Learning from: Mary Poppins

I’ve been keeping an eye out for a range of texts (‘literary’ and ‘pop culture’) that I can use in lessons with preservice English teachers.  I’m looking for things that are interesting texts in their own right, as well as can shed some light on an important aspect of secondary education or English curriculum.

My find for today is: Mary Poppins (1964)

In every job that must be done
There is an element of fun –
you find the fun and snap!
The job’s a game!

An uplifting message and one which bears a clear connection to Games Based Learning.

There are certainly conflicting discourses in the song though – I’d love to take an extract from 1984 to compare and contrast here, the one where Orwell describes how the proles are kept in line through pop music and the lottery…

‘a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down’ (eek!?)

Another one of my favourite songs from the movie (and no, I’m not generally a fan of musicals) and another that I think bears exploration is the Chiminey Sweep song.  I’ll let you do your own reading of that one!

Chim chiminey
Chim chiminey
Chim chim cher-oo!
Good luck will rub off when
I shake ‘ands with you
Or blow me a kiss
And that’s lucky too

Now as the ladder of life
‘As been strung
You may think a sweep’s
On the bottommost rung

Though I spends me time
In the ashes and smoke
In this ‘ole wide world
There’s no ‘appier bloke

Up where the smoke is
All billered and curled
‘Tween pavement and stars
Is the chimney sweep world

When the’s ‘ardly no day
Nor ‘ardly no night
There’s things ‘alf in shadow
And ‘alf way in light
On the roof tops of London
Coo, what a sight!

I choose me bristles with pride
Yes, I do
A broom for the shaft
And a broom for the flume

Though I’m covered with soot
From me ‘ead to me toes
A sweep knows ‘e’s welcome
Wherever ‘e goes

Chim chiminey
Chim chiminey
Chim chim cher-ee!
When you’re with a sweep
You’re in glad company…

, ,

  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: