Convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby has created something of a stir in Australia by releasing a music track on social media.
The track, called Palm Trees, features Corby on vocals singing: “I’m in Queensland and it is sunny. I have the palm trees behind me.”
Corby’s Instagram post said it had been “so much fun” to make – but it’s fair to say it’s meant she is yet again dividing Australian public opinion.
Corby, 40, has been in the media spotlight since she was arrested in Bali, Indonesia in 2004 carrying 4.2kg of marijuana.
She maintained the drugs were planted, but was convicted and spent a decade in prison and a further three years on parole on the island.
Her case captivated Australia, where many believed she had been treated unreasonably harshly.
Images of the petite, attractive beauty school student sobbing in court – and reports of her deteriorating mental health – gained her much public sympathy.
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But Indonesia, which has strict drug laws, saw her as a common criminal, and considered her fortunate to have avoided the death penalty.
Corby returned home to huge attention in May, and has since posted several videos on social media about how she was managing to avoid the cameras.
Her music track, however, has raised eyebrows yet again. Palm Trees was released by its producer, Adelaide-based Natalie Zeleny, in early December, but Corby shared it on Instagram late on 1 January.
Zeleny said she “wrote this in Cairns for a bit of a laugh and then took it into the studio to produce it and lay down our vocals”.
Over an upbeat club music track, the lyrics see Zeleny singing:
“Oh she’s back in Australia, she’s in the Sunshine State. Oh Schapelle is her name and she’s got something to say.”
It then features a sample of Corby, taken from an earlier Instagram post, singing: “I’m in Queensland and it is sunny. I’ve got the palm trees behind me. I live in Queensland and it is sunny.”
The track – which some are calling Corby’s debut single – has already been mercilessly mocked on Australian news, with one TV host jokingly calling it “surely one of the biggest hits of 2018”.
Along with some debate over whether a convicted drug smuggler should be getting any attention at all, the response on social media has been largely unsympathetic.
On Twitter, one user said it made the notorious 2011 social media sensation Friday by Rebecca Black “sound like Stairway to Heaven” in comparison.
Australian comedian Lehmo said there was no longer any need for debate over whether Australia should become a republic.
“After hearing Schapelle Corby’s new single the Queen has offered to step down as head of state and hand the country over,” he tweeted.