'Mary Poppins Sings Death Metal': An expert's review
Is there a singer in the universe who exists further outside of the heavy metal world than Julie Andrews? The Sound of Music star has lent her pipes to some of cinema’s signature songs, but even the heaveist stuff in Victor/Victoria doesn’t come anywhere near Carcass or Napalm Death.
Andrews’ wholesome image in the Disney classic Mary Poppins is what makes “Mary Poppins Sings Death Metal” so jarring and fascinating. Since arriving online yesterday, the video—which features footage of Andrews and Dick Van Dyke performing the iconic “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” with the soundtrack swapped out in favor of a death metal variation—has already accumulated over half a million views on YouTube. It’s amusing, and any excuse to jettison Van Dyke’s atrocious Cockney accent is welcome, but how does it hold up as a metal song? And is it really “death metal”?
It’s certainly intense, though it’s probably a bit too clean to be truly thought of as “death.” Uploader Andy Rehfeldt, who has also done metal variations on “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and Britney Spears’ “Circus” with various levels of effectiveness, provided all the instrumentation, with Sera Hatchett of Mercy Brown and Quadraxis’ Thomas Hinds on vocals. They could both stand to be a little growlier in their delivery (Hatchett’s work with Mercy Brown is way darker)—though “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” is filled with just as much nonsense as most death metal lyrics, so it’s not that big a shift for either of them.
Yes, you could headbang to the metal version of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” But if you’re really looking for death metal, you’re better off going straight to Venom or Morbid Angel. And as far as metal variations on otherwise non-metal songs go, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” falls just short of Rehfeldt’s spin on Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.”