There’s an Island in the Sky



Does this remind you of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton in their beautiful pop country duet?
Before we go too far,
Let’s start in the beginning.

First of all, you may know of Ernest Hemingway’s novel, “Islands in the Stream.” Hemingway’s book was
written awhile before he passed away. (It is assumed Hemingway began this in 1950 and worked on it into 1951.)

His infamous life and readers’ endless fascination continued,Β causing this book to be posthumously published in 1970.

The book’s subject was about an artist who lives on an island. His wife and 3 sons come to visit. There is sadness in the story of his character named Thomas Hudson.

Hemingway’s book is broken into three parts revolving around the man and three periods in his life where the Sea has an impact.

Secondly, the novel was made into a serious movie, called by the same name, “Islands in the Stream.” George C. Scott portrayed the main character in 1977.

Now, you are ready to picture the popular singing duo of Kenny and Dolly.

The song, which doesn’t seem to have any known connections to Hemingway, was written in 1983 by the musical group The Bee Gees.

It was originally written for Marvin Gaye with rhythm and blues influences. I would like to hear it this way. . .

It was changed to be sung as a romantic duet, put on Kenny’s 1983 album. The song went on to make it on many popular radio music charts that year. It followed Kenny’s song, “Lady,” to become his next hit. For Dolly, it came after her beloved movie and song, “9 to 5.”

If you had not heard of this television show before, then you may not have realized it named an episode called, “Islands in the Stream.” A popular Canadian show is featured in Poland, shown on American television and alsoΒ  on Netflix.Β  The teenager show with serious topics is called “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

I like clouds and you may be subjected to more posts with their being displayed or highlighted. This cloud photograph was taken on my cell phone.

Do you have any creative or poetic thoughts evoked by the cloud display?


About reocochran

I am experiencing crazy and hapless adventures in dating that may interest people over fifty. I am now approaching 62 later this year and enjoy taking photographs, incorporating stories or poetry on my blog. I have many old posts which are informative and written like essays. I have several love stories collected from family and friends. Even strangers spill their stories, since I am a grown version of the girl next door. I have been trying to live a healthy lifestyle with better food selections and active hiking and walking. I have written four children's books and illustrated them. They are not published but a battered women's shelter used one about neglect and abuse for their children's program and a 4H group used my "Kissing a Bunny is like saying a Prayer" as a coloring book. Please comment or respond so I may get a chance to know you. Sincerely, Robin

61 responses »

  1. Beautiful post, Robin. And for me, it touches several chords.. not the least being the story you mentioned. (I once wrote a book, twenty five years ago… with, sort of, the same theme – all handwritten MS.. and then in a tragic incident on a railway platform on my way to meet a promoter, lost the entire MS.. anyway, ah, foolish event and sounds apocryphal now. But the pain, never goes away, losing that MS and I never attempted a book after that… who knows I might have become a famous writer too hahaha)

    But this is beautiful, my nostalgic, maudlin tribute aside πŸ™‚

  2. Brilliant capture on your cell phone and beautifully written post, Robin! I love looking at the clouds too. Wish I could write as well as you do:)

    • Sandhya, you write very well about delicious food and great stories. I liked your Crunchy Apple Pickle recipe, with such spicy mouth watering flavors found in your recipe.
      This was just thinking about a song and looking up the history of the title of it. You are most kind snd if you were here, I would hug you! I saw this beautiful sky coming home from after my Mom’s surgery on her hip. It brought me joy and hope for her recovery. Blessings to you, my dear.

      • Thanks Robin. You really are very kind and know how to make me feel good:)
        I hope your mom recuperates quickly.
        Hope you are getting some fun time with your precious grand kids too!

