "Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero", etc.), no additional 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 throughout its stay on the Billboard Hot 100; it was the second to last No. 1 hit before the British Invasion.

The song

"Dominique" became a worldwide hit in 1963 and was the first, and only, Belgian number one hit single in the American Billboard charts.

It is remembered mainly for its refrain, which goes:

Domi-nique -nique -nique s'en allait tout simplement,
Routier, pauvre et chantant.
En tous chemins, en tous lieux,
Il ne parle que du Bon Dieu,
Il ne parle que du Bon Dieu.

A literal English translation is:

Domi-nique -nique -nique went about simply,
a poor singing traveller.
On every road, in every place,
he talks only of the Good Lord,
he talks only of the Good Lord.

The lyrics of the refrain of Regney's English-language translation are:

Domi-nique -nique -nique, o'er the land he plods along,
And sings a little song.
Never asking for reward,
He just talks about the Lord,
He just talks about the Lord.


Chart (1963/1964)Peak
Australian Singles Chart3
Canadian Singles Chart1
Danish Singles Chart4
Dutch Singles Chart6
German Singles Chart7
Irish Singles Chart4
New Zealand Hit Parade1
Norwegian Singles Chart2
South African Singles Chart5
Swedish Singles Chart12
UK Singles Chart7
U.S. Billboard Hot 1001

Cover versions

Soundtrack appearances

  • In the 1966 film The Singing Nun, about Deckers, Debbie Reynolds, playing the title role, sings an English-language version of the song (with different lyrics than Deckers' English-language version).
  • The song is heard in the 1985 film Heaven Help Us.
  • In the 1987 Married... with Children episode "Thinnergy", "Dominique" is one of several songs Peg (Katey Sagal) sings in an attempt to irritate Al (Ed O'Neill).
  • It was used in the 1990 film Mermaids with Cher.
  • The song was referenced in The Simpsons episode "Bart's Friend Falls in Love" (1992), where Milhouse van Houten visits his girlfriend in an all-girls convent school. A nun playing guitar and singing "Dominique" passes along, followed by several equally happy little girls. The nun's character voice was provided by cast member Maggie Roswell, who knew none of the song's actual French lyrics and instead made up her own.
  • In 1999, it was sung in Everybody Loves Raymond by Robert and Raymond when they learn Debra's sister is fitting a nun.
  • In 2009, the song was used in the third series premiere of British teen drama Skins.
  • In 2009, it was additionally used in Mad Men in the episode "The Color Blue", when Don Draper walks into Suzanne Farell's flat for the second time.
  • In 2012, the song is featured prominently in US anthology series American Horror Story: Asylum, the events of which take place in 1964. The original Belgian French version of the song is playing over and over in the common room of the insane asylum, and the inmates are punished if they disrupt or stop the song from playing.
  • In season 2 of episode 20 (titled 'Rock n Roll Fantasy') of Just the Ten of Us, it is sung by Heather Langenkamp, who played Marie Lubbock. It originally aired April 28, 1989.