Hauling Home (The)

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HAULING HOME, THE. AKA and see "Belle of Lexington," "Belle Election," "Kitty's Wedding (1)," "Mrs. Smith's Reel," "Smith's Delight." Irish, Hornpipe. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Frequently played in Irish sessions as "Kitty's Wedding (1)." 'Hauling Home' generally refers to the old ceremony of escorting the bride and groom to the couple's home after a wedding. In "Notes on Irish Folk-Lore" in the volume The Folk-lore record, Volume 4, an 1881 publication of the Folklore Society of Great Britain (p. 110) we find this discussion:

Before the "bad times" in Connaught and Munster [i.e. the Great Famine] the man and his bride were put on a horse and started for home with all the company after them; it was the duty of his friends to try and ride in the way, or otherwise prevent her friends overtaking him before he got to their own door; this evidently was the survival of the custom of running away with the bride. This is now changed into what is called the "hauling home". The father or brother of the bride rides first, next the bridge and bridegroom, and afterwards the friends of both. On the marriage the father of the bride gives a feast, after which the husband stops with her for a few days; then he returns home, and on the seventh day comes with his friends to haul her home, when he gives a feast. In some places, however, the hauling home takes place on the marriage day. Bargains are made respecting the fortune to accompany the bride, and often at the last moment the marriage may be broken off for a few pounds, a cow, a horse, or a sheep.

See also Joyce's 'hauling home' tunes, "Bring Home the Bride," "Óró Welcome Home."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Roche (Collection of Traditional Irish Music, vol. 2), 1927; No. 220, p. 13.

Recorded sources:




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