The Boy Who Played Chopsticks for the Great Paderewski-Fiction!

The Boy Who Played Chopsticks for the Great PaderewskiFiction!



Summary of eRumor:

The story of a little boy who was taken to a Paderewski concert by his mother.  He slipped away from her, made his way to the platform, sat down at the concert piano and began to play Chopsticks.  The crowd reacted with anger and said to take the boy away.  Paderewski, when he realized what was going on, went to the piano and began playing along with the boy, whispering to him, “Keep going.  Don’t quit, son.  Keep playing.  Don’t stop.  Don’t quit.”

The Truth:

There are various versions of this story.
In some of them, the boy plays “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
In this version, it is said the boy played Chopsticks, a simple little tune that every child who has had access to a piano seems to have learned how to play.
There is no evidence this ever happened, however.
Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941) was a Polish pianist who gained world wide fame and was very popular in the United States.
Paderewski experts say the story may have been inspired by a poster during World War II that promoted a meeting in support of the Polish Relief Fund.
Paderewski is said to have organized the meeting.
The poster included a sketch of Paderewski next to a boy at the piano.
The boy was carrying his belongings wrapped at the end of a stick and was called “Johnny the Wanderer.”

Last updated 4/7/03