The Home Ruler hornpipe

By Frank McCollum

Also known as Daniel O’Connell - The Home Ruler, Frank McCallum’s, Frank McCallum’s Mrs. - The Home Ruler, The Homeruler, McCollum’s.

There are 65 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

The Home Ruler appears in 3 other tune collections.

The Home Ruler has been added to 113 tune sets.

The Home Ruler has been added to 784 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Nine settings

X: 1
T: The Home Ruler
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
D2FA DAFA|dfed B2dB|A2AB AFDE|F2D2 D2:|
dB|Addc d3 f|afbf afed|efed BAFA|fded BdA2|
Addc d3 f|afbf afed|efed BAdB|AFEF D2:|
X: 2
T: The Home Ruler
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:[FA]>[FA]|D2 F>A D>AF>A|d>fe>d B2 d>B|A2 A>B A>FD>E|(3FED E>D (3Bcd A3/2[F/B/]|
D2 F>A D2 (3FGA|d>A (3fed B2 d>B|A>^GA>B A>F (3EF=G|(3FGF D2 D2:|
|:(3ABc|d2 d>c d2- d>f|a>fb>f a>fe>d|e>fe>d B>Ad>e|f>de>d (3Bcd A>B|
(3ded d>c d2 d>f|a>fb>f a>f (3fed|e2 (3fed B>Ad>B|A>FE3/2[C/F/] D2:|
X: 3
T: The Home Ruler
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:D2 FA D2 FA|dfed BedB|~A3 B AFDE|FdED BDAB|
D2 FA dAFA|dfed Be d2|~A3 B AFDE|Fd D2 D4:|
|:Addc d2 df|afbf afed|efed BA B/c/d|~f2 ed BdAB|
A2 dc ~d3 f|af b2 afed|e2 ed BedB|AF ~F2 D4:|
X: 4
T: The Home Ruler
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:(3ABc|d2 d2 d2 d2|adbd adfd|efed BAde|fded BdAB|
d2 d2 d2 d2|adbd adfd|efed BABd|AFEF D2:|
|:A,B,|D2 FA DAFA|defd B2 dB|A2 AB AFDE|FDED B,2 A,B,|
D2 FA DAFA|defd B2 dB|A2 AB AFDE|F2 D2 D2:|
X: 5
T: The Home Ruler
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:A,>B,|D2 F>A D>AF>A|d>ef>d B2 d>B|A2 A>B A>FD>E|F>DE>D B,2 (3G,A,B,|
D>A (3FGA D2 F>A|d2 (3fed B2 d>B|A>^GA>B (3ABA D>E|F2 D2 D2:|
|:(3ABc|d2 d2 d2- d>f|a>db>d a>df>d|e>fe>d B>Ad>e|f>de>d B>dA>B|
d2 d>c d2 (3def|a>db>d a>d f2|e2 (3fed B>A (3dcB|A>FE>F D2:|
X: 6
T: The Home Ruler
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:(3[A,A][B,G][CF]|D2 F>A D2 F>A|d>fe>d B2 d>B|A2- A>B A>FD>E|F>DE>D (3[B,B][Cc][Dd] [A,3/2A3/2][B,/B/]|
D2 F>A D>A (3FGA|d2 (3fed B2 d>B|A2- A>B A>FD>E|(3FGF D2 D2:|
|:(3ABc|d2 (3ddd d2 (3ddd|a>db>d a>fe>d|e>fe>d B>AF>A|f>de>d (3Bcd A>B|
d2 (3ddd d2- d>f|a>db>d a2 (3fed|e2 (3fed B2 (3dcB|A>FE>F D2:|
X: 7
T: The Home Ruler
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
Addc defg|a2ba afed|efed BA (3Bcd|efed BAFA|
d3c defg|a3b afed|efed BAdB|1 AFED D4:|2 AFED D2FA||
X: 8
T: The Home Ruler
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
Adc ddf|afb afd|efe dBA|fdf edB|
Adc ddf|afb afd|efe dBA|FEA D3:|
X: 9
T: The Home Ruler
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
(3DEF|G2 (3BAG dGBG|g3d e3d|d2 dedc B(c|c3)B AGED|
GA (3BAG dGBG|g3d eage|Bdde d2 (3ABc|B3G cBAG|
G2 (3BAG dGBG|g3d e3d|d2 dedc B(c|c3)B AGED|
GA (3BAG dGBG|g3d eage|Bdde d2 (3ABc|B3G AG G2||
# Added by JACKB .

