As many of you were, I was very sad to hear about the passing of Robert Sherman yesterday morning. I couldn’t believe that a year before, my dad and I were dancing to one of his biggest hits at my wedding – “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow”. Funnily enough, I never used to like the song. On many evenings after a long day of working at The Disney Store, I remember one of my coworkers would always start singing it as we picked up and restocked the store. I knew if she even started humming the melody, it would be stuck in my head for days. Just like it would be when we went on the Carousel of Progress on one of our family vacations. No fail.
Somewhere down the line, the song grew on me and became sort of a family anthem. Now, I can’t get enough of it.
You can only imagine how I felt when I discovered the Sherman brothers were responsible for writing some of my favorite songs in Mary Poppins. (“What?! But I love those!”) This was a VHS tape that my sister and I would wear out on long car rides to the shore, or during our yearly pilgrimages to Florida from New Jersey. It was always one of those films that we could just pick up no matter where we stopped it the last time. (I also loved the “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” scene in a Sing-a-Long VHS we owned. I didn’t see Mary Poppins for many years after that.)
Back then my own experience with “musicals” were limited to Disney animated films and Mary Poppins (people + penguins = perfection). I loved how the songs could help tell a story. I loved how I could remember the words and sing right along to the tape. (Don’t worry. My music teacher used to say I had a good voice back in the day. I wouldn’t dare do this now… with company.) It’s interesting to think that watching Mary Poppins over and over and over could have all been a foundation for my grown up love of all things Broadway and theater.
So I guess this is just my way of saying thanks to Robert Sherman for being a part of some of my most vivid Disney World memories, and most importantly, making the mundane so special.
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