This was originally recorded by British music hall star Harry Lauder in 1903. It tells the story of two brothers who share horses as boys and later share them in battle during war. The exact war was not specified, although it could be the Boer War.
In Britain this was the biggest selling single of 1969.
This is said to be former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's favorite song.
Rolf Harris is an Australian singer/TV personality/painter who moved to Britain in the mid 1950s. In the US he had a hit with the Australian calypso song "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport" in 1963. Harris eventually became a children's TV presenter with his own series.
Ratus Walters from Sarasota, Fl 34240It was my publishing company that recorded the most popular U.S. version of Two Little Boys. We obtained the original lyrics which were used by singer Beryl Middleton. It was written about two American boys who met up again during the U.S. Civil war. Ref: "Out from the ranks of BLUE, gallops away to the lad in Gray". Harry Lauder changed the words from "Lad in GRAY" to "where Jack lay" as Brits would not get the reference to the BLUE and GRAY. Most recordings, other than those in the U.S. went along with Harry Lauder's version for the same reason. Keep in mind the song was written by two Americans 38 years after the U.S. Civil war.
Brian from Toronto, OnI have two boys aged 23 & 19. When they were very young this was one of my and their favorite songs that I would sing to them. Now they are grown up and making their own way in this world. The oldest is in the Canadian Army and is going overseas for his first 9 month tour. When I hear this song it makes me think of them when things were much simplier. I pray every day that you come home to us safe Kenneth
Tony C from London, United Kingdomfantastic song, last song and xmass no1 of 1969 and first no1 song of the 1970s there is a link of sorts with this song mr harris,s aunty hated it as her two brother rolfs dad and uncle were in world war one and hes uncle did,nt come back. i also belive that he was on route for the olimpics but chose to come to engalng instead to persue a painting career.
Paul from Newport, KyThis is one of the most heart-wrenching songs I have ever heard. It's hard to believe that Rolf Harris, who is well known for the light-hearted Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport could do a song like this as beautifully as he did. Paul - Newport, KY
Mads from Adelaide, AustraliaTim, sydney
"As an adolescent and young adult Harris was a champion swimmer being the Australian Junior 110 yards Backstroke Champion in 1946 and Western Australian state champion over a variety of distances and strokes during the period 1948?1952."
Taken from Wikipedia
Tim from Sydney, AustraliaKeith Major from Bristol, England writes: "Rolf Harris was also an Australian swimming champion before moving to Britain" - I have grown up in Australia since the 1960's, and I have never heard of Rolf Harris' fame as a swimmer. I have just spent several hours searching numerous Rolf Harris biographies on the internet, and have been unable to find any mention of Rolf's skills in the pool. Regardless of his most recent "brush" (ha ha) with royalty, we all know Rolf's greatest claim to fame was his special "appearance" in a certain episode of "The Goodies" many years ago.
Carmen from Palmerston North, New ZealandOh my gosh, I remember bawling as a little girl when I listened to this song, now I have two 3 and 4 year old boys of my own who love their rocking horses. You can't help but think of life's circles... Still love the song
Keith Major from Bristol, EnglandRolf Harris was also an Australian swimming champion before moving to Britain