    • You are honestly one of my favorite posts and don’t let my busy schedule and lack of replies reflect my interest. My family likes when I get in my winter season at work, not so stretched in my hours ( or lack of freetime)! Thank you about my mother, she is getting stronger but mind is fading a bit. I appreciate your warm regards for her. I show her comments which make her happy. Enjoy a wonderful weekend, Sandhya! πŸ™‚

  3. Thank you for sharing this with me, Tejaswi. So sorry that you lost your manuscript on the subway. How awful! I know that it seemed hopeless at the time but fob you think you could possibly enjoy writing with an older, wiser voice a similar story? Consider the first one a “rough draft.” πŸ™‚ I am believing some things are meant to take place at another time or place. . .

    • Yes… quite true.. funny.. that is what I tell myself. That everything happens for the best. But what I really miss is the style, the language and the fearlessness. Being older has probably not made me any wiser and I find myself forgetting words, or sometimes I am unable to use words like I used to. (It is horrifying actually. I used to finish some of the toughest crosswords in minutes and now I can only stare at them, knowing the words very well, but just out of grasp. And before you think I am some senile old curmudgeon haha, I am not.. but well, been through a lot the last two years.. and my disability has somehow affected my brain too.. so, yes, ok, senile too, I suppose. Hahaha. Ivan-young-of-years-old-of-wisdom an old Russian folk tale, except, not so wise either).

      Thank you for taking the time to reply with your thoughtful observations. Thank you, appreciate it. Some day, if my hands start working again (I always write with my fountain pen, cannot always type anything creative on the computer. Supreme irony!! My travails started because of three decades of being with computers, hehe). Yes, some day, for sure. Will try to write.. have been trying to do that the last few months. But it is not the same.. now.. Let us see..

      • I am glad you explained so much here and have hope that your sweet daughter, Little Ray of Sunshine, will keep you feeling young despite disabilities and challenges you face. Maybe you are destined to write a simpler but hopeful story, like “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books with vignettes captured inside. xo

      • hahaha.. god no… never.. πŸ˜€ My wife and I always fight over that.. she loves the chicken soup thing.. and I, I shall remain a barbarian πŸ˜€
        But, thank you, don’t mean to be rude and thankless.. πŸ™‚ Thank you, Robin.. I appreciate it..

      • Well, I am touched to find out I am like your wife in my thought patterns. Since she is like a daughter to me now, tell her she is a “sweetie!” πŸ™‚

      • Haha, yes, Robin.. and what a son-in-law you have… quite a bargain, huh? If there is a war in the neighbourhood, you can always count on me, words only, never anything else.. and if you promise to stop laughing – I am a pacifist πŸ˜€

  4. My daughter is doing that Weezer song Island in the Sun with her rock school. She just came home and I was struggling to think of the name and mumbled Islands In The Stream, half jokingly. Now this blog! Have I somehow telepathically summoned this? Are we becoming closer blog buddies than we even realize? It boggles the mind!

  5. Wow, I had no idea of the history behind that song! Thanks for the little peak behind the curtains. You’re always full of interesting facts for us!

    • Jay, happy to share and discuss strange facts that come from a search for a song. Dont you love our ability to look up one thing abd find out all the direxctions you can go on the subject?! πŸ™‚
      I read this book and it was while I was young, so I did not really enjoy it. The artist is casual in his relationships and is like karma comes around. I wonder if Ernest H. felt remorse and was paying penance. I would like to see the film. Other than when George C. Scott played General Patton, I have not seen many films with him as the maim character. Wasn’t he in one of the versions of “12 Angry Men?” Have a relaxing day, Jay and others.

    • Hope you take in some old black and white horror movies and the classics Jay, to celebrate a happy October. I like Mel Brooks “Young Frankenstein ” and the colorful “Rocky Horror Picture Show!” πŸ™‚

  6. this makes me want to read the book. i never knew the story but it sounds wonderful and sad at the same time. your photo is beautiful and it evokes poetry all around.

