Let's Go Fly a Kite
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"Let's Go Fly a Kite" is a song from Walt Disney's film Mary Poppins, composed by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. This song is heard at the end of the film when George Banks (played by David Tomlinson), realizes that his family is more important than his job. He mends his son's kite and takes his family on a kite-flying outing. The song is sung by Tomlinson, Dick Van Dyke and eventually the entire chorus.
In keeping with Mr. Banks' change in character, this song was pre-recorded, and thus sung normally, by Tomlinson, rather than in his previous talk-singing in the Rex Harrison style, seen earlier in "The Life I Lead."
Although the notion of Mary Poppins gliding down a kite is mentioned incidentally in one of the P.L. Travers books, the metaphor of the mended kite (being a symbol of the mended Banks family) is taken from the 1961 Sherman Brothers screenplay treatment. The song was inspired by the Sherman Brothers' father, Al Sherman, who besides being a well-known songwriter in his day was also an amateur kite maker, who made kites for neighborhood children as a weekend hobby.
The song was originally written in 4/4 or common time, but Walt Disney felt it was too much like the ending of a Broadway show and wanted a song that was more "breezy", like a waltz. The song was recrafted into a 3/4 waltz-like arrangement.
The song appears in the stage musical version as well, but closer to the middle of the show and not at the show's end. In this version, the scene recreates what happens in the beginning of the second book when Mary Poppins came back on the string of Michael's kite.
It is often rumored that Walt Disney had asked his songwriters to write a song about a kite because of his two daughters. Both of his daughters are members of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and their symbol is a kite. The song "Let's Go Fly a Kite" is sometimes believed to be dedicated to Kappa Alpha Theta. This has been debunked by multiple sources.
- Sherman, Robert B. Walt's Time: from before to beyond. Santa Clarita: Camphor Tree Publishers, 1998.