Imagine all the songs that spin around your head all day.  Do you sing as you drive to work?  Go for a walk?  Think of the catchiest lyrics that have stuck with you since you were a kid.  Do you remember these clever phrases?

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears, it’s a world of hopes and a world of fears. There’s so much that we share that it’s time we’re aware it’s a small world after all.

Anyone who has waited for an hour at Disney World to ride the “It’s a Small World” ride has those lyrics forever etched in their brain.  What about this:

The wonderful thing about Tiggers is Tiggers are wonderful things.  Their tops are made out of rubber.  Their bottoms are made out of springs. They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN!  But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is I’m the only one.

These lyrics are perfect for getting something done quickly, by trying to sing these lyrics as fast as you can, like Tigger did (you know, the tiger-y fellow from Winnie the Pooh).

And sometimes these songs stumbling through your day give you good advice.  Such as:

A spoonful of sugar goes a long, long way.  ‘ave yourself a ‘ealthy ‘elpin’ ev’ry day.

Any idea where I am going with this?  Some more lyrics may help.  Here are some words to get you moving in your day:

A robin feathering his nest has very little time to rest while gathering his bits of twine and twig. Though quite intent in his pursuit, he has a merry tune to toot.  He knows a song will move the job along.

Hey, that’s from a movie, right?  Can’t. Quite. Place. It.  Some more lyrics from that movie:

Up where the smoke is all billered and curled ‘tween pavement and stars is the chimney sweep world.  When the’s ‘ardly no day nor ‘ardly no night, there’s things ‘alf in shadow and ‘alf way in light.  On the roof tops of London… Coo, what a sight!

and

Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey, chim chim cher-ee!  A sweep is as lucky, as lucky can be.  Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey chim chim cher-oo!  Good luck will rub off when I shakes ‘ands with you.  

And then it all comes together with a word that’s not really a word and yet we all know it really should be a word:

Because I was afraid to speak when I was just a lad, my father gave me nose a tweak and told me I was bad.  But then one day I learned a word that saved me aching nose, the biggest word I ever heard and this is how it goes…

C’mon, you know it, right?  It’s Mary Poppins, of course.  And the word:

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

But these aren’t the only songs repeating through your head as you vacuum and mow the lawn.  How about:

Hup 2, 3, 4, keep it up 2, 3, 4. Company sound off! Oh, the aim of our patrol is a question rather droll.  For to march and drill over field and hill is a military goal! [insert elephant trumpeting here]

Maybe you need the music for that one. Think of elephants marching through the forest, a bear named Baloo and a kid named Mowgli and monkeys.  Including:

You hoo hoo. I wanna be like you hoo hoo.  I wanna walk like you.  Talk like you.  Too hoo hoo.

Sure, some songs require context, like maybe:

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, we love you. And, in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Chitty Chitty Bang Bang what we’ll do. Near, far, in our motor car, oh, what a happy time we’ll spend. Bang Bang Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, our fine four fendered friend. 

The original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from the movie of the same name based on James Bond creator Ian Fleming's book, was at auction last year at Profiles in History.

Imagine these songs rummaging around in your gray matter and then you find out all of those songs have something in common–they all came from the same place.  The songs were all written by Robert and Richard Sherman.  One-half of the songwriting team, Robert, passed away last week at the age of 86.

All in, the duo wrote songs for all these movies: Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Absent-Minded Professor, Parent Trap, In Search of the Castaways, The Sword in the Stone, That Darn Cat!, Winnie the Pooh, The AristoCats, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Snoopy Come Home, Charlotte’s Web, Tom Sawyer, American Graffiti (“You’re Sixteen”), Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and The Magic of Lassie, and more songs for other venues like TV shows and amusement parks.

The sheer volume of their musical catalog and the fact that most of it is catchy and easy to hum…  Seems like a pretty impressive life’s work!  I grew up with a compilation LP of their songs as well as the soundtrack to The Jungle Book.  All of their music is readily available on CD, download, etc.  Nearly all of their famous songs are available on one disc, The Sherman Brothers Songbook and snippets of each song can be heard and full versions downloaded at Amazon.com here.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

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