Robert B. Sherman, 1925-2012

The man who, along with his brother Richard M. Sherman, wrote some memorable songs for many musicals such as Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks died yesterday.

Here is a song they wrote for Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book (1967), a film that captivated me when I first saw it and remains one of my all-time favorites.

It is interesting that the ape King Louie and the boy Mowgli call each other cousins, which is absolutely correct in terms of evolution. I had not noticed this until I watched it again today. I was not aware of any controversy over this when the film was originally released. Of course, those were different times. Young Earth creationism and anti-evolution ideas began their resurgence in the US with the publication in 1961 of The Genesis Flood by John C. Whitcomb and Henry M. Morris and Evolution? The Fossils Say No! by Duane T. Gish but it took awhile for them to achieve a full head of steam

If the film had been made today, I suspect that the cousins idea would have been omitted, for fear of charges of trying to ‘brainwash’ children with evolutionary ideas and for also risking losing the audience of religious nutters.

As a bonus, here is another scene from the same film that includes another song by the Sherman brothers.


  1. ash says

    Have you seen the documentary on the sherman brothers? “The Boys”? It’s amazing how pervasive and prolific they were. Pretty much ALL of the Disney songs from Mary Poppins on through the early 80’s were by them. What a career!

  2. Joshua says

    Dear Robert, I’m Josh Bradley. I loved loved loved yours and Richard’s music. I was a huge fan of Mary Poppins and the Jungle Book as a child and on the Jungle Book CD, I listen to the interview you and Richard did on January 5 1990. It’s unfair that had to die because I admired you. Well, goodbye Robert B Sherman. In Heaven, may the force be with you, always. Joshua Bradley

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