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Lyr/Origins: O'Grady's Goat, Bill Grogan's, etc.

DigiTrad:
BILL GROGAN'S GOAT
PADDY McGlNTY'S GOAT


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Paddy McGinty's Goat (Weston/Lee) (43)
Lyr Req: The Mad Puck Goat (11)
Lyr Req: Grandpa's Billygoat (12)
Lyr Req: 'highland goat song' / Bill Grogan's Goat (16)
Lyr Req: Paddy McGinty's Goat (20)
Lyr Req: Bill Grogan's Goat (7)
Lyr Req: An Poc Ar Buille (in English?) (10)


GUEST,Newport Bard 10 Nov 02 - 01:05 PM
Sorcha 10 Nov 02 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,Kendall 10 Nov 02 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,Newport Bard 10 Nov 02 - 04:56 PM
kendall 10 Nov 02 - 07:52 PM
Sorcha 10 Nov 02 - 08:13 PM
mg 11 Nov 02 - 12:03 AM
kendall 11 Nov 02 - 09:13 AM
kendall 11 Nov 02 - 09:14 AM
Sorcha 11 Nov 02 - 09:39 AM
EBarnacle1 11 Nov 02 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 11 Nov 02 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 15 Nov 02 - 09:45 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 15 Nov 02 - 09:48 PM
GUEST,J. Tambling 01 Jan 04 - 05:02 PM
kendall 02 Jan 04 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,Jerri Hahs 27 Aug 07 - 10:21 AM
Joe Offer 27 Aug 07 - 03:01 PM
Joe Offer 27 Aug 07 - 03:17 PM
Joe Offer 27 Aug 07 - 03:58 PM
Joe Offer 27 Aug 07 - 08:43 PM
Joe Offer 27 Aug 07 - 08:59 PM
EBarnacle 27 Aug 07 - 09:07 PM
Goose Gander 28 Aug 07 - 12:33 AM
Jim Dixon 09 Jan 10 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Tony Gratton 14 Sep 11 - 11:49 AM
Jim Dixon 18 Sep 11 - 01:21 PM
Jim Dixon 19 Nov 11 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,cindy heiselman 07 Nov 12 - 06:15 PM
Charley Noble 08 Nov 12 - 09:50 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: O'Grady's Goat
From: GUEST,Newport Bard
Date: 10 Nov 02 - 01:05 PM

A friend in Ireland asked if I could help him to find the words of a song called O'Grady's Goat which he remembers his father singing to him as a young boy. Any help or guidance would be much appreciated


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: O'Grady's Goat
From: Sorcha
Date: 10 Nov 02 - 01:21 PM

I didn't find any lyrics, but apparently it was written by William Shakespeare Hays.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: O'Grady's Goat
From: GUEST,Kendall
Date: 10 Nov 02 - 01:47 PM

If this is the one about all the didos it cut up, I know most of it.
sample:
O'Grady lived in a shanty row and the people often said,
They wish that he would move away or else his goat was dead...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: O'Grady's Goat
From: GUEST,Newport Bard
Date: 10 Nov 02 - 04:56 PM

Many thanks Kendall, it sounds like the one. Can you give me the rest to pass on to my friend in Ireland? He will be so grateful.


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Subject: Lyr Add: O'GRADY'S GOAT
From: kendall
Date: 10 Nov 02 - 07:52 PM

O'Grady's Goat

O'Grady lived in a shanty row and the people often said.
They wish that he would move away or else his goat was dead,
It kept the children in a fright and the people often vexed,
They never knew just where or when the goat would turn up next.

refrain

O'Grady's goat a diddle de dum dee dee,
O'Grady's goat a diddle de dumm dee dee,
With their guns their sticks and knives,
The husbands and the wives, tried most all their lives
To kill O'Grady's goat.

