Let's 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.

About all I can remember is asking my 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 was the real deal. Anyway, we're getting off topic here...

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.


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'Lets go fly a kite' - my boy flying a small Sode.MBK 1-Skewer Sode

Mr. Banks:
With tuppence for paper and strings
That's 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 sailplane 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 two 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 120 meters (400 feet) above ground in Australia, 60 meters in the UK, 150 meters in Europe and 500 feet in the USA, 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 will do this! 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 cloudbase 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 songwriter 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 or 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 fist '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



My son Aren flying the 2-Skewer Rokkaku kite.MBK 2-Skewer Rokkaku

The Mary Poppins song still gets some airplay. We fly with the Adelaide International Kite Festival and for the last two events at least (at the time of writing) Lets Go Fly A Kite has boomed from the PA speakers!


As mentioned earlier, there's more kite-making on this site than you can poke a stick at :-)

Want to know the most convenient way of using it all?

The Big MBK E-book Bundle is a collection of downloads—printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small.

Every kite in every MBK series.