Mr Explorer Douglas concerns a Scottish explorer named Charlie (Charles) Douglas. He came to New Zealand as a young man, where he spent 40 years exploring and surveying the rugged West Coast Region of the South Island. He was awarded the Royal Geographical Society Gill Memorial Prize in 1897, and died in May, 1916. 100 years later, centennial commemorations are being conducted in New Zealand. It was the fact that he had passed 100 years before that I decided to write this song at the time, in order honour him. This is a re-upload. I remixed and remastered the song almost a year later. The original version can be heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQTgROuk7iY
And no!!! The line "supper now for buzzing vermin" is not a reference to the fact that he is dead and eaten by worms! It refers to the midges and mosquitoes that used to bite him when he was exploring.
The following New Zealand landmarks are named after Charlie Douglas:
- Mount Douglas at the head of Fox Glacier
- Douglas pass through the Hooker range
- Douglas River
- Douglas Névé and Glacier west of Mount Sefton.
There are a couple of lines in this song which reference a verse in another song, Wind in the Tussock, by New Zealand folk singer Phil Garland:
There are dreams in the twilight of long autumn evenings,
When the embers of memory still flicker and fade.
The tussock aglow with the deep golden sunset,
Gently caressed by the evening breeze.
I think Charles Douglas may have, at least on occasion, felt the same way about his surroundings, so I put these lines in my song to reference it:
Mountains glow in deep red sunset,
Flames of memory flicker and fade,
....old bones bones and waning strength,
Gone were his adventuring days.