Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Spoonful Of Sugar: Mary Poppins



This is a clip of A Spoonful Of Sugar, from the film, Mary Poppins (1964), a Walt Disney production. The musical score is by the Sherman Brothers, who have written more film scores than anybody else.

The film, which stars Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins), Dick Van Dyke (Bert), David Tomlinson (Mr. Banks) and Glynis Johns (Mrs Banks)  is fabulous and worth seeing again. I remember not only seeing it a couple of years after it originally came out (I believe that I was eight and in Grade 3), but also listening to the many songs that the film contained, this one included, in school under the tutelage of a wonderfully inspirational  teacher.

Undoubtedly, as I could not understand then,  I had a wonderful elementary school education, which said that imagination and fun were as important as math and reading. That is one of the things that makes this movie so great and endearing so many decades later—its magical qualities. This contrasts with the hard world of fact-based materialism that many wrongly assume as reasonable and scientific.

To be sure, there is much to recommend this film: the music, the dancing and the storyline. Briefly stated, Mary Poppins, a magic nanny, comes to work for a cold banker's unhappy family. And in the process, everyone is changed for the better. The movie works at multiple levels, for children and for adults—its messages cleverly placed in the storyline and in the music.

As one reviewer put it:
The movie combines a diverting story, songs, color and sequences of live action blended with the movements of animated figures. Mary Poppins is a kind of Super-nanny who flies in with her umbrella in response to the request of the Banks children and proceeds to put things right with the aid of her rather extraordinary magical powers before flying off again.  
—Written by alfiehitchie  

And if you think about, sugar or sweetness helps make a difficult experience so much more palatable. It's a lesson in humility and in humanity for us all.

A Spoonful of Sugar
[Spoken]
In ev'ry job that must be done
There is an element of fun
You find the fun and snap!
The job's a game

[Sung]
And ev'ry task you undertake
Becomes a piece of cake
A lark! A spree! It's very clear to see that

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
The medicine go down-wown
The medicine go down
Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
In a most delightful way

A robin feathering his nest
Has very little time to rest
While gathering his bits of twine and twig
Though quite intent in his pursuit
He has a merry tune to toot
He knows a song will move the job along - for

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
The medicine go down-wown
The medicine go down
Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
In a most delightful way

[Interlude]

The honey bee that fetch the nectar
From the flowers to the comb
Never tire of ever buzzing to and fro
Because they take a little nip
From ev'ry flower that they sip
And hence (And hence),
They find (They find)
Their task is not a grind.

Ah-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h ah!

A Spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
The medicine go down-wown
The medicine go down
Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
In a most delightful way

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