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Readers recommend: songs about islands | Peter Kimpton

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Caribbean to Coney Island, Crusoe to Craggy, tropical to topical, name your best isle-related songs that offer an escape to fantasy or a prism of reality

“Faith is an island in the setting sun,/ but proof is the bottom line for everyone,” wrote a certain songwriter who could well be among a wealth of treasures spilled onto the shores of this week’s nominations. But is an island a place to escape reality, or face it? An adventure where dreams come true, like that of 1970s series Fantasy Island featuring the smooth-talking Ricardo Montalbán and his squeaky sidekick, Tattoo, played by Hervé Villechaize? Or a place where hopes are dashed on the rocks of isolated despair, as in Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, before the protagonist eventually finds inner strength and friendship in Friday? The answer must surely include both – song takes us to a new place, but also seeks a new perspective from it. Islands are a place to provide that relief.

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