Small Tunes Podcast: “Home Rule”
It’s been quite a while since the last Small Tunes Podcast. Let’s catch up with “Home Rule,” a tune that dates from Ireland of the mid- to late 19th century.
Home Rule was a powerful political idea that stood at the heart of much of the social turmoil in Ireland from about the 1860s to 1921, fueling passions that led to things such as the Easter uprising and the partition of Northern Ireland from the whole of Ireland itself. A fiddle setting of the tune appears in the hand of the great J. Scott Skinner, the strathspey king himself, in his 1904 collection of music “The Harp and Claymore.” The bottom of the handwritten score of the ms. page bears his note: “These Irish Reels are full of character but unless played with peculiar bowing they lose their vim and national character.”
I certainly hope I’ve retained some of the original vim in the arrangement here. Download the score and listen to the podcast for more background and a rendition on the bagpipe.