"The Life I Lead" is a song from the film Mary Poppins. It was composed by Richard and Robert Sherman and sung by George Banks (David Tomlinson).

In the film

The song serves as the introductory one as well as the leit motif for George and is performed by him as he is walking home from work. It describes the punctual, efficient, but distant way in which he runs his household. Through it, he reveals that he likes order and consistency, going so far as to mention specific times for when events must happen. One lyric contains the only reference to the time period of the film, 1910 England under the rule of King Edward.

The song is later reprised several times. At one point, Mary Poppins sings a verse. It also appears near the end of the film, in a much more somber tone. George performs it after he thinks that his dreams have been shattered.


George: I feel a surge of deep satisfaction

Much as a king astride his noble steed

When I return from daily strife to heart and wife

How pleasant is the life I lead!

Winifred: [Spoken] Dear, it's about the children...

George: Yes, yes, yes!

[Sung] I run my home precisely on schedule

At 6:01, I march through my door

My slippers, sherry, and pipe are due at 6:02

Consistent is the life I lead!

Winifred: [Spoken] George, they’re missing...

George: Splendid, splendid

[Sung] It's grand to be an Englishman in 1910

King Edward's on the throne; It's the age of men

I'm the lord of my castle, the sov'reign, the liege!

I treat my subjects: servants, children, wife

With a firm but gentle hand, noblesse oblige!

It's 6:03 and the heirs to my dominion

Are scrubbed and tubbed and adequately fed

And so I'll pat them on the head And send them off to bed

Ah! Lordly is the life I lead!

A British nanny must be a gen'ral!

The future empire lies within her hands

And so the person that we need to mold the breed

Is a nanny who can give commands!

A British bank is run with precision A British home requires nothing less! Tradition, discipline, and rules must be the tools Without them - disorder! Catastrophe! Anarchy! - In short, we have a ghastly mess!

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