New Jersey based alternative rock, indie rock and indie folk singer, songwriter, and musician Pete Yorn released a music video for his recently released song “Jeannine.” The song was inspired by Jeanne-Paule Marie “Jeannine” Deckers, a Belgian singer-songwriter nun who became popular for her 1963 song “Dominique” which topped the US Billboard Hot 100 and other charts. Due to confusion in her contract, she was not adequately compensated for her song and remained in poverty. She stopped being a nun and committed suicide with her partner Annie Pécher on March 29, 1985.
Yorn states, “‘Jeannine’ is a deceptively sunny song that deals with the repression of self and the hope that one day the world will understand an individual’s struggle to feel free to express who they are at their core.” Pete sings about Deckers’ loss of confidence in her beliefs that moved him to tell her story, “You won’t feel this way in the summer / look behind the door and fill it all in / tell me everything that was on your mind / when He left you there.”
Yorn’s black and white video primarily appears to be taken from home video during the time Deckers was a nun, however it does have some footage of the years after she left the order as well. The video shows a lot of footage of Deckers playing acoustic guitar in front of other nuns at various locations. It also shows stills of Deckers, including a picture of her on the front page of a Flemish newspaper, pictures of her playing guitar, a drawing of her, a picture of her typing, pictures of her and Pécher. The ends with a pretty picture of Deckers standing alone.
The song starts with a clear, bright electric guitar panned almost totally to the right. The bass enters panned almost totally to the left. The vocals and another guitar track come in also panned left. The song has somewhat of The Cure or Smiths feel to it. The guitars are bright and happy however there is a feeling of sadness in the vocals. It’s a unique contrast you don’t usually hear in many songs.
The song “Jeannine” was produced with Jackson Phillips of Day Wave, who collaborated with Yorn on his 2019 album Caretakers.
Photo Credit: Boston Lynn Schulz