They were having a party at McNill's and they all were having fun,
All of a sudden an earthquake come and everybody run,
The oyster stew fell on the floor it nearly drowned the cat,
The stove was smashed to smithereens and O'Grady's goat done that.

repeat refrain

Now Pat McNill and Biddy were standing by the gate
Puckering up to kiss eash other shy and sweet,
They came together with a crash and smashed their noses flat,
Now they don't speak when they go by, and O'Grady's goat done that.

refrain

Now O'Hoolahan he brought home some dynamite one day,
To blow a cistern in the air and he hid the stuff away,
All of a sudden a hell of a bang, and O'Hoolahan's house and hat
And everything in sight went up and O'Grady's goat done that.

refrain

Now Mrs. Murphy hung some clothes out on the line to dry,
She went to take them in at night and she stopped to make a cry
The two red shirts that once were worn by her husband, Pat,
Were both chewed off up to the neck and O'Grady's goat done that.

refrain

On a cold November morning and snow was on the ground
The men the women and children were gladly standing round
The form of one lay dead and cold and sticking in his throat,
Were the two red flannel shirts, he ate that ended O'Grady's goat.
The form of one lay dead and cold and sticking in his throat,
Were the two red shirts that Patrick wore that ended O'Grady's goat.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: O'Grady's Goat
From: Sorcha
Date: 10 Nov 02 - 08:13 PM

Website I linked earlier said it was a "companion piece" to McGinty's Goat. Thanks, Kendall.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: O'Grady's Goat
From: mg
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 12:03 AM

what is the one>>> Bill Hogan/s goat was feeling fine at 2 red shirts right off the line...can't remember the rest..mg


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Subject: ADD Version: BILL GROGAN'S GOAT
From: kendall
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 09:13 AM

Bill Grogan's Goat

There was a man, who had a goat,
He loved that goat just like a kid.
One day that goat was feeling fine,
He ate red shirts right off the line,
The farmer grabbed him by the back,
And tied him to the railroad track,
Just then a train came into sight,
And that poor goat near died of fright,
He heaved a sigh as if in vain,
Coughed up the shirts, and flagged the train.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: O'Grady's Goat
From: kendall
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 09:14 AM

This is a good one to do with kids. Have them repeat each line after you.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: O'Grady's Goat
From: Sorcha
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 09:39 AM

Mary, I believe that one is Bill Grogan's Goat.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: O'Grady's Goat
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 02:16 PM

Bill Grogan's Goat can be found on several Burl Ives albums, including "The Animal Fair."


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Subject: Lyr Add: PAPA'S BILLY GOAT and ROSENTHAL'S GOAT...
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 05:41 PM

More than most of you really want to know. Lots of references to "classics" within the DT…i.e. "daddy is my own son-in-law." Read to the very bottom for "O'Grady's Goat"

Long Steel Rail – The Railroad in American Folksong Norm Cohen, University of Illinois Press, 1981.

p.28 "Recorded hillbilly music was slower to get off the ground than was the music recoded for "the race…. The event that opened industry's eyes to the potential market at hand was the recording in June, 1923, of Atlanta's Fiddlin' John Carson." ( p. 29 advertisement from Talking Machine World, September 15, 1924 King of the Mountaineer Musicians! Fiddlin' John Carson Seven Times Champion Fiddler of the South Records Exclusivly for Okeh Records)

p.30 "….At his second session, Fiddlin' John Carson recorded "Casey Jones" and "Papa's Billy Goat…."

p.74 Indicates that the first recording of John Henry was in March of 1924 by Carson. on an OKeh

p. 275 Chap 6 Asleep at the Switch " This very brief chapter is intended to provide respite between two rather somber portions of the book: a chapter of rail road accidents, and a chapter of tragedies, embracing a variety of the more sorrowful aspect of the human condition."

"…"Papa's Billy Goat" bring us to the level of the droll minstrel stage or music hall. It is the still-remembered song of a mischievous goat who ears his master's red shirts off the clothesline, is tied to a railroad track for punishment, but saves himself at the last minute by coughing up the shirts and flagging the train."

p.288 PAPA'S BILLY GOAT

X:1
T:PAPA'S BILLY GOAT
M:C
L:1/8
K:D

DD3D2DD D2b2a2Fa2 D3ED2(DA) D2b2a4 dd3(db)(af) a2 a (bb2)F2 D2D2F2F2 E2E2D4

Papa bought him a great big billy goat,
Ma(ma) she washed most every day;
Hung our clothes out on the line,
That durned old goat he come that way.