    • Oh, Beth. I think we may learn now from a book such as yhis, but as a teenager I did not appreciate the depth felt with remorse nor how it felt to be a parent (spoiler alert) and lose children. I am not sure I would read the war sections again, but it is worth looking at. For a better but still bittersweet book, I enjoyed Barbara Kingsolver’s book, “Flight Behavior” which I read for my book club. β™‘ Farming, environment, relationships and young mother of two children faced with a beautiful miracle of butterflies in Tennessee! πŸ™‚

      • Beth, if I knew these people better, I would have taken a photo of two special parts of my night. You would have loved it! A man in a butterfly mask and wings greeted us. A woman who works on the farm for the metroparks, made us tomato pie, (a quiche with eggs, onions, tomatoes and Italian seasonings), apple turnovers and offered us tea. She baked it on an old metal gas stove. It had a pipe up through the ceiling to vent it. The second photo op was a lady from the parks had three monarch butterflies which she let each of us feel it on our forefinger. She liked that the book includes natural warnings to protect our earth, creatures like butterflies and bugs. Your grandson is a butterfly whisperer, right? πŸ™‚

    • You must have not read this S L O W enough!! I wrote that fact up there, Juan. I mention the sequence of first a book, second a movie, third the song, last a TV series in Canada.
      I also included the Bee Gees wrote it originally for Marvin Gaye. πŸ™‚

      • You are okay, I was teasing you since I literally talk too fast and when someone doesn’t catch something I have to force myself to relax, breathe and communicate properly. πŸ™‚

  7. I like clouds to Robin and this is a wonderful photo. I enjoy reading the history of anything, and I like the way you wove these related and not-so-related topics together.

  8. I like the way clouds take you off to places like this, Robin. Beautiful.

    When this song first came out, I thought I was too cool for Kenny and Dolly together. Go figure. Later, I say Kenny and Dolly separately in concert for my job at the big daily, and I knew what great show people they were. And I wished that I could see them sing the song together. πŸ™‚

    • Mark, this is almost like a mini post, such a fantastic story. I have mentioned to my brother who is your age that there are a lot of singers who are balladeers, who may not be from (horrors) rock and roll! One of my favorite songs was when the two sang this and also, “I Will Always Love You,” (which some like Whitney’s version better, I cannot fault them.) Thank you for saying “beautiful” and how clouds take you off to places. So true!

  9. Do you have any creative or poetic thoughts evoked by the cloud display?

    Not really. But I enjoyed reading about Hemmingway, Marvin Gaye, Kenny Rogers, and Dolly Parton. Now I’m off to listen to some music from these artists πŸ™‚

    • Timi, I am happy to inspire you to listen to the songs and think about Hemingway. “The Sun Also Rises,” was my favorite book of his collection. He sure wrote long, run-on sentences, didn’t he? When I tend to do this, I mentally remember my disgust at his habit and break my sentences up. πŸ™‚

  10. Interesting.
    Hemingway, mmm.
    I always did like that song, but of course I was a child when it came out, and it would be much, much later that I’d read Hemingway.

    On the topic of clouds, I must say, when we lived in Georgia, we had more ‘girly’ sunsets. We get some pink, purple, and orange here, too, but there, the sunsets were much more girly.

    • I like the idea of “girly” skies, Joey. Leave it to you to know what I like and meant. Now, just happens Spring break, 2016 Carrie, the boys and I are heading to Georgia. Now I want to listen to, “Georgia on my Mind.” πŸ™‚
      I will keep an eye for those “girly” sunsets, Joey.

      I am glad you mentioned age here, which it seems older people may prefer this “Islands in the Stream” while others may like, “Islands in the Sun” by Weezer. Thanks, Marissa, I did not remember the artist who sang this one!

      I call pastel cloud formations “cotton candy clouds.” My grandies have been know to say this, happy to have inspired them. They are like little puppets, they imitate and repeat things ( some good, some bad. . .)
      I love brilliant red, orange and purple colors which exude passion while this sky is sort of dreamy looking, I think. Let’s call the first Antonio Banderas and the second Patrick Dempsey.

