(USA Today) -- The song that may well be the planet's most invasive earworm is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week and its Disney creators are inviting everyone to sing along.
Curmudgeon-y sorts who subscribe to the its-a-vast-and-perplexing-world view might want to cover their ears. But those who find heartwarming the notion that it is a small world after all, will want to make a beeline for the nearest Disney park Thursday, when hundreds break into that relentlessly perky refrain (feel free to hum along) It's a Small World.
Also in tribute to the song is what Disney is calling the first-of-its-kind online global sing-along. Fans can record videos of themselves singing the catchy tune at SmallWorld50.com, where many truly painful renditions in multiple languages already are playing.
You also can create virtual small-world dolls on the site to benefit UNICEF, the United Nation's Children's Fund. Disney will donate $1 (to up to $100,000) for each video and doll created on the site.
The It's a Small World ride debuted at the 1964 New York World's Fair in a salute to UNICEF. It moved to Disneyland Resort in California in 1966 and was expanded into a major attraction featuring animatronic dolls singing and spinning as spectators float past them in small boats. Since then, a version of the ride has been installed in all five Disney theme parks, where the song plays an estimated 1,200 times a day.
Hmmm, hmm hmm hmm hmmm hmmm, hmmmmm … We defy you to evict that earworm from your brain.