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"Chim Chim Cher-ee" is a song from Mary Poppins, the 1964 musical motion picture. It was originally sung by Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews. "Chim Chim Cher-ee" is also featured prominently in the award winning Cameron Mackintosh/Disney stage musical of the same name which premiered in London at the Prince Edward Theatre in 2004. Mary Poppins premiered on the Broadway stage on November 16, 2006. The song can be heard in the Mary Poppins scene of The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios and during the Mary Poppins segment of Magical: Disney's New Nighttime Spectacular of Magical Celebrations at Disneyland.
The song won the 1964 Academy Award for Best Original Song. In 2005, Julie Andrews included this song as part of "Julie Andrews Selects Her Favorite Disney Songs."
The song was written in by Robert B. Sherman & Richard M. Sherman (the "Sherman Brothers") who also won an Oscar and a Grammy Award for Mary Poppins' song score.
The song was inspired by one of the drawings of a chimney sweep created by Mary Poppins' screenwriter, Don DaGradi. When asked about the drawing by the Sherman Brothers, DaGradi explained the ancient British folklore attributed to "sweeps" and how shaking hands with one could bring a person good luck. In their 1961 treatment, the Sherman Brothers had already amalgamated many of the P.L. Travers characters in the creation of "Bert". His theme music became "Chim Chim Cher-ee". In addition to the "standard" version of the song which Bert sings to the children, he sings short snippets of the song to himself at various times, with different verses specific to an unfolding plot element.
The song was parodied by song parodist Allan Sherman (no relation to the Sherman Brothers), using the song's same title. In his version, he poked fun at the American merchandise seen on TV commercials.
Supporters of English football teams, Millwall, West Bromwich Albion and Blackburn Rovers, sing a version of the song which is a reference to each teams local rivals, West Ham, Aston Villa and Burnley, who all wear claret and blue shirts.
Further reading