Forty comments

Home Ruler

Matt Molloy renders a haunting, slow-tempo version played on the B-flat flute on The Chieftans’ “Boil the Breakfast Early”. The tempo, in fact, is more of a slow march, giving the piece more solemnity and weight than any dance tempo can deliver. A cello provides a drone accompaniment which really makes the piece something special.

I’m lead to believe that the piece is associated with Parnell rather than O’Connell - or am I confusing it with the hornpipe titled “Kitty O’Shea”?

The Composer

Credit where credit is due. While I learned this tune years ago ( from the Hill/ Linnane classic, where else?), I only recently discovered that the composer is one Frank McCollum from Ballycastle, county Antrim.

Home Town

Quite correct Longnote. Perhaps you read my piece on the tune in the IMM, June 2002.

For anyone interested, I gave Frank’s original concept of the tune, as learned by me personally, from the playing of Frank’s star pupil, Chris McCormick. It differs a little from the Hill / Linnane version, but not a lot, mainly in the use of triplets in the 2nd half, making that part slightly reminiscent of Captain Pugwash - me hearties.

Frank wrote another very good Hornpipe, the Hangman’s Rope, which I first learned from the Flute playing of Kenny Hadden, Aberdeen. I’ll check, & if it’s not on file, I’ll pop it in.

Oh & just for the record, the title’s got bog all to do with politics, thank god. Frank named it after his wife, go read me article if ye don’t believe me - newsprint can’t lie!

Why “Daniel O’Connell, the Home Ruler”

Can anyone tell me why Daniel O’Connell is a part of the title on the Chieftain’s recording if, indeed, it is named after his wife?

The Chieftains got it WRONG - simple as that!

I love this…..

There is a common misconception that Frank McCollum named this tune in honour of Daniel O’Connell, who was known as “The Home Ruler”. The Chieftains, and also, I think, Noel Hill & Tony Linnane, would appear to have spread this piece of misinformation on their recordings.
According to the entry for Frank McCollum in Fintan McManus’s “Encyclopedia” of Irish traditional music, Mr. McCollum named it after his wife !!!

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Sorry, DanielB - that is Frank McCollum’s wife, not D O’C’s.

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Chords to Home Ruler / Bealach an Doirin

|: D D/C# | Bm G | D Bm | G G/A |
| D D/C# | Bm G | D Bm | A D :|
|: D Bm | F#m | G | Em A |
| D Bm | F#m | G | A D :|

The Home Ruler in O’Neill’s 1850??

I know I’m just missing it, but does anyone know the number of The Home Ruler in O’Neill’s 1850?? Thanks.

Re: The Home Ruler in O’Neill’s 1850??

I don’t think it’s in O’Neill’s. Check out which lists the books it’s in. No mention of O’Neill’s, which are definitely included in the database.

Re: The Home Ruler in O’Neill’s 1850??

I’ve searched for it in O’neills book = pdf file,,
And nothing of that hornpipe came up- sorry,,

Re: The Home Ruler in O’Neill’s 1850??

Whistler, here’s a piece I wrote for the Irish Music Mag a few years ago:

“Frank McCollam

That wonderful Hornpipe, ‘The Home Ruler’ is played & loved wherever there is Irish Music, which means everywhere. But, was it written by a Kerry man, composed in Clare, dreamed up in Sligo, or whittled out of bog oak in Donegal, any guesses? Well no, none of the above are true, it was in fact composed by a fine Fiddler, Frank McCollam, of Ballycastle, Co Antrim.

Frank, who also had a passion for gardening, Bees, restoring old clocks, and ‘going to the Moss’, was a member of the local Ballinlea Pipe Band, but in later years, put the pipes aside to concentrate on the Fiddle. He also played the Accordion, but it’s his Fiddle playing most folk speak of around here, and musicians used to come from all over the place to ‘hae a tune wi’ Frank’. Indeed, that well known connoisseur of good tunes, Cathal McConnell was a regular visitor. It’s a fair old cycle from Fermanagh, so Frank, & his music, must have been well worth the jaunt.

