“Music is one of my absolute passions; I’m an avid songwriter and love blues. I grew up with a black American mother and an Irish father. So, during the week, I was all over African music and Harry Belafonte, and on Sundays, Dad’s family would get together, all of his 13 brothers and sisters. We’d have a big roast lunch and listen to Irish music,” local resident Christine told me during a conversation in September 2021.
During the summer of 2019/2020, when bushfires devastated half of our island home, she was inspired to write a song about resilience. A few months later, Christine had the opportunity to sing the song to John Paul Young, and he asked for permission to record it.
“I was at a meeting a few weeks ago and my phone kept ringing,” shared Christine back in September 2021. “It was John Paul Young, and I went, oh – ok, I better answer that. When I returned to the room, they were all like, ‘is that THE John Paul Young?’ I went yeah. It’s pretty exciting to be able to help the people of Kangaroo Island. I don’t need the fame. I don’t need to have my name bandied around. My greatest pleasure will be to see the funds raised. Isn’t this great? That’ll be my pleasure.”
The song ‘The Island’ written by Christine Rourke and performed by John Paul Young, is out now.
It was agreed that neither artist would financially benefit and that proceeds from the sale of the song would be donated to a cause. Initially, Christine desired to give back to her community, but as significant floods recently impacted the Riverland community, she decided that the Riverland would receive 50%.
Funds raised will be distributed to mental health and wellbeing programs developed through Kangaroo Island Our Town, Our Town Berri and Our Town Mid Murray.
“Sometimes you hear a song and it means something to you straight away, that’s what happened with The Island when I heard it. Christine has written a lovely song with real meaning, and it was written at a very difficult time for everyone on KI. I sincerely hope everyone gets behind the cause.” Young said.
To purchase and download a copy of The Island, please visit:
All the funds (less the site’s fees) are being donated to Our Town (Fay Fuller Foundation) to develop mental health and wellbeing programs for fire and flood-affected communities on Kangaroo Island and in the Riverland.
Thank you for supporting the cause and local music!
To find out more about the backstory of how Christine came to sing the song to Aussie music legend John Paul Young, visit: https://www.tourkangarooisland.com.au/stories/the-island
Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6XFEX_d0IE…
Thank you, Christine!