Amélie: An Alsatian Tale…Music as a Muse

49 Amelie Music Box

I love music boxes…

Last year our son and daughter-in-law came to visit us in Germany. We took them to Alsace, France because…why wouldn’t we. Our son had been before as a teenager on our family camping trip. This time we rented an apartment in the old city centre in Kaysersberg for several days. It was enchanting.

50 Blue Rental Kaysersberg

(We rented this blue upstairs apartment in Kaysersberg, Alsace, France.)

Previous to this trip, I discovered music boxes at a souvenir shop in Paris. They were cheap and fun. The perfect thing to start collecting. I came across the one pictured at the beginning of this post  in a little shop in Alsace while shopping with my husband, son, and his wife. They always have a significant number of music selections to choose from. I picked this one up and began turning the handle ever so slowly. The music was…enchanting. I looked at my family and said, “I’m going to write a story to this music. It’s wonderful and mysterious sounding.”

Then, as fate would have it, time passed and the music box sat on my desk, its story held captive inside. I was busy getting my first novel ready to publish, among many other things.

This fall my husband and I returned to Kaysersberg and a story began to form, as I’ve written about in previous posts. The name of my main character came on our second visit in as  many weeks…Amelie. My youngest son reminded me there is already a movie by that name. I’d forgotten, so I googled the name to see what all was out there. Basically, just this movie, which is in itself enchanting. A French film that takes place in Paris in contemporary times. Do I keep the name? Was I mistaken in choosing it?

51 Yellow Dresser French Room

Time passed again, and I was in our guest room, which I’ve decorated in what I like to call Alsatian-French Style. I noticed the little music box and picked it up. I turned the crank ever so slowly, and the haunting melody played. As it did, the story was released, and I knew I must find the name of this music. I remembered it had a french girls name in it, but more than that I couldn’t remember. How would I ever find it? I would have to wait till I returned to France…to the shop.

More time passed, and I was looking for French music to play while writing my new novel because it helps transport me into the world I’m creating. I decided to look up the soundtrack to the movie, Amélie. I listened to the first two songs and knew this was what I needed! I bought it. And, today, as I sat down at my desk to write, I hit play. Several songs into the album I heard it! I quickly pulled up iTunes and looked at the title of the song, La valse d’Amélie. (Amélie’s Waltz) It was the song in my music box. The one I bought in Alsace, where my medieval story takes place. It was like magic! I picked up the music box which I had placed on my desk days earlier and again, turned the crank ever so slowly. It was her waltz!

Music is a beautiful Muse indeed!

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