Spotlight on Guinness

Join us in the Murtogh D. Guinness Gallery when Songs of Love will be performed using the mechanical marvels of the Guinness Collection.  Throughout the annual Chocolate Festival on Saturday, February 8, 2014, enjoy sweet treats and delight in musical selections specifically chosen for you!


You can expect to hear the impressive sounds of the Poppers Rex orchestrion, c1915, as it plays Indian Love Call, from the 1924 operetta Rose-Marie.  Written by composers Rudolph Friml and Herbert Stothart, the song is reputed to be Friml’s best known piece of music.  The premise of the story, set in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, relates to an old Native American legend. The story was passed down that two people from enemy tribes fell in love, and they would secretly meet in the mountains.  Upon discovery, they were sentenced to death but their “love call” lived on through the couple’s spirits.  When a lover calls, the spirits send it to the beloved, and this scene is romantically re-enacted in the show by Rose Marie and her love, Sergeant Bruce who sings this classic song.


We have selected several tunes for you enjoy on our fairground organ, the Limonaire orchestophone, c1910.  Sous les Ponts de Paris, or The Bridges of Paris refers to the time-honored tradition of lovers meeting at these artistic, architectural marvels.  Often viewed as symbols of love, the romantic city of Paris contains numerous bridges allowing passage over the Seine River and various canals.  The Band Played On, written in 1895 by John F. Palmer and Charles B. Ward, was a popular song hit of the day, and beyond!  Better known by its chorus, Casey would waltz with the strawberry blonde and the band played on…this tune can be heard in more than a dozen films.  Another tune comes from the musical, My Fair Lady; it opened on Broadway in 1956, and was followed by the film in 1964.  One of the memorable tunes, Get Me to the Church, refers to the impending marriage of Alfred P. Doolittle who, on the eve of his wedding, implores his friends to make sure his nighttime frolics don’t make him late to the altar! Che Sera Sera is commonly associated with actress Doris Day as her signature song but it was first introduced in the Alfred Hitchcock film, The Man Who Knew Too Much in 1956.  Through its optimistic lyric, “whatever will be, will be,” the song represents the transition from childhood to adulthood, and falling in love to parenthood. 


The Sublima Corona autochanger, made by the Regina Music Box Company, c1899, is an early pre-cursor to the jukebox, and holds twelve 20-3/4” punched metal discs.  It operates automatically with the drop of a nickel!  Listen and enjoy songs of love such as Rudolph Friml’s Loves Own Kiss, from the 1913 musical theater production of High Jinks. From vaudeville to Broadway, Frederick Bowers’ 1900 composition, When I Think of You, is a musical delight!


In the Murtogh D. Guinness Gallery, you’ll be Dancing Cheek to Cheek while enjoying the sounds of the Duo-Art Player Piano, c1920.  From this foot-pumped piano, you will hear the popular hit song from the 1935 musical comedy film, Top Hat.  Nearby, in the Mansion Galleries, come listen to the AMPICO Reproducing Piano in the Dodge Room.  You’ll be “wild about Harry” too when you experience this hit song by Eubie Blake, from the 1921 Broadway show, Shuffle Along.  While you explore and enjoy the elegance of the Dodge Room, hang around to hear tunes from the 1899 comedic musical love story, Floradora including Tell Me Pretty Maiden.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, consider bringing your loved one(s) out to the Chocolate Festival to savor sweet treats and listen to songs of love through mechanical music!

~Michele Marinelli, Curator of the Guinness Collection

Chocolate Festival at Morris Museum

Saturday, February 8