"The late George Woolnough" is Peter's grandfather, who was the saddler in the Australian town of Tenterfield. He "worked on High Street, and lived on Manners", Manners being another street name. There is a library dedicated to him.
"The son of George Woolnough" - Peter's father - took to the bottle, and shot himself, inspiring the lines "something was wrong, and it's easier to drink than go crazy" and "George had no answers about why a son ever has need of a gun."
"The grandson of George" is Peter, who changed his name from Woolnough to Allen when he became part of "The Allen Brothers" with Chris Bell. He's "been all 'round the world and lives no special place," compared to a line from another song, "no matter how far or how wide I roam, I still call Australia home."
The "girl with an interesting face" is Liza Minnelli, who Allen married in 1967.
Jackie from Adelaide It says "ride again jackaroo!" not right ahead.
Steve from AdelaideThe lyrics are wrong. It is dogs not doves. It is a son not her son. It is make your bed not make a bet.
Steven from Sydney, AustraliaI think George's son's name is Dick Woolnough, yeah it is, if you don't believe me you can look it up on wikipedia! or just google his name. So yeah you might want to add Peter Allen's father's name. Dick Woolnough who happens to be George Woolnough's son.
Reza from Shiraz, IranI had never heard of this singer until I listened to the album by Olivia Newton John. The first time I heard it I fell in love with it. Olivia made it a miracle.
Sara from Silver Spring, MdPeter Allen didn't really make it big in the US because he was more of a cabaret performer in the style of Barry Manilow and Bette Midler.
Jim from Corpus Christi, TxI first became familiar with Peter Allen in the late 1970's or early 80's when I was going to law school and corresponding, occasionally, with the publicity director for A&M Records, Allen's label. I had known this person for ages, having met him while living in L.A. and writing about popular music for various publications. I knew nothing about Allen, but was immediately of the impression he was, if nothing else, a GREAT song writer. I obtained every recording of his from then on, including a pre-A&M album called "Tenterfield Saddler." For the first time, hearing the title song, I was aware of certain parallels between Allen's life and my own. Today, I cannot hear the song without tearing up. But it was not until I saw the documentary, "Boy From Oz," that I learned that George's son killed himself, and that this was what Peter was talking about when he wrote that "[s]omething was wrong...never had need of a gun...." I certainly identified with Allen as we were only a year apart in age (he would be 63 now had he lived), and we both had difficult relationships with our fathers. In a sense, my father committed suicide, too, though he did it much more slowly, with alcohol. I still can't listen to this song without crying. To me, that makes it a GREAT song!
Paul from Melbourne, AustraliaMatt, Charleston SC. You could not have studied music not to know Peter Allen. Born, bred in Aust. Lived alot in the U.S. Concerts, albums, married, - get out of the south and look further afield before making crazy comments
Michael from Brisbane, AustraliaMatt, if you haven't heard of Peter Allen, then you haven't really studied pop music. He was a worldwide legend.
Jo from Newcastle, AustraliaHey Matt from Charleston SC, have you heard of Hugh Jackman? Or "The Boy From Oz" ? Guess who it's about! :-) (Where does this site come from anyhow?)
Matt from Charleston, ScI had always assumed this was a British or Canadian based site, but perhaps it is Australian-based, because I have absolutely no idea who Peter Allen is and I have studied pop music for years.
James from Minneapolis, MnIn 2002 Olivia Newton-John released a "duet" with Peter Allen of this song. Taking his parts from a rare live performance of the song, they did some studio magic and created a stirring rendition of the song for her album of duets called "(2)". A video, also melding together the two artists, was featured on Olivia's TV special "One Night With Olivia." James~Minneapolis