Now he pulled down the red flannelled shirt,
You oughta hear those button crack;
But I'll get even with the son-of-a-gun,
Gonna tie him across the railroad track.

Tied him across the railroad track,
And the train was a-comin' at a powerful rate;
He belched up that old red shirt,
Then flagged down that durned old freight.

Then I went to the deport and bought me a ticket,
And I walked right in and I sot right down;
Stuck my ticket in the brim of my hat,
And the doggone wind blowed it out on the ground.

The conductor come around, says, "Gimme your ticket."
Said I'll have to pay again or get left on the track;
But I'll get even with the son-of-a-gun,
Got a round-trip ticket and I ain't a-comin' back.

Then I acted an old fool, married me a widow,
And the widow had daughter and her name was Maude;
Father being a widower married her daughter,
And now my daddy is my own son-in-law. (Fiddlin' John Carson)





p. 289

ROSENTHAL'S GOAT


X:1
T: ROSENTHAL'S GOAT
M:12/8
L:1/8
K:E

GF2E B2GG2GG2EE2C D2Fa2aa2aa2F B2bD2FB2BE2F G2BC2BE2EF2E G2GG2ab2EF2G (ba)aa2bc2aF2F b2BDE(FF2)GG2F (GE2E2>E2)


There was a man named Rosenthal,
He bought a goat, it was last fall;
He did not buy this goat for fun,
He bought him for his only son.

Six red shirts hung out on a line,
When Billy saw these, says, "Now I dine."
He rolled them up in a small ball,
And swallowed shirts, clothesline and all.

When Rosen' saw what Billy had done,
He said, "Prepare, you son-of-a-gun."
He took him to a railroad track,
And tied him down and turned his back.

When Billy saw the approaching train,
He tried to think, but all in vain;
He gave a jerk, and awful strain,
Coughed up the shirts and flagged the train.
Now Billy's stomach was lined with zinc,
He swallowed a rock, then a bottle of ink;
And then a stick of dynamite,
To satisfy his appetite.

When Rosen' got a great big stick,
And gave the goat a terrible lick;
The dynamite went off, 'tis sad to tell,
The goat went to heaven, and Rosenthal went to…
[Spoken] Well, that's you business.   (Mac and Bob)


p. 290 "Although its origins are still undiscovered, this song – or a close relation of it – is still vigorously alive in oral tradition, in fact, it is one of the few songs in this book that thrives as an urban as well as a rural folksong.

"Because they are so different in both tune and text, two version of the song are transcribed in full here.

The first, "Papa's Billy Goat," is taken from a hillbilly recording by Fiddlin' John Carson, the Atlanta fiddler whose June, 1923 recording of the "The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane" / "The Old Hen Cackled and the Rooster's Going to Crow" launched the hillbilly phonograph industry….in a second session… November 8, Carson recorded "Papa's Billy Goat….."

"Papa's Billy Goat" was recorded in July, 1924 by Tennessee-born hillbilly entertainer Uncle Dave Macon for the Vocalion Company…."

"Carson song is set to the familiar tune of "Reuben and Rachel" (now generally mistitled "Reuben, Reuben") a ditty written by Harry Bush and William Gooch and presumably copyrighted in 1871…."

"….The impression is given that this song was used as a vehicle for a series of humorous anecdotes, perhaps added or omitted at the performer's will."


p.291 "A second class of variants of the goat song is represented by the transcribed text and tune of "Rosenthal's Goat." In many of these, the goat's owner is given a name, often Irish: generally, Bill Grogan; less frequently, Bill Hogan, Rosenthal, Casey, Mike Riley, William Tell, Timon Thall, Angeline, Isaac Small. The persistent Irish association suggests that the piece dates from the 1880's, when jokes and songs about immigrant ethnic groups were at their zenith (or nadir, depending on one's attitude). The version given of "Rosenthal's Goat" is transcribed from a recording by Lester McFarland and Robert Gardener, which they made for the Brunswick Company on August 15, 1928. Gardner learned the song about 1920 from Charlie Oaks, a blind minstrel from Kentucky "Bill Grogan's Goat is the form that still survives in the city; because of its currency I give here a text from oral tradition:


Bill Grogan's goat was feeling fine,
Ate three red shirts right off the line.
His master came and beat his back,
And tied him to the railroad track.

