What does a fictional character from a 1964 film have to do with COVID-19?
Well, thanks to my wife, I learned what that connection is – the classic song A Spoonful of Sugar.
Earlier this week, Jeffrey Sherman, the son and nephew of the Sherman Brothers—the musical duo responsible for “Mary Poppins,” as well as many other Disney films, told the story of how “A Spoonful of Sugar” came about on Facebook:
Here’s part of his post:
When I was a kid, they rolled out a vaccine for polio. We were given it at school on a sugar cube. I went home and my dad, who was working on Mary Poppins, asked how my day was.
What I didn’t know was that Julie Andrews who was hired to play Mary had not really liked the song my dad and uncle had written -“Through the Eyes of Love” – and it was rejected. It was their favorite song for the movie.
Walt asked the Sherman Brothers to come up with a new song that would be in line with Mary’s //Julie’s philosophy.
Dad asked me how my day was and I told him about getting the polio vaccine at school.
I was known for rejecting the booster shots at my doctors’ office and running away.
He said, “ Didn’t it hurt?””
“I told him they put it on a sugar cube and you just ate it.
He stared at me, then went to the phone and called my uncle Dick.
They went back to the office and wrote -“A Spoonful of Sugar” (Helps the Medicine Go Down.”)
It’s my little corner of film music history I suppose. Inadvertently.”
I just don’t know why the song wasn’t called A Cubeful of Sugar…
So perhaps the magic and power of Disney marketing could be used to get people to take the COVID-19 vaccine once it is available and deemed safe. Maybe a free download of Mary Poppins for everyone who gets vaccinated. Or a free month of Disney +…