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Songs of the heart. Songs of justice and compassion. Stories in song... for those who have enjoyed Peter's earlier albums such as 'Signs of Hope' and 'The Common Good'. See full track list below.
Available as CD & Music Book

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Islands of the Heart - Peter Kearney

1. What others have said about 'Islands of the Heart':

Project History

TRACK LIST - Peter Kearney's notes on the songs

1. On a Day Like This - In 2000, hundreds of thousands of people walked across bridges in Australian capital cities. They did this as a sign of good will  and a step along the way in the reconciliation process with the Aboriginal people who have suffered so much over the past 200 years.  In Sydney, Madge and I were among the quarter-million who streamed across the Harbour Bridge from early morning to mid-afternoon. This song is a celebratory description of that day.

2. Islands of the Heart - On pilgrimage to a deeper home, woven together with a tribute to Ireland, the land of my ancestors (and of my wife). "Guided only by our longing, looking for a place to start- pilgrims are we all to the Islands of the Heart.

3. Rise and Shine Road - A light hearted song of life's journey and some encounters along the way, including "the lady so lovely to see".

4. Here's To You, Mum and Dad - "Nothing's old fashioned once you've found that it is true." An affectionate tribute to my parents... and yours perhaps, especially if they came from that generation who came through the 'lean times' of the 1930s depression and World War II.

5. Housewarming Song - "We have all come here tonight to make a house into a home, to bring the warmth of friendship to this new-built brick and stone." An upbeat song suitable for a party singalong.

6. Nothing More, Nothing Less -  A song of love and fidelity, for Madge- my wife. Written during a painful time of transition as we moved home from England to Australia.

7. The Water of Life - Pere Thomas Phillipe of L'Arche  was a contemplative. He was the hidden yet vital presence in the early days of the L'Arche Community in France where a special welcome was offered to people with intellectual disability by Jean Vanier and others. The third in a series of songs I've written on L'Arche; the others were 'All Aboard the Ark' and 'The L'Arche Prayer'.

8. Window on the Stars - A remarkable man, Lt. William Dawes arrived in Australia as part of the First Fleet. Dawes was an astronomer who built a simple observatory on the place where the south-west pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge now stands (Dawes Point). He was also a conscientious objector, Hear his story in this song.

9. Once a Shearer, Now a Shepherd - A song with a suitably country feel- commissioned by his friends as an ordination gift for Mark Croker, a late vocation, down-to-earth priest and reluctant prophet.

10. Someone Knows My Name - A song for Amnesty International, picturing the inner world of the political prisoner and the importance of the letters written to him and on his behalf. Incorporating a condensed statement of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).

11. Joy to the World, Jubilee - Protesting the 'murderous debt' carried by the world's poorest countries.

12. Bright Pearl Shining Path - A ballad telling of the life and death (1991) of Irene McCormack, an Australian Josephite sister who went to work in Huasahuasi, Peru.

13. Where To Now Edmund? A song commissioned by the Christian Brothers, conveying something the life and spirit of Blessed Edmund Rice, the Irish layman who worked for disadvantaged young people and founded the Christian Brothers. "We are called, we are gifted, we are learning to respond to the needs of the world we are living in today." This song has already been picked up by Christian Brothers in the USA.

14. The Harvest - An Offertory processional song. I have put music to words by Dawn Smith of Cowra..

15. My Name Is Love - "My Name is Love and love is all I teach you. Believe me I can reach you if you only make My way."


“Many of those songs touched me deeply- especially the title song which seemed to symbolise my inner pilgrimage at the moment.”  

“The album feels like it's rooted in community, because of the amount of people contributing, but also because of the content of the songs. I love it that it's about basic and yet fundamental, invaluable, easily overlooked connections of wife family etc. Songs for events, songs commissioned by people who want to tell the story of a friend. An aptly named album because it is so warm". 

"The widespread musical collaboration brings a kind of excitement to the album. A real feature of Islands of the Heart is a 'live' folk feel".


“While the feeling of a song may be jaunty or joyous, reflective or serious, something of the artist behind the song always comes through.  Each song, whether about his own experience or that or another's, reveals Peter's contemplation of life and how it has touched his heart and fashioned who he is.  His ability to put his thoughts into word and song finds an echo in every listener's heart”.  (Ellen Leary)


Recorded at the Little Portion Studio, Welby, February- July 2001. Sound engineering and mixing by Peter Kearney.

Kevin Hunt - piano accordion and keyboards.
Bob McInnes and Gus Olding - violin.
Simone Olding and Sherry Cuttle- flute
Lachlan McBean- drums
Mark Scotland- double bass
Carlos Villanueva - pan pipes, charanga
Wendy Upjohn- congas
Peter Kearney- guitar, recorders, autoharp, synthesiser
John Fisk- didgeridoo

Louise Cassidy, Clare Michael & Catherine Mahony
Helen Archer, Peter Kearney, Steve Cheers

Narrators: (Someone Knows My Name)
David Shapiro, Peter Lach-Newinsky

Cover Artwork:
Dorothy Woodward