Frank himself, was well known all over Ireland, but two men whom he visited on a regular basis were Liam Donnelly, and Sean Ryan. Sean Ryan, a kindred spirit, and brilliant Fiddler himself, and Liam, who could read and write the music down, skills which Frank did not possess. Frank however had all the music he needed in his head, and if he was ever short of a tune, all he had to do was sit down and write a new one.

When I first learned the tune, The Home Ruler, I quite naturally assumed, like many, that it was named with politics in mind. However, some years ago, I was chatting to Len Graham, another good friend of Franks, who put me straight. Frank in fact named the tune after his wife, Sally, and Frank’s daughter Catherine, later confirmed this by telling me how all the men then, used to refer to their wives as ‘The Home Ruler’.

The version I have for you here, I learned from another Ballycastle man, Franks star pupil, Chris McCormick. Chris learned his Fiddle playing, and of course this tune, from Frank, so this is the way Frank would have played it. A little different perhaps, from the very fine version recorded by Noel Hill & Tony Linnane some years ago, on their brilliant LP. I’m sure there are many people who learned the tune from that recording, and no doubt they will be interested to see how it differs from the original concept.

Frank often played The Home Ruler in a set with ‘The Hangman’s Noose’, another of his own hornpipes. Frank had John McNaughton in mind when he named this tune, for John, a Bushmills man, was found guilty in 1761, of murdering his lover, and sentenced to hang. However, when they carried out the sentence the rope snapped, so they had to hang him again. Legend has it that he was offered a pardon, but refused it, saying he could not go through life being known as ‘Half hanged McNaughton’. Personally speaking you can call me anything you like, just don’t stretch my neck!

Another of Frank’s excellent compositions, the reel ‘Catherine Marie’, now often called ‘Kate Marie’, can also be heard wherever good tunes are played. This tune Frank named after his daughter, who now lives in Dublin, so if you happen to meet up with Catherine in one of Dublin’s fine hostelries, I recommend you buy her a drink, and toast the life of a great composer, and fine musician from Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, - Frank McCollam.“

I play in Ballycastle every Friday night, but sadly I arrived here too late to meet Frank.


Re: The Home Ruler in O’Neill’s 1850??

Thank you all for the help. Thanks, Ptarmigan, for your information. I love this site…..and to all a good night!

Re: The Home Ruler in O’Neill’s 1850??

Fantastic post there, old chap! 🙂 I had a strange feeling that it was a more “modern,” or “composed,” tune because, as a harmonica player, I discovered that it is one of the very few “D” tunes that requires the Paddy Richter harmonica tuning (in other words it contains the sixth note of the scale, a B, in the low octave). Must be a bugger for whistlers, who must have to keep switching octaves. The odd thing is that “Kitty’s Wedding,” which Noel Hill and Tony Linnane play on that famous recording, has the same attributes. Good job I paddify my low D harps routinely!

Good stuff!

Re: The Home Ruler in O’Neill’s 1850??

An honest question, from someone much less educated in these matters, so please bear with me–

Doesn’t The Home Ruler bear quite a resemblance to The Trip to Durrow? I didn’t see any mention of a connection in the Comments for either tune. They seem about as similar to each other as The Hawk is to The Shetland Fiddler, which apparently are known to be connected. (I know this question probably belongs in the Tunes section, but it seemed a good opportunity, here.)

Re: The Home Ruler in O’Neill’s 1850??

Daniel OConnell the Home Ruler,is how it is described in several books.
Does this mean that musicians,have been getting the title wrong all these years,or is it a question of usage and evolving language,if enough people call it Daniel O Connell the Home Ruler,thats what it becomes regardless of the composers intentions,particuarlarly if the name wasnt registered with PRS in the first place.Dick Miles

Posted .

Re: The Home Ruler in O’Neill’s 1850??

If a tune’s name isn’t known to a player, I suppose it’s OK if he or she just makes up a name, in order to better remember it, until they find out the real name.

