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“it’s a small world” Holiday at Disneyland Park

Sights & Sounds at Disney Parks: Robert Sherman Made Our Lives a Jolly Holiday

posted on March 6th, 2012 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


Today, the wind has changed and Disney Legend Robert B. Sherman has had to leave us. But the immeasurable gifts of song he has given — in that magical partnership with his surviving brother, Disney Legend Richard M. Sherman — will stay forever.

“Left

Walt Disney believed that the songs were the things that people could take with them, long after they left the theater. No songs attach themselves to our synapses more than the Sherman tunes. We kid around sometimes about how some songs, like “it’s a small world” and “The Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room” are almost impossible to get out of one’s head, but there are far worse things to get stuck there (at least in my head, anyway)!

There are also Sherman songs that reach deep into the far reaches of our hearts and souls, like “Feed the Birds,” “Hushabye Mountain” and Robert’s personal favorite, “On the Front Porch.” Deceptively simple, yet immensely effective and affecting. As it is shown in the not-to-be-missed film, The Boys, Robert and Richard — though they had issues (just like any family members) — could capture lightning in a bottle in the form of miracles from musical molecules.

Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the song that ignited the Shermans’ Disney career: “Tall Paul.” Half a century of musical milestones and memories. As a fond nod to Robert, his brother Richard and beloved family, I’m going to pop in a DVD with a Sherman score, listen to one of their albums (I love “The Sherman Brothers Songbook”), relive a Disney Parks attraction featuring their music — and simply hum or sing. Walt was right, of course. Great songs are precious gems that you can carry around and enjoy anytime you wish.

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

31 Comments

1

Danielle from FL on March 6th, 2012 at 11:04 am

I was very saddened to hear of Mr. Robert Sherman’s passing. Their music is some of the best in the world and will forever be timeless. I adore their songbook CD and love listening to “On the Front Porch” at the end of a long day or when stuck in I-4 traffic.
On the bright side, one of “the boys” can now join Walt and keep him entertained up above us :-).

2

Arielle from NC on March 6th, 2012 at 11:05 am

What a wonderful musical legacy. I’ll be listening to “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” on repeat today!

3

Diana from NY on March 6th, 2012 at 11:06 am

A wonderfully simple yet poignant tribute, Greg. As I work from my desk at home, I’m listening to the Mary Poppins soundtrack in Robert’s honor. The contributions of Robert and his brother Richard will live on for generations.

4

Michael on March 6th, 2012 at 11:15 am

I grew up listening to the Sherman Brothers’ music and living in it through the attractions and films they so brilliantly scored. ‘The Boys’ was a wonderful film and provided great insight into their lives. A true legend is gone, Robert will be missed.

5

RITA on March 6th, 2012 at 1:20 pm

It’s always heart-breaking when we lose a talent that brought so much warmth and happiness to our hearts. Robert’s music; however, will live on forever and, thus, will always be remembered.

6

Jason on March 6th, 2012 at 1:27 pm

RIP Robert Sherman. If it weren’t for you, we would’ve never known how much sugar helps medicine go down, the proper word to use when we don’t have anything to say, nor how big our world is after all. Thank you for all your wonderful songs. My prayers are with Richard and the rest of the Sherman clan.

7

Trent from ON on March 6th, 2012 at 1:30 pm

My favorite Robert Sherman quote: “Walt Disney understood that a song is what people carry away with them. People can go to a Disney picture or park and be enchanted by it, but when they go home, the song is what they keep.”

8

Shelby on March 6th, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Absolutely heartbreaking loss…After watching “The Boys” I had really hoped that the brothers would make amends before one left us. They both have brought so much happiness with their contributions and I can’t help but smile when a song they wrote plays. He will be sorely missed.

9

Chris on March 6th, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Truly one of the most talented songwriters of our time. So many songs that will be sung for many generations to come. Thank you, Mr. Sherman. Thank you.

10

Ryan from West Midlands on March 6th, 2012 at 3:15 pm

“Feed the Birds” was Walt’s favourite song. And whenever the Sherman’s used to be in his office, he would say “play it” and they would.

11

Kyle on March 6th, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Rest in peace Mr. Robert Sherman. Your music is what made me fall in love with Disney when I was a kid. Your music will live forever in the Disney Parks and films.

12

Peter on March 6th, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Sometimes when people give tributes, show their appreciation, show their affection, or give thanks, they will say, “That Words are not enough”. Well, when speaking about Robert Sherman (and Richard), “Words are enough!” Their words told us a story, of two incredible people that have touched our lives, and that have given us such a special gift. The words of Robert Sherman will live with us forever, making us smile, singing along and reminding us of happy times and happy places. I do have my favorite songs, but all of them touch me in different ways. Robert Sherman will be missed, but never forgotten. I will have his songs with me forever, thank you Robert. God Bless and God’s speed.

13

Chris from CA on March 6th, 2012 at 4:09 pm

I have had the honor of meeting Richard Sherman a few times. I unfortunately I did not get to meet Robert. So many great songs that helped to define my life and bring great memories every time I hear them again. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins were a couple of my favorites, not to mention the pop songs and other movies and rides that they contributed to. So sorry to hear of his passing.

14

Sabrina on March 6th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Oh god no, this makes me so sad to hear…the Sherman Brothers wrote such wonderful music, so many tunes that bring up Disney memories…may he rest in peace.

