It’s a Small World – composer Robert B. Sherman dies, age 86

“There’s so much that we share, that it’s time we’re aware, it’s a small world after all” – lyrics from Robert B. Sherman’s classic song It’s A Small World. 

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Mary Poppins - Photographer David Wyatt
The Australian cast of Mary Poppins perform Sherman's show stopping tongue-twister Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Photographer David Wyatt

Nearly 50 years after the classic Disney tune It’s A Small World was composed for the 1964 World’s Fair, the meaning couldn’t be more poignant. Social media ‘sharing’, the internet and the speed of communication have made the world ‘smaller’ over the course of the song’s existence.

Sadly, The Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday that Robert B. Sherman, renowned composer of hundreds of classic Disney songs, Including It’s A Small World” passed away this week, aged 86, in London.

“New York-born Sherman and his brother Richard worked as staff composers for Disney between 1960 and 1973, during which time they wrote more than 200 songs for 27 films and two dozen television productions”, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Other songs composed by the Sherman brothers include Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and Chim Chim Cher-ee (Mary Poppins) which earned them an Academy Award in 1964 for best score.

Sherman’s son confirmed his death in a Facebook posting on Monday evening, according to the Sydney Morning Herald’s article.

“My Dad, Robert B. Sherman, passed away tonight in London. He went peacefully after months of truly valiantly fending off death. He loved life and his dear heart finally slowed to a stop when he could fight no more,” he said.

“His love and his prayers, his philosophy and his poetry will live on forever. Forever his songs and his genius will bring hope, joy and love to this small, small world.”



Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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