Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mary Poppins and the Suffragettes

Mrs. Banks suffragette!
I have loved Mary Poppins since I was little. Since I am approximately as old as this film, I did not watch it often as a child as there were no VCRs and it was only rarely on TV (I had a Mary Poppins book with lots of pictures however). It was when my eldest son was about 2 or 3 years old that we watched this a lot! He used to dance around pretending to be a chimney sweep. Sooooooo cute.  He is now in university, but would still likely watch this with me when he comes home.  I will have to try that.  Right now I have him addicted to Jeeves and Wooster. That's my boy!

Lets go fly a kite...
He used to sing all the songs too, although with slightly different lyrics.  For example:

"Let's go fly a kite and send it snoring!!!"

"Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go the microwave!!!!"

His father (as a child of course) thought it was "Feed the birds...toughens the bag!!!"

Feed the birds...tuppence a bag!

Anyone else with funny mistaken lyrics from Mary Poppins, please comment below.  I love these and will likely snort my tea through my nose if you have any good ones.  Anyway, I will not review this film.  It's wonderful, and if you haven't watched it for a while, you will really enjoy it.

The reason I got thinking about Mary Poppins and Mrs. Banks was because I came across an old film clip on You Tube which shows a riot at Trafalgar Square in London in 1913 where they actually show Miss Sylvia Pankhurst (the more radical daughter of Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst) being hauled away by police. So the lyrics of the Sister Suffragettes song rather hit home when you actually see Miss Pankhurst being "clapped in irons again".

Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst (she doesn't look militant, does she?)

I am what I would consider a feminist, and I really enjoyed Lady Sybil on Downton Abbey.  I can see her joining in with Mrs. Pankhurst and the suffragettes next season, although they got much less militant during the war (less throwing stones at 10 Downing Street) and put their effort behind the war on the home-front instead.  Mrs. Pankhurst also concerned herself with children's welfare, starting an adoption home yet was criticized for helping mothers of children born out of wedlock. She even adopted 4 orphaned children at the age of 57.  What a woman!

Now that you have watched that, you may enjoy the Disney version. Part of me has mixed feelings about the message Disney is trying to give...that Mrs. Banks should spend more time with her children and not be out campaigning with the suffragettes. However, the message was also leveled at Mr. Banks, so one would assume that the message for both was just to spend more time with the children, not to stop going to work or stop demonstrating in the streets altogether.

My favourite line, bar none, has to be:

"Though we adore men individually, We agree that as a group they're rather stupid!"



  1. Mary Poppins is the dividing line between my childhood and growing up and going to h.s. It was the last movie I saw through the eyes of a kid.

  2. What a great age to see this for the first time. You must have vivid memories of it.

    I can't get that song out of my head now, and my husband is starting to take offense at my singing the line "Though we adore men individually..."

    But we do agree that "As a group they're rather...". Don't we ladies??? Help me out here!

  3. Absolutely! Now I have the lyrics running through my mind. Having been a child in the early days of VHS, I watched this movie thousands of times and know all the songs by heart. Still "sing[ing] in grateful chorus" - I'm off to annoy my husband too!




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