Lets Go Fly A Kite

The Mary Poppins Song - Revisited!

Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke sang 'Lets Go Fly a Kite' in the classic 'Mary Poppins' movie, which first screened in 1964. I can remember being taken to see the movie, as a young teenager I think.

'Lets go fly a kite' - boy flying a small Sode.

About all I can remember is asking Dad which part of England Dick Van Dyke's accent came from. Dad's reply?

'A bit of everything, I think!'

So it was a fake Pommy accent - my Dad's the real deal. Anyway, we're getting off topic here...

Try this Rainbow Sparkler Delta Kite on Amazon if you really want to get into the spirit of this page.

After coming across these lyrics to the song, I thought it would be interesting to put an MBK spin on them! My notes are in light blue, below.


Mr. Banks:
With tuppence for paper and strings
Cheap even by MBK Skewer-kite standards, which range in cost from 8 cents to 77 cents according to a few calculations I did some years ago!
You can have your own set of wings
Well, so can you, with one of the MBK Delta kites... Actually the Doperos look somewhat aircraft-like in flight too.
With your feet on the ground
The only way I recommend flying a kite. Yeah, I know about kite-surfing, but you could get wet doing that ;-)
You're a bird in a flight
True. The sensations of flight are indeed transmitted down the string somehow. Hang-glider pilots or paraglider pilots sometimes enjoy flying kites too. As does your's truly, an old ex glider pilot. There's still something in common. People who like flying also like things that fly, in just about any shape or form.
With your fist holding tight
Unless the kite has more than a square meter or 2 of sail area, you don't actually have to grip that tightly. However, it does rhyme with the next line...
To the string of your kite
Maybe they used a ball of hemp string back in the 60s, but braided Dacron (polyester) is the way to go now, for single-line kites. Mind you, it's very common to refer to the kite's flying line as the 'string', whatever it's made of.

Oh, oh, oh!
The refrain...
Lets go fly a kite
By all means, let's go...
Up to the highest height!
BUT no higher than 100 meters (330 feet) above ground in Australia, 60 meters in the U.K., 150 meters in Europe and 500 feet in the U.S., or the Altitude Police (Civil Aviation Authorities) will GET you. Unless you have special dispensation, months in advance. It's just wrong.
Lets go fly a kite and send it soaring
Heck yeah, thermaling up to the legal limit is a blast with a decent light-wind kite. For example, the 2-Skewer Dopero or the Dowel Rokkaku! Soaring on warm rising air is a great aspect of single-line kite flying.
Up through the atmosphere
Well yes, up to the afore-mentioned limits....
Up where the air is clear
Definitely! If cloud-base is lower than your kite, and you can hear thunder, perhaps you shouldn't be flying. A wet string is basically a lightning-rod looking for some lightning. ZAP. Fried kite pilot.
Oh, lets go fly a kite!
Every day if possible. If the wife will let you...

When you send it flyin' up there
All at once you're lighter than air
Mmmm I believe some kite fishermen employ helium balloons when the wind is too light, to keep their fishing kites up. But the song is referring to your mood, when watching a kite do its thing, high up. It certainly is relaxing, even therapeutic.
You can dance on the breeze
Again, the song-writer is making a connection between your mood and the kite's flight.
Over 'ouses and trees
I've come unstuck once or twice, over 'ouses and trees! Even if the kite has a reliable flying history, you just never know... The wind might suddenly die, it might suddenly get too strong for the kite. Flying over 'ouses and trees calls for constant monitoring of the kite, from my experience!
With your first 'olding tight
What? Has the wind picked up?
To the string of your kite
...or the winder or reel.

Oh, oh, oh!
Here comes that refrain again...
Lets go fly a kite
Up to the highest height!
Lets go fly a kite and send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Let's go fly a kite!
Absolutely. As often and as high as possible.

Credits (for song lyrics only):

Songwriters: Robert Sherman, Richard Sherman


Echoing the sentiments of the song, here's my boy Aren flying our original 2-Skewer Rokkaku kite...

The video below shows our light-wind Dowel Diamond in flight...

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What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Dowel Barn Door Rides Inland Gusts

    Sep 17, 14 06:33 AM

    Well, it was the same reserve and a similar time of day. A bit closer to sun-down perhaps. Only the kite was different - the Dowel Barn Door kite this time, chosen to suit the 'gentle' strength wind gusts of between 15 and 20 kph.

    The first flight went well, with the kite soaring straight up on around 45 meters (150 feet) of line. The late afternoon sun glinting off the panels as the kite moved about at steep line angles. In the gusts and lulls, the kite had a tendency to pull to the right at times.

    As I was taking the kite down to do a bridle adjustment, the main problem became apparent. The horizontal spar had pushed through the tip-tape on the right corner of the sail, drastically reducing the sail area to the right of center. It was actually surprising how well the kite was still flying, given the gross problem with the sail!

    On a second flight, with the tip repaired, there still appeared to be a slight pull to the right. So, after taking some video footage of the Barn Door's antics, it was brought down once again. This time the bridle knot was taken across by about a centimeter (1/2"). That was better! The 1.2 meter (4 feet) span pale orange kite shot right back up, showing much less tendency to pull across when under pressure.

    After some more video was taken, with the kite soaring around almost directly overhead at times, it seemed safe enough to let out more line. It was surprising to feel the flying line touching my jeans while it was anchored under-foot! How much rising air can there be at this time of day? At the time I was concentrating on keeping the wandering kite in-frame as I took video.

    Finally, after enjoying the kite doing its thing on over 60 meters (200 feet) of line, it came time to pull the Dowel Barn Door down. When within 30 feet or so of the ground it started to float and sink face-down. Then it was an easy matter to pull in the remaining few meters of line, keeping the kite flying until the bridle lines were in hand.

    Weather stations were reporting around 10kph average wind speeds with gusts almost to 20kph.

    "Simplest Dowel Kites": A free but very useful kite-making e-book. Make a super-simple Sled, Diamond and Delta - step-by-step with photos. Sign up for the e-book and get an emailed series of messages called "MBK Tips'n'Ideas". If you don't need the e-book, consider signing up anyway... You won't believe what's on offer in that message series!

    Read More

New! Comments

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