Harvest Home (1)
X:1 T:Harvest Home  M:C| L:1/8 R:Hornpipe B:Manson--Hamilton's Universal Tune Book vol. 2 (1846, p. 40) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D FE|DAFA DAFA|defe dcBA|eAfA gAfA|edcB AGFE| DAFA DAFD|defe dcBA|eAfA gedc|d2f2d2:| |:cd|eAAA fAAA|gAAA fAAA|eAfA gAfA|edcB AGFE| Dddd cdec|Dddd cdef|gfge cABc|d2f2d2:|]
HARVEST HOME  (Deire an Fogmair/Baile an Fhómhair). AKA - "Harvest Time." AKA and see "Cincinnati Hornpipe (1)," "Cork Hornpipe (1) (The)," "Reel des récoltes (Harvest Reel)," "Stage Hornpipe (6)." England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, America; Hornpipe. USA; New England, New York, Ohio. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Martin): AA'B (Mitchell): AABB (most versions): AABB' (Hardie): AA'BB' (O'Malley): AABC (Kerr). In Ohio this tune goes under the name "Cincinnati Hornpipe (1)," as well as by any sources who learned it from Ryan's Mammoth Collection. Irish sources call it the "Cork Hornpipe (1) (The)." A second group of tunes, perhaps a separate but a large melodically related tune family, includes "Cliff Hornpipe," "Dundee Hornpipe," "Fred Wilson's Clog," "Free Round Trip," "Granny, Will Your Dog Bite?" (Pa., floating title), "Higgins' Hornpipe," "Kephart's Clog" (Pa.), "O'Higgins Hornpipe," "Ruby Lip," "Sailor's Stampede Clog," "Snyder's Jig" (Pa.), "Standard Hornpipe," "Uncle George's Hornpipe," "Wilson's Clog (1)," "Wilson's Hornpipe," "Wooden Shoe Clog," "Zig-Zag Hornpipe," "Zig-Zag Clog."
The "Harvest Home" melody can be found in the mid-19th century music manuscript collection of Sliabh Luachra musician D. Curtin, under the generic title "The English Hornpipe" (No. 14, p. 6 ). In modern times it is often paired with "Boys of Bluehill (The)" in Irish sessions, though considered something of a beginner's medley. Ciaran Carson, in his book Last Night's Fun (1996), describes a late-summer's night playing out-of-doors with a group in Garrison, on the Leitrim/Fermanagh border. They are rather quietly and politely listened to until someone calls for "Harvest Home," and when the tune is played two old souls emerge from different parts of the crowd into the space before the stage and begin to dance:
Their hands accompany the dance in little wristy arcane movements, thumbs alternating with their digits. Their feet are hardly off the ground as they hell and toe and tap, till it seems there is a skim of twilight shimmering between their boots-soles and the black wet tarmac. Loose change jingles in their pockets as they waver gravely in the pre-determined and formal quarter-bows, catching one another's little fingers on occasions, sometimes going for a full hand-clasp, instantly and rhythmically released. They doppelgänger one another. Nods and winks are witnessed as they undergo the subtle dramas of the ceili house. They reinvent the past and all their past encounters; then the pattern comes to its conclusion. Four feet stand on terra firma for one instant, then they break apart and take the gait of normal human beings. Everyone's relaxed now... (p. 111).
In America the tune was known since at least the 1840's. It appears as an untitled hornpipe (in the key of A major) on a page of the music manuscripts of Setauket, Long Island, painter and fiddler William Sidney Mount  (1807–1868), along with "Roscommons Hornpipe" and an untitled country dance (ms. at the Long Island Museum). One of the earliest sound recordings of the hornpipe was by Scottish fiddler William Craig in 1909 for Edison (released on a cylinder), the second tune in a medley with the strathspey "Stirling Castle." "Harvest Home" is introduced as a reel, and, while it is played quite fast, Craig manages to retain the hornpipe rhythm. Curiously, the first tune in the medley, "Stirling Castle" (spelled 'Sterling' on the recording) has an alternate title of "Harvest Home" (for which see "Harvest Home (2)"; one wonders about Craig's pairing of a strathspey and hornpipe, and of two tunes with the title "Harvest Home" (he must have known!). Unfortunately, very little is known about Craig, who recorded for a few years for Edison in the first decade of the 20th century. He was living in Glenburnie, Scotland, at the time of his death on July 10th, 1911.
The melody was played by old fiddler William "Jinky" Wells for the Bampton Morris Dancers in Oxfordshire, although it is not a morris tune and is seldom heard for morris dancing nowadays. In parts of the British Isles a 'Harvest Home' was synonymous with a community dance, similar to what New Englanders might call a 'Kitchen Junket.' In English sessions, however, "Harvest Home" is considered to be somewhat of a 'beginner's tune'. Kieth Chandler, in his essay "Musicians in 19th Century Southern England" (General Introduction, part 3), finds reference to such an event in a private house at Swalcliffe Park, Oxfordshire, the residence of Henry Norris, probably in the late 19th century:
...At the end of the summer, when the hay and the harvest had been gathered in, Mr. Norris gave a 'Harvest Home' to the people he employed...The dancing was in the courtyard of the house, on the clean stone floor and a local fiddler supplied the music on his fiddle...At Christmas there was sometimes a dance in the kitchen. A story goes, that on one occasion when the room was very full, the little old fiddler was hoisted on to the dresser where a chair had been placed, to put him out of the way...
(see also note for "Around the House and Mind the Dresser" for a similar anecdotal conservation of space in Ireland). See also the "Harvest Home" tune as "Reel des récoltes" (Harvest Reel), recorded by accordion player Tommy Duchesne (1909-1986) in Montreal in 1936.