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Filmotomy Christmas Advent Calendar 2018 – Day 24

Spare a Thought for Others at Christmas


Mary Poppins is a Christmas film by definition of sitting and watching it around the holidays. Both as a child growing up, and an adult, still kind of growing up. I can’t count the times. Like how Star Wars or Superman would be on TV every single year. Or it seemed that way.

Even when we think about Mary Poppins, though, regardless of the time of year, we think about wonder and magic, comfort and warmth. The movie also opens your thoughts to the less fortunate, to class systems and values, there’s a very real melancholy you can just about touch. The cliché that a film can stay with you through your life is correctly used here.

I tend to listen to the timeless music and the songs by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman whenever I feel the urge. And felt a few days into December I ought to give my ears and heart a treat. I wouldn’t say I have a favorite, but one particular piece lingers with me a lot, here, there, sometimes seemingly everywhere.


Before you start guessing, it is not “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” or “Chim Chim Cher-ee”. And nor do I want to be in the habit of informing my two very young children, no matter how good Mary Poppins’ intentions are, that “A Spoonful of Sugar” will help the medicine go down. In fact, scratch that, maybe I should just let the children decide for themselves.

Both “I Love to Laugh” and “Fidelity Fiduciary Bank” provide pretty decent notions for the impressionable minds. And “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” is just a crescendo of liberty and joy. Not that I’ve ever flown a kite with such euphoria. Honestly. That’s just what the movie Mary Poppins tells me.

No, for me, “Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag)” may be my comfort zone from the memorable motion picture. A beautiful song in its own right, with an important message. There are those that need us, too. Love, kindness, birdseed.

But the orchestral break-off after the first two verses is a highly emotive piece of music. It defines Mary Poppins the film, just those few seconds can play over and over in my head on repeat, fitting any of my varied moods. Gets me every single time.

Andrew Dufresne was right about the music, they can’t take that from you.

Merry Christmas.

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