Now that I’m in Slim Dusty mode, I can’t resist posting another song.
I bought the album “Walk a Country Mile” during my first trip to Australia. This song in particular became a favorite over the years because it reflected for me what life was like. My favorite lines in the song are “you meet a friend or two along the highway, and you learn a lot you never knew before. And if the journey takes a lifetime when you thought a year or two, well you just don’t give up easy anymore.” It’s a great song to hear when the road feels long — and even when you feel like you’re getting somewhere but it took a while.
The song was written by Joy McKean, considered the “grand lady” of Australian country music — who also happened to be Slim Dusty’s wife. In this video, Joy joins Slim singing this classic.
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.)