Monthly Archives: January 2013

Rolf Harris’s Two Little Boys

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 every place to have the same success stories or admire the same characters as everyone else. 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.)



Filed under Australia, Lore, Video

Sad News About Iconic Ghost Gums

My post on Ghost Gums has, for some reason, remained my most popular, despite the fact that I posted the entry more than five years ago. However, despite that popularity, it was still notable when it had more than 100 hits today. So I did a quick search on ghost gums to see what news might have triggered the avalanche. I was sad to learn that it was because of a particularly unpleasant act of vandalism: the twin ghost gums made famous by Aboriginal painter Albert Namatjira were burned to the ground. I’d seen these famous twin trees on two different trips to Australia. While all ghost gums are beautiful, the connection to Namatjira made these seem particularly evocative.

It’s hard to imagine what would drive someone to destroy these lovely, historic trees. It doesn’t even make a statement. It’s just mindless destruction.

For those who might be interested, here is a bit more on this incident and Namatjira.


Filed under Australia, History, Lore, Nature, Travel, Video