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Lyr Req: Two Little Boys

Related threads:
Two little sailor boys (10)
Lyr Req: Parody of Two Little Boys (10)
Lyr Req: When we were little boys (5)
Lyr Add: Two Little Boys (15)
Lyr Req: Two Little Boys (20)
Lyr Req: Two Little Boys (from 'Trainspotting') (10)
(origins) Origin: Two Little Boys (18)
Lyr Req: Two Little Boys (Country Gentlemen) (4)
Lyr Req: 'two little boys had two little toys' (2)
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Lyr Req: Two Soldiers (8)
Lyr Req: Two Little Boys (from Rolf Harris) (6)
Chords Req: Two Little Boys (from Rolf Harris) (5)
Lyr Req: Two Little Boys (4)


GUEST,sam 31 May 01 - 03:09 PM
Malcolm Douglas 31 May 01 - 04:15 PM
Quincy 01 Jun 01 - 04:58 AM
Mrrzy 01 Jun 01 - 06:42 PM
Dorrie 01 Jun 01 - 08:02 PM
Malcolm Douglas 01 Jun 01 - 08:49 PM
Dorrie 01 Jun 01 - 09:24 PM
GUEST,Fred 02 Jun 01 - 12:43 AM
Desert Dancer 02 Jun 01 - 03:00 AM
Malcolm Douglas 02 Jun 01 - 09:20 AM
Desert Dancer 02 Jun 01 - 03:09 PM
Noreen 24 Mar 09 - 03:46 AM
goatfell 24 Mar 09 - 05:28 AM
Stewie 24 Mar 09 - 09:25 PM
Flash Company 25 Mar 09 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Billie 10 Jun 11 - 12:42 AM
Jim Dixon 13 Jun 11 - 12:11 AM
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Subject: Two Little Boys
From: GUEST,sam
Date: 31 May 01 - 03:09 PM

Found the information concerning the origin of the song THE LEGEND OF THE REBEL SOLDIER very interesting. I was wondering about the origin of the song TWO LITTLE BOYS performed by The Country Gentlemen. I always thought the song was from the Civil War because of the phrase 'boys in blue', but someone told me recently they heard the song performed on a show about Ireland. Now I did some searching on the web and found a web page with a reference to Rolf Harris who says he recorded it in 1969, yet this song is on the album Bluegrass At Carnegie Hall by the Country Gentlemen which dates back to their performance in 1963. Any information would be appreciated. Thank you

TWO LITTLE BOYS

Two little boys had two little toys
Each had a wooden horse
Gaily they played each summer day
Warriors both of course
One little chap had a mishap and broke off his horses head
Wept for his toy then cried with joy as he heard his brother say


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Little Boys
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 31 May 01 - 04:15 PM

Well, one thing you could do would be to make use of the excellent search facilities that we have here; I'd particularly recommend the Digitrad and Forum Search, which is displayed quite prominently on the main Forum page.  A search for two little boys through this would get you plenty of references, which would include more than seven previous discussions of the song, in almost all of which somebody or other has posted lyrics to -usually- the "Country Gentlemen" and Rolf Harris recordings, and, several times, a recent parody.  You would also find that the song has variously been placed in the American Civil War, the Crimean War, and Australia's involvement in the First World War.  Nobody has ever mentioned Ireland, and I should say that there is virtually no chance that this song has ever had anything at all to do with that country.

Mind you, nobody has come up with a definitive provenance that I can recall, so it's not impossible; just extremely unlikely. If anybody has any substantive information that has not already been posted here, I'm sure we'd all like to see it.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Little Boys
From: Quincy
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 04:58 AM

Ah Sam...you've bought back some memories for me with this song!!
One of my earliest memories is at the age of two and a half singing it to my great grandfather in a Belfast hospital when he was dying of cancer. It was 30 years ago but I can vividly remember walking round the beds to all the poor patients and singing at them!!!

Thanks for that Sam.....
best wishes, Yvonne


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Little Boys
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 06:42 PM

And a memory of one of the very first threads I ever posted... *sigh*


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Little Boys
From: Dorrie
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 08:02 PM

Is this as in 'two little boys had 2 little toys' or 'two little boys were going to school and in the evening coming home the biggest boy said to the littlest boy oh can u throw a stone' ??????????? love dorrie xxx


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Little Boys
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 08:49 PM

The first one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Little Boys
From: Dorrie
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 09:24 PM

oh right rolf harris


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Little Boys
From: GUEST,Fred
Date: 02 Jun 01 - 12:43 AM

The Irish Rovers also did a cover of this song, but I don't know if they credited it to anyone or anywhere in particular. (Of course, they did do it in Irish accents.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Little Boys
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 02 Jun 01 - 03:00 AM

O.k., it's my mission in life to avoid castigation and gain approbation from Malcolm Douglas because I am an aspiring obsessive compulsive folk song junkie. I admit it.

