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“He came in the next day all glassy-eyed,” Richard Sherman recalled. The final lyric would become world famous when it emerged from the lips of Julie Andrews: “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”

Another of their songs _ “It’s a Small World (After All)” _ has become one of the most translated and performed songs on the planet. It plays on a continual, multilingual loop every few minutes at Disney theme parks across the world _ a fact that Disney employees are only too well aware of.

“We’ve driven teenagers crazy in every language,” quipped Robert Sherman.

Away from the piano, the two raised families and pursued their own interests, yet still lived close to each other in Beverly Hills and continued working together well into their 70s. When “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” came to Broadway in 2005, they added new lyrics and four new songs.

Robert Sherman moved to Britain in 2002 after the death of his wife Joyce. He is survived by his brother and four children: Laurie, Jeffrey, Andrea and Robert.

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Kennedy reported from New York.