Most Americans, if they’ve heard of Rolf Harris at all, know him only for the upbeat, funny song “Tie Me Kangaroo Down,” which became an international hit back in the early 1960s. However, Harris has had a career of considerably greater extent than that one recording–significant enough, in fact, to have gotten him a long list of honors in both his native Australia and in Britain (OBE, CBE). He’s a singer, song writer, painter (commissioned to do a portrait of the Queen, so no amateur), and television personality.
I don’t expect everyone to have the same success stories or local characters. That would be boring. But because I’ve traveled a bit, it sometimes surprises me when someone I know from one place isn’t so well known when I get home. And so it is with Mr. Harris. I recently, for some reason, found myself singing “Two Little Boys” to myself, and realized it was not something I knew from the U.S. — so I thought it was something I might share here. It wasn’t written by Harris — it dates back to the early 1900s, in fact — but Harris made it a huge hit in Australia and Britain in the late 1960s.
I’ve written enough, both in my book and in this blog, about Aussies and horses and Aussies and war and Aussies and horses and war that it shouldn’t come as too much of a shock to find a similar mix in this sweet, charming little song. (I know — horses and war don’t sound like they go with sweet and charming — but trust me, here, they do.)