Thursday, April 10, 2014

it's a small world after all

"It's a small world" (Disney does not capitalize the ride's name) premiered at the World's Fair in April of 1964.  Nearly ten years later, in December of 1973, I visited Disneyland for the first time, and experienced for myself small world's journey around the world.  I don't vividly remember much about that vacation, but I do recall the anticipation and excitement of riding "it's a small world."  I also remember my mom really enjoyed the attraction.  She might have even gotten teary-eyed.



Fast forward to today.  John and I (with youngest daughter) took part in the 50th anniversary celebration of "it's a small world."  First, we rode the ride.

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At 1:00, we had the privilege to listen to Richard Sherman who, along with his brother, composed and wrote that iconic song.  Mr. Sherman answered questions, including: "What comes first, the music or the lyrics?"  He responded that songs have three components: music, lyrics, and idea/concept.  Before either music or lyrics, the songwriter needs to know what the purpose of the song is.  What is the inspiration for the song?  The message behind "It's a Small World" is, of course, peace.  Mr. Sherman talked about the importance of the words, "after all."  Despite differences and difficulties, we are so similar. 




After the question and answer session, Mr. Sherman played "Feed the Birds" from Mary Poppins.  I'm not skilled at video editing (read: "I have no idea what I'm doing!"), so I don't know how to eliminate the background noise, but hopefully you'll enjoy this clip:


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Just after 2:00 this afternoon, a band marched up Main Street, playing "It's a Small World."  Mr. Sherman and his wife followed in a Disneyland fire truck.  Everyone, led by Mr. Sherman, sang along, and followed him down Main Street.  Unfortunately, my video stopped before the singing did, but here is a 29-second glimpse of the experience:

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Thanks for talented composers and song-writers, and for peaceful people everywhere.

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4 comments:

  1. My family has a deep-seeded dislike for that ride. The women in my family have a way of always getting stuck on it. It started with my grandma, back before I was born. She was stuck on that ride for over an hour, with the song playing the whole time. She swore she would never get on it again. When she came with us to Disney, we kids talked her into riding. We got stuck for a good long time. And when I've taken my own kids, stuck again.
    While the song can be lovely when sung once or twice, it gets awfully annoying when played for an hour. Of course, many songs would.
    Having said that, I probably would have gotten teary if I were at that parade. :)

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  2. Creative genius always amazes me!

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  3. They talked about this on the channel 7 news this week and I have had the song stuck in my head ever since! Glad you got to go -- great weather!

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  4. What a treat to see the an iconic Disney songwriter! I too have mixed feelings about the ride. I loved it as a child. My mom took us to Disney every year & yes, we rode it each time. When I was high school aged, my sister & I got stuck on the ride and to this day she "hates" me for getting the song in her head!

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!