Choral Stream Stories

Disneyland Boys Choir's 'It's a Small World' selected as a landmark recording

The Disneyland Boys Choir's recording of "It's a Small World" is among 25 landmark recordings selected recently by the Library of Congress for preservation. Disneyland Records

April 21, 2022

Every year, the Library of Congress selects noteworthy recordings that reflect “the unforgettable sounds of the nation’s history and culture” to add to the National Recording Registry for preservation. The Class of 2022 includes expected entries by musical heavyweights such as Queen, Nat King Cole and Alicia Keys. But it also includes a pleasant surprise in the form of a timeless choral performance: the Disneyland Boys Choir's 1964 recording of "It's a Small World."

In recognizing the song, the Library of Congress said:

Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman's song "It's a Small World" was first heard at a pavilion at the 1964-1965 World's Fair in New York.  There, guides costumed as Disney characters helped visitors into small boats that took them through tunnels adorned with brightly-colored puppets representing children from around the world, who cheerfully sang it to them. Today, the same experience can be had at Disneyland in California, where the ride was moved and reconstructed after the fair closed at the end of its second season in October 1965. Since then, the song has been heard daily ever since, as well as at other Disney theme parks, making it one of the most widely heard and remembered songs of all time. The motto of the 1964-65 World’s Fair was “Peace, Through Understanding,” but, day by day in the middle of the 1960s, there seemed to be less and less of that in the world. Still, the ride and the song became two of the most hopeful things about the fair, and it has endured. During the fair’s first season, the song was only available on a 7-inch disc at the fair itself but was later distributed to stores between the fair’s two seasons and eventually became part of an album of the same name.

Here is that album. “It’s a Small World” starts the program, which continues with charming folk songs from around the world — all sung by the Disneyland Boys Choir. Listen now, and enjoy this musical trip down Memory Lane.