So, I went thru almost all of those Two Little Boys threads to be sure that this is not redundant and sufficiently substantive. As to whether it's fact, I can't confirm...

On the Jeff Warner & Jeff Davis album (cassette) entitled Two Little Boys, for the song they title, "When We Were Two Little Boys" (which has the lyrics which have been posted several times), they say:

"Recently Jeff Warner met a family from Wyoming who say that this song has been in their family since the Civil War, but the song was published in 1903, and authorship claimed by Ed. Madden and Theo. F. Morse. We learned it from the singing of Dorsey and Howard Dixon, mill-workers and musicians who recorded it on an early 78 rpm disc."

In this earlier thread, it was noted that the Country Gentlemen cited "Hawkins & Hawkins" for words and music.

My inclination is to trust Jeff and Jeff's research over the Country Gentlemen's...

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Little Boys
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Jun 01 - 09:20 AM

Good work, Becky!  Armed with that information, I was able to find a little more.  Edward Madden (lyricist; b. 1878) and Theodore F. Morse (music; 1873-1924) seem to have been particularly active in the first decade of the 20th century; the  Lester Levy Sheet Music Collection  has a number of their pieces, chiefly comic or sentimental songs, often dealing with love, war and the like.  Other examples are at  Historic American Sheet Music.  Madden wrote the lyric for By the Light of the Silvery Moon, incidentally.

It seems that the "Irish" connection may perhaps result from a 1993 record, Peace Together, made by an ad-hoc assembly of performers including Peter Gabriel, Sinead O'Connor, Feargal Sharkey, Nanci Griffith and others, intended "to interpret songs that deal with how young people cope in the confrontational environment of Northern Ireland."  People may subsequently have assumed that the song was intended to refer to that situation, but they can't have listened to the words very carefully!  Madden and Morse were credited as writers on that record, too.

Looks like the American Civil War is the one, then.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Little Boys
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 02 Jun 01 - 03:09 PM

Oooh! My day is made.

~ Becky


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Little Boys
From: Noreen
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 03:46 AM

Lovely!
Belated :0) for Becky (as I missed this first time around.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Little Boys
From: goatfell
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 05:28 AM

aye it was number one here in britian in 1969 for Rolf Harris (australian)(That is where he comes from Australia)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Little Boys
From: Stewie
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 09:25 PM

Meade et alia gives Madden and Morse (1903)under the title 'When we were two little boys'. Meade's first written citation is 'Bandy Legs Songster' (NYC, W.W. Delaney 1909). The first recording was by Bryon G. Harlan and Frank Stanley in 1903 (Edison 8480). It was recorded also by Billy Murray in September 1907. The first country music recording was by Dixon Brothers (Dorsey & Howard) in August 1937 in Charlotte, NC, (Montgomery Ward M4430).

[Info from Meade Spottswood and Meade 'Country Music Sources' p275],

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Little Boys
From: Flash Company
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 12:28 PM

Tim Brooke Taylor once produced 'the censored version' of this by inserting 'bleeps' at apropriate places:-

Two little boys had two little toys
Each had a wooden 'BLEEP'
Day after day you'd see them play,
'BLEEP'ers both of course.......

Work out the rest for yourself!

FC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Little Boys
From: GUEST,Billie
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 12:42 AM

My mom sang to me:

Two little chaps with sailor caps
Played at a game of war.
Two wooden ships, four battleships,
Played in the game of war.
One little boy reached for his toy,
Fell in the deep, blue sea!
His comrade true cried, "I'll rescue you.
Someday you may save me.
Don't forget when we were sailor boys.
Ship ahoy, share in joy.
Remember when our battleships were only toys.
And we were two little, sailor boys."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Little Boys
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 12:11 AM

Billie: The original lyrics to TWO LITTLE SAILOR BOYS are posted in another thread, here: Lyr Add: TWO LITTLE SAILOR BOYS (Madden/Jordon).

You may be surprised at some of the words.


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