Jake the Peg

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"Jake the Peg"
Single by Rolf Harris
from the album Headquarters
Released May 22, 1965
Format CD, 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
Recorded RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 4 and 8, 1967
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:40

"Jake the Peg" was a fictional three-legged man, the subject of a comedic song performed by Rolf Harris, released as a single in 1965.

The song was adapted in 1965 from a version performed by Frank Roosen (a Dutch performer in Vancouver, Canada).[1] The original Dutch party skit was "(Ik ben) van der Steen".[2][3]

In a 2004 poll Harris's version was voted the fourth best Australian single of all time.[4]

Harris would perform the song with the aid of a theatrical prop leg.[5] June Whitfield reports, in her autobiography And June Whitfield, that she used to watch Harris' performance of the number on stage from the wings, as she waited to follow him, and could never tell during the performance which of his three legs was the prop.[6]

Harris wore a long coat that came down to the knees, and apparently had three identical legs. Part of the fun was trying to guess which leg was false, as he kept both hands in his pockets, one of which operated the extra leg. He would walk around the stage putting his middle foot forward, and then his two side feet, and at times would also stand on his middle leg and stick both outer legs out. While he was moving around the stage he sang the song, which told of his life with three legs.


  1. ^ "The Comedy Couch interview with Rolf Harris". Retrieved 13 Nov 2013. 
  2. ^ "Ik ben van der Steen". Retrieved 7 Sep 2014. 
  3. ^ "Van Der Steen Met Het Derde Been". Retrieved 7 Sep 2014. 
  4. ^ "Rolf track pegged in top ten". Sydney Morning Herald. 26 January 2004. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  5. ^ Bruce Elder (1987). "Rolf Harris". The A to Z of who is who in Australia's history. Child & Associates. p. 235. ISBN 9780867773705. 
  6. ^ June Whitfield (2000). And June Whitfield. Bantam. p. 231. ISBN 9780593045824.