It’s not only Chopin’s heart and his body that are separated – he has two birthdays.
At first I thought this might be a Gregorian calendar technicality, like the way poor George Washington, after celebrating his birthday on February 11 for twenty years, had to wait till February 22, 1753, to become twenty-one.
But no, Chopin was born in 1810, well after all those days got stuck into all those calendars of different countries at different times.
Chopin, according to his parish church records, was born on Washington’s new birthday; but he, for some reason, always said his birthday was March 1.
Which is why, if you’ve been in Warsaw, you’ve been treated to a week-long continuous Chopin concert – but not, unfortunately, in the church where his heart is.
And I’m writing this today to appease the people who Googled Chopin yesterday and came across my slightly risqué lions.