Gem of Ireland
Mmm, Gem of Cape Breton more like……
Yes, it is in ‘Coles’ (Ryan’s Mammouth)1000 Fiddle Tunes as The Gem of Ireland. Some Cape Bretoner’s have credited Dan R MacDonald for the tune but because it’s in (with a few slight differences) a 19th century collection it cancels that possibility out.
In O’Neill’s too
Compare this setting with
Cape Breton version
I feel that even though the Cape Breton version ‘Homeward Bound’ is not that dissimilar from the ‘Gem of Ireland’, it certainly has become a unique tune in it’s own right. As a fiddle tune, the syncopated bowing style that can be used, makes it quite different.
In Gordon McQuarrie’s Cape Breton Collection (1940) this tune is credited to Rory MacDonald. It is remarkably similar to "Gem of Ireland" but I don’t think it’s a straight copy. Noodling about in a reel in D major, there are obvious places for the tune to go…