The Happy Prince – The La De Das

‘The Happy Prince’ is my father’s (and uncle’s) favourite record from when they were kids; a wonderful retelling and interpretation of Oscar Wilde’s story of the same name. The album features narration of the original story by Australian poet Adrian Rawlins, and songs inspired by it from New Zealand’s ‘The La De Das’. It’s considered to be NZ/Australia’s first concept album.

It was released in 1969, when dad would have been four. He loved it so much growing up that many years later he paid a ridiculous amount of money to have it remastered professionally from this very vinyl by Neville Clark at Diskedits in Bowden, Adelaide. Way too much to spend for a relic from the 60’s, but I don’t think he’s ever regretted it. Neville did an amazing job.

Since I’ve had a record player, which is about 18 years now, dad has entrusted this record to me for safe keeping. I’m a little bit scared to play it actually, lest I scratch or drop it. I’ll bring it out for a special listen sometimes with the old boy.

Dad hasn’t had a record player for years now, but if I win a prize here that might change. I think he’d have a lot of fun listening to it again on vinyl and the record would be back with its original owner. Nice to have a story with a happy ending.