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25 March 2015

A Song Of Love

Recently, my mother-in-law, who knows I appreciate family heirlooms, especially those with a story, gave me this hand carved wooden music box which belonged to my husband’s great aunt.

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Great Aunt Irene was a deaconess in her day, mostly serving as a nurse in a doctor’s office.  She was a very independent minded woman, and did not marry until late in life.  She married a widower and after only 5 years, as they were driving home following a Christmas gathering of family, he pulled off the road feeling ill.  They were very near a hospital, but that was not fortuitous enough to overcome the heart attack he suffered.  He died about 10 days later.

My in-laws were lovingly diligent about caring for Great Aunt Irene because she had no children of her own and she outlived her siblings.  My father-in-law was his Aunt Irene’s favorite nephew.  In fact, when she would be difficult, umm . . . that is, fiercely independent in her thinking, he was often the only one who could get her to come ‘round and see reason.  He had a knack for employing the right combination of patience and insistence.

When she moved to the local nursing home, she suggested my mother-in-law choose a music box from extensive her collection as a gift.  My mother-in-law admired this one, which sat on a table in my in-laws’ living room, collecting a bit of dust in the tiny details over many years.  I have given it a thorough yet gentle cleaning which revealed much more color than I realized it possessed.  It was made in Switzerland by Anri and includes a “genuine Theorens movement” which works wonderfully to this day, although the winder key is a bit stiff.

The label on the bottom, given a little TLC too, revealed that the tune is Hi Lili Hi Lo.  Neither my mother-in-law or I were familiar with it.  In fact, I thought that was the title given to the box (many collectibles are given names) and not of the song until I did a little research.  The song was made popular in the 1950’s by the Leslie Caron movie Lili.  Here are the lyrics (source):

On every tree there sits a bird
Singing a song of love
On every tree there sits a bird
And every one I ever heard
Could break my heart, without a word
Singing a song of love

A song of love is a sad song
Hi-lili Hi-lili Hi-lo
A song of love is a song of woe
Don't ask me how I know
A song of love is a sad song
For I have loved and it's so

Hi-lili Hi-lili Hi-lo Hi-lo
Hi-lili Hi-lili Hi-lo
Hi-lili Hi-lili Hi-lo Hi-lo
Hi-lili Hi-lili.... Hi-lo
A tear for him, a tear for me
A tear for the love he swore
A tear for him and one for me
And one for under the tree
One for wherever my love may be
And then I shall weep no more

A song of love is a sad song
Hi-lili Hi-lili Hi-lo

A song of love is a song of woe
Don't ask me how I know
A song of love is a sad song
For I have loved and it's so

Hi-lili Hi-lili Hi-lo Hi-lo
Hi-lili Hi-lili Hi-lo
Hi-lili Hi-lili Hi-lo Hi-lo
Hi-lili Hi-lili.... Hi-lo
Anne Murray did her own version of the song – which changed the chorus, to just a tad less sad:
I sit at the window and watch the rain
Hi-lili Hi-lili Hi-lo
Tomorrow I’ll probably love again
Hi-lili Hi-lili Hi-lo
It may be fitting that the tune of Aunt Irene’s box is a sad one of lost love; but it is a shame all the same.
Hi-lili Hi-lili Hi-lo
Here’s my finished page.  I stylized the photo using a couple different Picasa actions to make it look more old fashioned.

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I typed out the full story on a 4 x 6 card and attached it to the back of the layout.

6 comments:

  1. LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE this! LOVING the story behind it and your page!!! GORGEOUS title work, photo and loving how you did the journaling with the lyrics!!

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  2. It's a wonderful story and a beautiful page: I especially love how you have so close in your photo to reveal the details of your special piece.

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  3. I love the layout, but I was disappointed because I thought the story was so important. At first glance it appeared that you only included the song lyrics. As I read further, I was so happy to hear that you've attached the story to the back! That makes it perfect in every way!! PS Love the stitching!

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  4. I loved to hear the history behind this poignant layout...it means so much to capture those memories.

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  5. What a great way to illustrate a family memento.

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  6. I agree with all the other comments! Love everything about this. The photo, the story, and the beautiful layout. Thank you for sharing such wonderful stories.

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