Home Sweet Home | Bowing Down Home
About this tune
Home Sweet Home was composed by Bishop and Payne for the ballad opera Clari, or The Maid of Milan, and first published in 1823. It is one of several 19th century popular songs that have been converted into dance tunes and become an integral part of the Island fiddle repertoire: some others are Jubilo (aka Kingdom Comin’), Darlin’ Nelly Grey, and When You and I Were Young, Maggie.
Home Sweet Home is in fact commonly played on PEI in two “metric”styles: as a set tune in duple time (that is, 2/2 or 4/4 time), and in 3/4 time as The Home Waltz. It is particularly interesting in this regard to compare the 2/2 and 3/4 time versions of a single fiddler, an opportunity that presents itself here through the recordings of Sidney Baglole.
The kind of bowing used by Baglole and Johnny Joe & Phonsey Chaisson to play the set-tune version of Home Sweet Home represents an older style of dance fiddling that was nearly gone from the Island scene by the early 1990s when this recording project got underway. Francis MacCormack’s version, influenced by years living in Ontario, has a much more modern cast.
Notation for the set tune (2/2) version of Home Sweet Home as played by Sidney Baglole, and for The Home Waltz as played by Attwood O’Connor, are in Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island.