It’s A Small World was released on the Kid Stuff Records label in 1978 and given the designation of KS009. With the excitement at finding the Star Wars album by Kid Stuff Records last week – my hopes were dashed pretty quickly when I searched online to share it with you. At the very least I was able to locate the album artwork for It’s A Small World and unlike the previous entries where it was Bill Gow who provided the artwork – this go around we have Dave Nicholson. Which in typical fashion with these articles about the records released by Kid Stuff… that is absolutely all we have to share. Before we heard the theme for Star Wars covered by the Kid Stuff Repertory Company I would have said I highly doubt that Disney would allow another company to sing a song they held the rights to. But considering the last track of the album is a reprise of It’s A Small World I can only assume it’s an actual cover of the Sherman Brothers 1964 hit song.
Thanks to that album artwork for It’s A Small World we also have the track listing for the album itself:
- It’s A Small World
- Cuckoo’s Spring Song
- Kum Bachur Atzel
- The Crawdad Song
- Dona Nobis Pacem
- It’s A Small World (reprise)
While I certainly didn’t have the chance to listen to this album when released in 1978, like a few of these folk song collections and in this case tunes from around the World there were some I had never heard of. For example, when I looked up Sulirum – I was surprised to find out that it was a song recorded by Miriam Makeba aka Mama Africa back in 1960 – she decided to do the song after hearing it from people of Indonesian descent.
Apparently Pete Seeger of <em>The Weavers</em> was taught a version of this tune all the way back in 1949, when he was living in New York City he became acquainted with an Indonesian youth. Actually the folk group known as The Weavers released a cover of the song in 1957. This album is also the first time I’ve heard of the Cuckoo’s Spring Song which appears to be a variation on a VERY old English song that has gone by various titles like The Cuckoo Is A Pretty Bird, The Coo-Coo, The Evening Meeting, as well as Going To Georgia. For your listening pleasure enjoy this Appalachian version of the tune, performed by Clarence “Tom” Ashley!
As for the remaining songs Shoo-Fly was originally known as Shoo, Fly, Don’t Bother Me! that is believed to have been written in 1869 by T. Brigham Bishop. Kum Bachur Atzel is an Israeli song that is about trying to get a lazy or sleepy boy up from bed. There was also the Japanese song concerning the spring entitled Sakura and The Crawdad Song is thought to have gotten it’s start around the time of the Civil War. Dona Nobis Pacem is latin and when translated means “Grant us Peace” and was introduced into the Mass by Pope Sergius in 687. Although thanks to Wikipedia I learned that it was used in everything from a cantata by Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1936 to Bobby Darin’s The 25th Day of December album in 1960 and even Ladysmith Black Mambazo included it in their 2006 album No Boundaries.
For what it might be worth, I was lucky enough to make a bid on a copy of Kid Stuff Records It’s A Small World – if I win I’ll try to share what else I learn about it.