Titanic Museum Attraction
Make plans to visit Titanic in Branson for more stories and experiences like this one.
There is a hush in the room and a sense of intimacy in the touring group’s collective breathing as they listen to the story of Titanic’s bandmaster Wallace Hartley and his fiancée, Maria Robinson.
This violin, hanging suspended in its glass case, is the very instrument Wallace played on the night Titanic was sinking. Tradition has it that the last song played that night—with Wallace leading the band—was the hymn Nearer My God to Thee.
Perhaps it is the story, though, even more than the violin itself, that most deeply affects the museum’s guests. The violin: a gift from Maria to her Wallace on the occasion of their engagement.
Is it any wonder that even as twenty-eight-degree saltwater rises around his ankles, Wallace desperately attempts to save the violin, shoving it into an improvised case and strapping it over his life vest?
No doubt he says a prayer that he will somehow survive—he and the violin.
This is a story of unrequited love as powerful as Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Or, more recently, Jack and Rose.
No wonder Titanic’s guests become still, scarcely breathing as the museum guide recounts the story. Wallace and Maria remind them of themselves, of the fragility of romantic love. There is joy, and yet such sorrow and pain when that love is lost. Wallace did not survive, and Maria never married. She never recovered from the loss of her Wallace.