  11. An interesting and charming post and topic, as usual here, Robin. I have heard the Bee Gees sing that song themselves. I like the Dolly Parton version but prefer the Bee Gees, one of my favorite groups. They were geniuses. Only Barry left now? Sad. A beautiful tune and words. It is always a welcome reminder. I have all their songs on my iPod. I think I will go listen to it again! πŸ™‚

    • Beth, you are a huge fan if you have several of their songs! I am excited to know this about you. I think of you with diverse tastes and know this is just a small part of my complicated friend. I liked the “Saturday Night Fever” film very much which included some of my Bee Gees favorites.
      I will go listen to their singing “Islands in the Stream.” I actually heard this from a few commenters but have not headed that direction. I like when you use such nice compliments as “charming” post, Beth.
      Hope you have a wonderful weekend! β™‘

  12. Goodness, I had no idea this was a Hemingway novel. I remember sitting at the dining room table, waiting for the song to come on the radio, and then furiously trying to write down the words. Now I’ll go to my grave, still knowing them. I’m fairly certain no man has ever “set out to get me with a fine tooth comb.”

    • Kerbey, thank you for sharing this memory. I like to picture people in different phases or ages in their life. I always wondered about anyone really being like the songs depict people in love. No fine tooth combs used to find me either.
      This one made me smile, big!! πŸ™‚

  13. Barry Gibb is the genius behind a ton of songs, plus he has a hall of fame beard! To the untrained person they would have no idea how many hits Barry and even Willie Nelson have wrote for everybody.

  14. Wow, missy, what an interesting post. I didn’t know any of this and Hemingway at one time was one of my favorite writers. And I loved the Bee Gees and this song. I wish I could hear their rendition of it too, but I did love the one by Rogers and Parton. Hemingway is another one of those people I wish I could have known and talked to along with Claude Monet. Thanks for this post, my friend. Hugs, N πŸ™‚ ❀

    • Natalie, you made me giggle with the word, “Missy!” I am happy to have brought a little fun, music and a little bit of happy memories. I just need to wander over to you tube when I get up tomorrow,at 5 am and listen to the Bee Gees! Will you come over, sip early morning java and listen with me? πŸ™‚ I will let you blog or even close your eyes. . . β™‘

      • Oh, I’m glad I made you chuckle, missy! Hee hee! Oh would be so much fun, Robin. I wish we lived next door to each other so I could do that! Five AM is a tad too early for me these days, but for you I’d paddle on over and then go back home and to bed for a while longer.
        πŸ™‚ ❀ xoxoxo

      • I could be up later and have more time on a Saturday, Natalie. I would not wish to interfere with your morning with husband. πŸ™‚

  15. Interesting background on that song, I never imagined that the Bee Gees wrote it. It is sometimes surprising to learn about certain artists writing songs for others, Bruce Springsteen (my favorite) wrote Because the Night and Patti Smith made it a hit, although some sources credit her with co-writing it.

    • L. T. I an so happy to learn that Bruce wrote this song. I really like Patti Smith. I find things are so interesting when I just was looking up a add on to go with my photograph I took. One thread in my search on the Internet connected all of this easily. πŸ™‚

  16. great post Robin, I love that song by Kenny Rogers (he is one of my favorites), it is beautiful. I did not knew that hemingway wrote a novel by that name. have not read anything by him though.

    • Judy, so happy you knew this song and enjoyed it. I saw Kenny Rogers twice in the past 5 years. Still a good show but I liked the duets you would see on special television shows with Dolly. Yes, good memories, Judy. πŸ™‚

  17. Quite an informative post there Robin, had never heard of the episodes of Islands in the Stream, but definitely know off, and love the Duet by Dolly and Kenny Rodgers, think that is the best version as it really bought out the best of both performers.
    Enjoyed that post Robin.

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