However, I would think that the composer surely deserves a little respect from each of us, his fellow musicians.

I would suggest that it is very sloppy practice to just go around changing tune’s names, just because you don’t like the original name.

I wonder how Charlie Lennon would feel if lots of us decided that his names were crap & we just started renaming them all.

I think many of us have enough bother as it is, trying to remember names, without people going round trying to change tune names by deed poll!

Just imagine, you named your latest tune ~ “The Paisley Reel”, in honour of the wee town in Scotland & then folks hearing it assumed you wrote it as a tribute to big Ian Paisley & started calling “Big Ian’s Reel”! ………. I’m sure you would be delighted!

Of course, we could just go around renaming all those old tunes, whose composers were stupid enough to be born before PRS started throwing their weight around!

I would tell you what I think of PRS & Trad Music ~ but this forum doesn’t accept those words!

Re: The Home Ruler in O’Neill’s 1850??

Thanks for that food for thought, mickray. You’re right about the resemblance all right…

Pat Galvin’s?

Is this also known as Pat Galvin’s? I learned this from Padraig Carroll’s Mandolin book and it sounds very similar.

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I’ve been learning The Home Ruler. It’s a bit different to Pat Galvin’s Hornpipe (especially in the first 4 bars of the second section), but the first section is nearly identical and the the last four of the second section are very close.

I’ll post it when I learn this ABC malarkey!

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i’ll give this hornpipe a pass. :- )
but won’t add it to my tune book :- (
Hornpipes are meant to pass!

Home Ruler

This is a terrific tune. It can be played slow or fast.

It sounds very back-hills South Appalachian to me. I always think about the Irish roots in the USA when I play this tune.

I typically prefer to play it slow with a bit more USA intonation. I think about slow moving, not necessarily sadness, though maybe, or maybe reserved exuberance.

“Daniel OConnell the Home Ruler,is how it is described in several books.
Does this mean that musicians,have been getting the title wrong all these years,or is it a question of usage and evolving language,if enough people call it Daniel O Connell the Home Ruler,thats what it becomes regardless of the composers intentions,particuarlarly if the name wasnt registered with PRS in the first place.”

Well, as we all know, books are authoritative, and the words of those who knew the author personally and learned the tune directly from the author should be discarded. Clearly, they just want to get their name in a book!

“Does this mean that musicians have been getting the title wrong all these years ?” YES - next question.

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The Home Ruler Mp3

I recorded myself & two Ballycastle Fiddlers playing the Home Ruler about twelve years ago, so I thought you might enjoy hearing their version, which is no doubt fairly close to the way Frank himself played this tune, as Dominic McNabb here, used to play in sessions with Frank & Chris McCormack was actually a Fiddle student of Frank McCollam.

The late & sadly missed Mary Mulholland played the Piano with us, for this track.

As you’ll hear, the 1st part is fairly close to the standard version today, but it would appear that the 2nd part has changed over the years, perhaps because all those triplets didn’t quite suit Noel Hill’s wee Concertina. 😉


Setting #7

Thanks for sharing this particularly nice flute clip, ceolachan! – I’ve just added the dots.
Josh Dukes… I’ll bookmark that name. 🙂

Jig version?

Has anyone come across the jig version of this? I heard it played at a session recently but cant find a recording of it to learn from.

Re:Jig Version ?

This could have been something like that (see setting #8) ? 😉

Re: The Home Ruler

Anyone has setting of Cathal Hayden’s version?

Re: The Home Ruler

The link to the recording that Ptarmigan posted above for The Home Ruler, The Hangman’s Rope and Kate Marie doesn’t work any more but I reckon this is it here:

Re: The Home Ruler

Thanks Andy.
Yes the Co. Antrim musicians in my recording all played with Frank & would have learned the tune from him, so this’ll be close to his take on his tune.
However, as we all know the music is a very fluid entity & naturally evolves, so I have no doubt that the Hill / Linnane version will be the definitive take on this tune, going forward.

The Home Ruler, X:9

Cathal Hayden’s version of this tune from his CD Bow Brothers. Just love the way he plays this tune, slow with feeling.

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