15

Robert from FL on March 6th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

The Sherman Brothers taught me that it doesn’t take much to be kind. That’s the message they wanted to convey with “Feed the Birds”, and I try to always remember that message. I had the honor and privilege of meeting both Shermans (on separate occasions) and to watch Richard Sherman at last year’s Destination D event perform many of the songs he wrote with his brother – I can only imagine what is going through his mind right now. My thoughts are with the entire Sherman family during this difficult time.

16

Hope from CA on March 6th, 2012 at 6:13 pm

I was very sad to hear about Bob’s passing this morning. I know he wasn’t in the best of health lately so I know he’s in a better place and I bet he’s even entertaining Walt and all the other angels in heaven. :)

Thank you Bob and Richard for your incredible legacy. I can’t think of Disney without thinking of one of your songs. *hugs*

17

Eric on March 6th, 2012 at 6:30 pm

“The Boys” is definitely worth a rent (even though a bit depressing, for the above-mentioned reasons)–
Particularly as it mentions Bob Sherman’s contribution as lyricist: Bob had a more serious view and put more of the “philosophy” into the song, while Richard liked a good up-tune with the right wordplay.
Don’t think the Mary Poppins tunes would have stuck with us quite so much if the right messages hadn’t lurked somewhere underneath the songs.

18

Jessica on March 6th, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Music is something that is very important to my life, including the songs by the Sherman brothers. In today’s world, sometimes it is hard to find good, wholesome, music, but I am grateful for Robert and Richard Sherman and their happy and inspiring music. I was very sad to hear the news of Robert’s passing, but his legacy will continue to live on.

19

Catherine from CA on March 7th, 2012 at 12:57 am

I listened to the Disneyland Band play the Mary Poppins melody on Main Street and it had a very special meaning today. Thank you for brightening my childhood, Robert Sherman and condolences to his family.

20

James on March 7th, 2012 at 7:26 am

I was shocked and saddened to hear of Robert Sherman’s passing. I tried to think of all the great Disney songs that he and his brother, Richard composed, but there is just to many of them. He will be missed, but his music will live on forever in our hearts.

21

Sharon on March 7th, 2012 at 7:37 am

My favorite Sherman brothers songs are Chim Chim Cheree and Step In Time. Hushabye Mountain was actually covered by Roger Waters – music transcends so many borders. Thank you Bob and Richard, for such an amazing body of work.

22

Fred from MS on March 7th, 2012 at 10:41 am

Thank you, Walt… for giving us the Sherman brothers.
Thank you, Sherman brothers… for giving us your magical music.
Bob will be sadly missed.

23

Michelle on March 7th, 2012 at 11:39 am

Thank you for this nice tribute post. And I love the flowers by his window on Main Street, USA. My thoughts are with his brother Richard. I loved The Boys documentary. It made me sad but also truly impressed me with what they were able to do with music for Disney. And the way they spoke of Walt just brought tears to my eyes in that film. Rest in peace, Robert.

24

david on March 7th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Visit #112 (since 7-11-10) was yesterday and dedicated to riding Small World along with listening to the music play throughout the park. I tried to find the ‘Two Brothers Tunemaker’ window, but I believe it is hidden by the changes in progress.

There is so much which happens behind the scenes at all of the resorts, it is a wonder no one had ever sat down to write a book about the history of all the little things, like tulips on Main Street appearing overnight on March 1st, or the person that has been driving the Fire Engine on Main Street for nearly 40 years.

Looks like I may have just created a job for myself.

25

Jackie on March 7th, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Rest in peace Robert and my deepest sympathies to your family and friends. We are all so lucky that we are able to experience the talent and treasure of the Sherman brothers’ music. The parks and the movies would not have been the rich, wonderful experiences that they are today without their wonderful music. Blessings to your family and friends during this time.

26

Timothy from CA on March 7th, 2012 at 5:25 pm

In 2001, I was in a car accident and had my right arm in a cast for several months. At the time, I was a member of an online Sherman Brothers fan group that was run by one of Robert’s sons. While I was recovering, I posted about playing simplified Sherman Brothers songs on my piano with one hand, and what a joy that was. Imagine my surprise when I got a short email of encouragement from Robert Sherman himself! He wished me well and hoped for a speedy recovery.

It was so nice to get a little lift from one of my musical heroes. And that’s exactly the kind of thoughtful and generous man he was.

RIP Robert Sherman.

27

Virginia from NY on March 7th, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Oh, Robert, I will miss you so much. Thank you for all the wonderful memories you have given me and for the new ones the music of you and Richard help make every time I visit Walt Disney World. How wonderful that you and Walt can colaborate once again! Rest in Peace.

28

Lawrence on March 7th, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Mr.Sherman will be surely missed. Mr Sherman was a talent for Disney and he was also a talent for America. He joined the military at 17 years old and helped liberate Europe. He was shot in the knee and received the Purple Heart as well as medals of valor. He was a remarkable America Hero.

29

Nancy on March 7th, 2012 at 11:28 pm

A day does not pass that I don’t listen to the great songs that have made the Disney experience even more fun for me.

You will be missed! Thanks for the wonderful gift of music

30

Dean on March 8th, 2012 at 7:43 pm

“The Sherman Brothers Songbook” was great, but will Disney PLEASE release ALL of their Disney film songs?

31

Dean on March 11th, 2012 at 11:46 pm

You will be sorely missed. You have changed the lives of everyone even though they may not know it. Who HASN’T heard one of the Sherman Brother’s songs?

31 Comments