Two Little Boys – Rolf Harris
Two Little Boys. The song “Two Little Boys” sung by Rolf Harris.
“Two Little Boys” is a popular song written by Theodore Morse and Edward Madden. It was written in 1902 and it became a popular music hall song hit of the time made popular by Harry Lauder.
In 1969 it was revived in popularity when during a tour of Arnhem Land in Australia, Australian entertainer Rolf Harris briefly stayed with folk musician Ted Egan. Egan sung him the song, which Harris recorded on tape. When he got back to England he persuaded his television producer into using the song on his BBC variety show. Harris discovered he had lost the tape and rang Egan, twelve thousand miles away in Canberra, and got him to sing the song over the phone. Alan Braden arranged the song for the TV show, and the audience reaction was such that it was recorded by Harris and released as a single. The song reached #1 on the singles chart in December 1969 for six weeks and became the UK’s best selling single of 1969. On popular BBC radio show Desert Island Discs, Margaret Thatcher picked it as her favourite song.
In October 2008, Harris announced he would be re-recording the song, backed by North Wales’ Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir, in order to mark the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I.
Kenny Rogers sang a version of the song while he was lead singer of the country-rock band The First Edition, which was released on their 1971 album Transition. The song was later revived in 1980 by Splodgenessabounds and reached #27 on the UK singles chart. Another version by a group of Hartlepool United fans was released as a double A-side with “Never Say Die” on the single “Poolie Pride”, reaching #24 on the UK Singles Chart in 2006.
The song is also commonly played by Irish band The Frames during live performance of their song “Star Star**”, as well as by the Canadian band The Irish Rovers on the album Children Of The Unicorn.
In popular culture
A version with the names changed is sung by the character Spud in the film Trainspotting after Tommy’s funeral.