"Two Little Boys" is a song written by American composer Theodore F. Morse and lyricist Edward Madden. It was written in 1902 and became a popular music hall song of the time, made popular by Harry Lauder. It describes the story of two boys who grow up to fight in a war. In 1969, it became a surprise No. 1 top-selling single for Rolf Harris in the United Kingdom.
Probably the most popular version in the United States of the song, "Two Little Boys" was by Beryl Middleton. Beryl recorded this in 1969. Her version was voted the number one song in Washington, DC by radio station WMAL in 1970.
In October 2008, Harris announced he would re-record the song, backed by North Wales' Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir, to mark the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I. Proceeds from the new release went to The Poppy Appeal. Harris was inspired to make the recording after participating in My Family at War, a short series of programmes in the BBC's Remembrance season, which was broadcast in November 2008. He discovered that the experiences of his father and uncle during World War I mirrored the lyrics of the Civil War song.
Harris sang an a cappella version of the song during the Concert to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in London in June 2012. It was an impromptu performance to fill a gap while Stevie Wonder's band was getting ready for their set. The assembled audience in front of Buckingham Palace and along The Mall sang along. However, Harris had only just started the second verse when Lenny Henry cut him short as the band was ready. Henry was then promptly booed for the interruption.
Rolf Harris had been a very popular entertainer and the people of the UK were shocked when in 2014 he was arrested and later found guilty of twelve charges of indecent assault between 1969 and 1986. He was sentenced to a total of five years and nine months in prison. He was released in 2017 after serving nearly three years. As a result, he was stripped of many of the honours he had been awarded during his career, including the AO and CBE.