The whistle blew, the train drew night,
Bill Grogan's goat knew he must die,
He gave three bleats of mortal pain,
Coughed up the shirts and flagged the train.

The engineer looked out to see
What in the world this thing could be.
And when he saw 'twas but a goat,
He drew his knife and slit its throat.

When Billy got to heaven, Saint Peter said,
"My darling Bill, where is your head?"
"I do not know and cannot tell,
For all I know, it may be in….
(Way down yonder in the cornfield)."

"The text is a little unusual because of the last two stanzas, which do not always occur and which seem clearly to be a latter addition….

"The earliest text that can be dated with certainty is a 1904 sheet-music version entitled "The Tale of a Shirt," words by W.W. Brackett…

p.292 "The most elaborate text of this song family is the one title "Riley's Goat" and printed by Ira W. Ford. Unfortunately, Ford, who drew from printed as well as oral sources, gave no data on the origin of the text. "Riley's Goat" clearly sounds like and Irish vaudeville song; however, the use of a green light as a clear signal suggests that that version is of twentieth-century origin….."Riley's Goat" is almost too good a text; it bears many elements that appear nowhere else….


"In our search for origins of this song/story, we should consider a poem by Will Hays, the successful composer of the 1960's and 1870s who gave us such popular hits as "The Little Old Cabin in the Lane,"…. Entitled O'Grady's Goat" and published in 1890 (if not earlier), the poem is an Irish dialect piece relating the various troublesome deeds perpetrated by Tim O'Grady's goat. Here is the third verse, which is appropriated to the problem at hand:

Pat Doolan's woife hung out the wash
Upon the line to dry.
She wint to take it in at night,
But stopped to have a cry.
The sleeves av two red flannel shirts,
That once were worn by pat,
Were chewed off almost to the neck,
O'Grady's goat doon that.

"Although it would wrap things up nicely to conclude to Hays's poem was the original source of the billy goat songs, I think such a conclusion would be too hasty."

9. "O'Grady's Goat" by Will S. Hays appears in Shoemaker's Best Selections, No. 18, compiled by Silas Nef (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Publishing, 1890)





Newport Bard - May I suggest Granger's Index to Poetry" if you want to locate a copy of "O'Grady's Goat" in an anthology collection.



Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: Tune Add: PAPA'S BILLY GOAT
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 09:45 PM

OK, lets try this again, with verticle lines. (shift \) thank you! Help


Long Steel Rail – The Railroad in American Folksong, Norm Cohen, University of Illinois Press, 1981.

p.288 PAPA'S BILLY GOAT

X:1
T:PAPA'S BILLY GOAT
M:C
L:1/8
K:D

DD3D2DD|D2b2a2Fa2|D3ED2(DA)|D2b2a4|dd3(db)(af)|a2a(bb2)F2|D2D2F2F2|E2E2D4|


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Subject: Tune Add: ROSENTHAL'S GOAT
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 09:48 PM

And a second time, try again, verticle bars.

Long Steel Rail – The Railroad in American Folksong, Norm Cohen, University of Illinois Press, 1981.

p. 289

ROSENTHAL'S GOAT


X:1
T: ROSENTHAL'S GOAT
M:12/8
L:1/8
K:E

GF2E|B2GG2GG2EE2C|D2Fa2aa2aa2F|B2bD2FB2BE2F|G2BC2BE2EF2E|G2GG2ab2EF2G|(ba)aa2bc2aF2F|b2BDE(FF2)GG2F|(GE2E2>E2)||


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: O'Grady's Goat
From: GUEST,J. Tambling
Date: 01 Jan 04 - 05:02 PM

