Homeward Bound | Bowing Down Home
About this tune
Homeward Bound is played by fiddlers all across PEI, but particularly favored by those in the Eastern half of the Island. I find that the Queens County versions of Leonard McDonald, Stephen Toole, and Elliott Wight, have a particularly nice swing to them.
Homeward Bound is often played in medley with another reel in the key of D called Jerome’s Farewell to Gibraltar.
Cape Breton fiddler-composer Dan R. MacDonald is often credited with having composed Homeward Bound, but it seems that this was not the case. MacDonald did cut a version of the tune for Celtic Records that was released in 1939, but in the introduction to The Heather Hills Collection: The Music of Dan R. MacDonald Vol. 1, the tune is attributed – not to Dan R. – but to another Cape Breton fiddler named Little Rory MacDonald. Complicating matters still further is that a tune called Gem of Ireland from Ryan’s Mammoth Collection, aka 1000 Fiddle Tunes (1882) is identical to Homeward Bound in almost every detail. This suggests that the tune may have been circulating in the region prior to the Dan R. recording.
Notation for this tune as played by “Young Peter” Chaisson is in Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island.