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This article is about the theme song. For the Disney Park ride of the same name, see It's a Small World.

"It's a Small World" is the theme song of the attraction of the same name. It was written by the Sherman Brothers in 1963. A cover version is performed by Baha Men for the Around the World in 80 Days soundtrack.

History

"Children of the World" was the working title of the attraction Walt Disney only called "the happiest cruise that ever sailed" (and never "It's a Small World"). The attraction's tentative soundtrack design featured each national anthem, playing all at once, which resulted in a cacophonous noise. Walt demonstrated the miniature mock-up to his staff songwriters Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman. As he and the Sherman Brothers walked through Walt said, "I need one song." A single song for the attraction which could be easily translated into many different languages and which could be played in round. The Sherman Brothers wrote "it's a small world (after all)" in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which influenced the song's message. They first presented "it's a small world (after all)" to Walt by singing in counterpoint while walking through the mock-up. In the spirit of international unity, "it's a small world (after all)" was sung and recorded in various studios around the world - by a church choir in London, TV performers in Mexico City, a school chorus in Rome, and by local children from Tokyo and California.

It is argued that this song is the single most performed and most widely translated song on earth. The song tune and lyrics are the only Disney creations never to be copyrighted, as UNICEF requested, and can be heard worldwide on musical devices ranging from keyboard demos to ice cream trucks, it remains "a gift to the children of the world."

The song being considered annoying by people is referenced in The Lion King. When Scar assumed the throne of Pride Rock, he took Zazu as his prisoner and made him sing songs to him, preferably those with a little "bounce" to it, prompting Zazu to start singing "It's a Small World", only to be immediately cut off by Scar, who clearly despised the song. Also, in the Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama, Dr. Drakken is shown using a torture chamber, where a man is trapped in a room with singing dolls performing this song.

The song was also performed on The Muppet Show in the Spike Milligan episode, paying tribute to the Muppets' favorite country: Disneyland. The set mimics the Mary Blair-designed sets of the ride and characters that are singing the song bob up and down in a manner similar to that of the ride's animatronic figures.

The song can also be heard in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep in Disney Castle, as well as in Epic Mickey and Kinect Disneyland Adventures. In Disney Universe, after completing all of the worlds, HEX sings a rock version of this song. In the Disney INFINITY series, the song plays when the "Skies of the World" power disc is used.

A modified version of the song appears on the Disney's Sing-Along Songs video Flik's Musical Adventure from Disney's Animal Kingdom as "It's a Bug's World".

The song, and attraction, are parodied in the My Life as a Teenage Robot episode "The Wonderful World of Wizzly", which beautifully depicts a spoof of Walt Disney World itself. The parodied attraction is called "The World Ain't So Big", which Brad calls a "kiddie ride". After the attraction finishes, Jenny is appalled by the way that park's Cast Members are forcing the robots to do work.

Fan 3 covered "It's a Small World" on Disneymania 3. Baha Men previously sang "It's a Small World" on Disneymania 2, and the end credits of Around the World in 80 Days. The song is also featured on "We Love Disney". "It's a Small World" has been used at Disney On Ice as well. In Ant-Man, Luis can be heard whistling it while undercover.

Lyrics

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

It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small, small world

There is just one moon and one golden sun
And a smile means friendship to everyone
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It's a small world after all

It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small, small world

It's a world of wonder, a world of worth
And in years to come we'll know peace on earth
We will open our eyes
And we'll all realize
It's a small world after all

It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small, small world

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