I would love to have the words to the poem. I recited this poem as a graduation address in the 7th grade.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: O'Grady's Goat
From: kendall
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 09:41 AM

an alternate line at the end of O'Grady's goat...dead and cold and sticking down his throat, was Maggie McGinty's bustle stuck fast that ended O'Grady'd goat.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: O'Grady's Goat
From: GUEST,Jerri Hahs
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 10:21 AM

WHAT a JOY! to find Bill Grogan's Goat! I'd been looking for McGregor's Goat for years. How many years? A LOT. I used to sing
this song for the nurses at Sibley Hospital in DC, the summer I spent there recovering from a shattered femur. Then sang it for my young children in the '40's. Now, at the age of 81, my long term
memory is as poor as my short term. Thank you all for sharing your
Goat lyrics. I found the tune on Digitrad under Bill Grogan's Goat. There are many early American and very old tunes registered there, along with the lyrics. Now I can entertain my 10 greatgrands!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: O'Grady's Goat
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 03:01 PM

Hey, Kendall - on "Bill Grogan's Goat," you have:
    He heaved a sigh as if in vain
Did you mean pain?
-Joe-
Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

Bill Grogan's Goat

DESCRIPTION: Bill Grogan has a goat; "He loved that goat just like a kid." One day the goat, "Ate three red shirts from off the line." Bill angrily ties the goat to the railroad track. The goat "coughed up those shirts (and) flagged down the train."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1904 (sheet music, The Tale of a Shirt)
KEYWORDS: animal humorous train
FOUND IN: US(SE) Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Cohen-LSRail, pp. 288-295, "Papa's Billy Goat/Rosenthal's Goat" (3 texts plus some excerpts and a sheet music cover of "The Tale of a Shirt," 2 tunes)
BrownIII 514, "The Billy Goat" (1 short text)
Peacock, p. 65, "Joey Long's Goat" (1 text, 1 tune)
Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 140-141, "(The Goat)" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 404, "Bill Groggin's Goat" (1 text)
Pankake-PHCFSB, pp. 54-55, "Papa's Billy Goat" (1 text, 1 tune, with additional elements added)
DT, GOATSHRT*

Roud #4574
RECORDINGS:
Fiddlin' John Carson, "Papa's Billy Goat" (OKeh 4994, 1924; rec. 1923) (Okeh, unissued, 1927)
Uncle Dave Macon, "Papa's Billie Goat" (Vocalion 14848, 1924)
Riley Puckett, "Papa's Billy Goat" (Columbia, unissued, 1924)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Reuben and Rachel" (tune of some versions, including Fiddlin' John Carson's)
Notes: Almost certainly based on a poem by Robert Service -- which may, however, have been based on a folk song or story. - PJS
Norm Cohen, however, makes no mention of this; he notes that the 1904 "Tale of a Shirt" (the earliest precisely dateable version) is very distinct from the common text, requiring recensional activity. The earliest traditional version seems to be Brown's, from 1913. Cohen also notes a link to a Will Hays song, "O'Grady's Goat," published by 1890.
It sounds to me as if the thing goes back into the mists of time, with periodic performers grabbing some traditional fragment and expanding it into a full-blown song.
Carson's version, incidentally, has a final verse in which the singer marries a widow and the widow's daughter marries the singer's father. It's not "I'm My Own Grandpa" -- but it's very possibly an inspiration for that song. - RBW
File: SRW141

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2007 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: ADD: Joey Long's Goat
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 03:17 PM

This one is from Peacock, Songs of the Newfoundland Outports. Similar tune to "Bill Grogan," but not exactly the same.

Joey Long's Goat

There was a man named Joey Long,
He bought a goat all for a song,
Joe loved that goat, he said he did,
He only bought her for a kid.

One day this goat so very fine
Ate six big shirts all off the line,
Joe caught her by the woolly back,
He tied her to the railroad track.

And when the whistle it did blow
He thought on days long long ago,
The goat she screamed, 'twas not in vain,
Coughed up the shirts and flagged the train.


Peacock CD-ROM Produced by Jim Payne and Don Walsh for SingSong Inc.

