Donna Burke's first release in more than three years features "Goodbye Nakamura", a touching ballad based on real events. While on holiday in Broome in January 2004, she performed the song live on radio and received such a warm response from the locals that it resulted in the release of this maxi single. The album, "Blue Nights", that the single comes from, will be released later this year in the SACD format, which will also be mixed and mastered by one of Tokyo's most respected producers, Seigen Ono.
Donna was singing at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo a few years ago when an elderly Japanese man approached her and asked her if she knew a song called "Sayonara Nakamura", the only song he knew that linked Australia and Japan. She didn't, but with her curiosity piqued, she did some research. It turned out to be a song written by Australian folk singer Ted Egan in homage to the numerous Japanese who lost their lives diving for pearls off the coast of Broome around the turn of the 20th century.
Broome is a small town in the north of Western Australia that at one point provided three-quarters of the world's supply of pearls. At its peak it bustled with Japanese, Chinese, Malay, and Aboriginal communities. Some made their fortunes there, but others were not so lucky. Primitive equipment, shark-infested waters and harsh weather conditions brought about the deaths of countless divers, as the famous Japanese cemetery in Broome testifies with it's hundreds of tombstones. Some commemorate whole crews who died as a result of one tragedy.
Touched by the lyrics, Donna rewrote the music with guitarist and arranger Bill Benfield. They turned it into a moving folk ballad that tells the tale of the young diver Nakamura, who died on his final diving trip before he was due to return to Okinawa to marry his true love. Donna especially empathized with the heartache of living oceans apart from family and loved ones.
Also included on the maxi-single are two of Donna's original compositions. "A Quiet Night" is a jazz ballad relishing the joy of a girl's night in. "Don't I Look Pretty" is an often-requested song by female fans with partners in tow who want Donna to help communicate how upset they feel when they aren't complimented enough!