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Chocolate, Love and London

Sweet Marie Sheet Music 

One evening in July 1891, widower Cy Warman walked his girlfriend, Myrtle Marie Jones, to her residence at the Sacred Heart Academy on the northwest corner of Colborne Street and Queen's Avenue in London, Ontario.  Cy then strolled to nearby Victoria Park and sat on a bench where he wrote a love poem to Marie entitled "Sweet Marie."  Cy, who was born on June 22, 1855 in Greenup, Illinois, had fallen in love with Marie whom he had met in her home town of Kansas City when he was working on the railroad.  Her parents did not approve of Cy so they sent Marie to London to go to school.  The plan to separate the lovers was a failure because Cy often visited Marie in London, using his railway passes to travel from Denver, Colorado where he was working as a newspaper reporter.  Cy proposed to Marie and they were married on May 17, 1892 in Denver where Cy had lived since 1880.  

While Cy and Marie were living in New York City in 1893, Raymon Moore, a performer with the George Thatcher Minstrels, set Cy's poem, Sweet Marie, to music.  The result was a popular hit song which was featured in the 1947 film, Life with Father, starring Irene Dunne and William Powell. In 1931, the Willard Chocolate Factory, established in Toronto since 1917, capitalized on  the popularity of the song by naming one of its chocolate bars, Sweet Marie.

In 1898, Cy and Marie moved to north London and raised four children at their home, 100 Cheapside Street, which had been designed for them by London architects, Moore and Henry.  Cy died on April 7, 1914 while visiting Chicago and was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in London.  His house at 100 Cheapside Street still stands today. 

Sweet Marie sheet music ca. 1898 from the archival collection of the London Room.