Heather on the Hill | Bowing Down Home

About this tune

Heather on the Hill is one of a handfull of Cape Breton tunes that players from every Island region have thoroughly adapted to their respective styles. Since the tune appears in highly elaborated form on “archival’ recordings by such fiddlers as Russell Warren (available here) and Jack Webster, my guess is that it was enthusiastically adopted by Island players not long after its composition.

The change of title on PEI from its original form (The Heather Hills) may well have resulted from conflating the name of this tune with that of the hit song Heather on the Hill, from the 1950s Broadway musical Brigadoon by Lerner and Lowe.

Notation for this tune as played by “Young Peter” Chaisson is in Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island.

Tune Selections

Arsenault, Albin - Heather on the Hill Accompanied by: Béatrice Gallant pump organ
Evangeline Coast / East Prince
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Arsenault, Delphine - Heather on the Hill Accompanied by: Zélie-Anne Arsenault Poirier pump organ
Evangeline Coast / East Prince
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Arsenault, Eddy - Heather on the Hill Accompanied by: Amand Arsenault, gtr
Evangeline Coast / East Prince
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Arsenault, Louise - Heather on the Hill / Dragger's Reel Accompanied by: Philippe Leblanc, pno
Evangeline Coast / East Prince
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Chaisson, Peter - 'Old' - Duke of Gordon's Birthday / Heather on the Hill / Tom Ward's Downfall Accompanied by: Ken Perlman, bjo
Northeast Kings
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Chaisson, Peter - 'Young' - Duke of Gordon's Birthday / Sheehan's Reel / Heather on the Hill / Poppy Leaf / College Hornpipe Accompanied by: Kevin Chaisson, gtr
Northeast Kings
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Cheverie, Fr Charles - Space Available / Heather on the Hill / Paddy on the Turnpike Accompanied by: Ken Perlman, bjo
Northeast Kings
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Gallant, Connie - Heather on the Hill Accompanied by: Ken Perlman, bjo
Northeast Kings
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Hughes, Earl - EarlHughes Air#1 / Royal Scots Polka / EarlHughes Reel#1 / Heather on the Hill / Paddy on the Turnpike / Earl Hughes Reel#2 Accompanied by: Joan Hughes pno & Gary Hughes gtr
Eastern Queens
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Koughan, Bill - Heather on the Hill Accompanied by: Arlene Koughan Powers, pno; Ken Perlman, bjo
Eastern Queens
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Pitre, Dennis - Heather on the Hill Accompanied by: Irene Gallant, pno; Vincent Doucette, gtr
West Prince
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Poirier, Zelie-Anne Arsenault - Heather on the Hill (harmonica solo; 1974) Unaccompanied
Evangeline Coast / East Prince
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Warren, Russell (home recording) - Heather on the Hill Accompanied by: Lowell Huestis, pno
West Prince
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Webster, Carl & Jackie - Coilesfield House / Heather on the Hill Accompanied by: John Webster, gtr
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West Prince Fiddlers Club - Heather on the Hill / Farmer's Reel Accompanied by: Dorothy Dalton Rogers or Cyrus Gallant, pno; Jack Arbing, mand
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