Click to play


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Subject: RE: Lyr /Origins: O'Grady's Goat, Bill Grogan's, etc.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 03:58 PM

Here's #514 from the Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore, Volume III:

The Billy Goat

A billy goat was feeling fine,
Ate six red shirts from off the line.
Sal took a stick and broke Bill's back
And tied him to the railroad track.

'Long came a freight just six hours late.
It was too bad, made poor Bill mad.
Bill gave a shriek of roar (fear?) and pain,
Coughed up the shirts and flagged the train.


Reported in 1913 by W.B. Covington as heard at Cary, Wake County, North Carolina, about 1909. (no tune)


Brown says there's a six-stanza version in Traditional Music of America, by Ira W. Ford, 1940; pp. 374-5. Anybody have Ford?


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Subject: RE: Lyr /Origins: O'Grady's Goat, Bill Grogan's, etc.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 08:43 PM

These are the versions of goatshr* that will be in the coming edition of the Digital Tradition. I'll delete this message when the DT gets posted, but I thought you might like to see what's coming. I had no idea that Robert W. Service got in the act here. Heck, he even had an early version of Elma Turl (that was earlier than Elma).
-Joe-

THE BALLAD OF CASEY'S BILLY-GOAT

Intro:    You've heard of "Casey at The Bat,"
          And "Casey's Tabble Dote";
          But now it's time
          To write a rhyme
          Of "Casey's Billy-goat."

Pat Casey had a billy-goat he gave the name of Shamus,
Because it was (the neighbours said) a national disgrace.
And sure enough that animal was eminently famous
For masticating every rag of laundry round the place.
For shirts to skirts prodigiously it proved its powers of chewing;
The question of digestion seemed to matter not at all;
But you'll agree, I think with me, its limit of misdoing
Was reached the day it swallowed Missis Rooney's ould red shawl.

Now Missis Annie Rooney was a winsome widow women,
And many a bouncing boy had sought to make her change her name;
And living just across the way 'twas surely only human
A lonesome man like Casey should be wishfully the same.
So every Sunday, shaved and shined, he'd make the fine occasion
To call upon the lady, and she'd take his and coat;
And supping tea it seemed that she might yield to his persuasion,
But alas! he hadn't counted on that devastating goat.

For Shamus loved his master with a deep and dumb devotion,
And everywhere that Casey went that goat would want to go;
And though I cannot analyze a quadruped's emotion,
They said the baste was jealous, and I reckon it was so.
For every time that Casey went to call on Missis Rooney,
Beside the gate the goat would wait with woefulness intense;
Until one day it chanced that they were fast becoming spooney,
When Shamus spied that ould red shawl a-flutter on the fence.

Now Missis Rooney loved that shawl beyond all rhyme or reason,
And maybe 'twas an heirloom or a cherished souvenir;
For judging by the way she wore it season after season,
I might have been as precious as a product of Cashmere.
So Shamus strolled towards it, and no doubt the colour pleased him,
For he biffed it and he sniffed it, as most any goat might do;
Then his melancholy vanished as a sense of hunger seized him,
And he wagged his tail with rapture as he started in to chew.

"Begorrah! you're a daisy," said the doting Mister Casey
to the blushing Widow Rooney as they parted at the door.
"Wid yer tinderness an' tazin' sure ye've set me heart a-blazin',
And I dread the day I'll nivver see me Anniw anny more."
"Go on now wid yer blarney," said the widow softly sighing;
And she went to pull his whiskers, when dismay her bosom smote. . . .
Her ould red shawl! 'Twas missin' where she'd left it bravely drying -
Then she saw it disappearing - down the neck of Casey's goat.

Fiercely flamed her Irish temper, "Look!" says she, "The thavin' divvle!
Sure he's made me shawl his supper. Well, I hope it's to his taste;
But excuse me, Mister Casey, if I seem to be oncivil,
For I'll nivver wed a man wid such a misbegotten baste."
So she slammed the door and left him in a state of consternation,
And he couldn't understand it, till he saw that grinning goat:
Then with eloquence he cussed it, and his final fulmination
Was a poem of profanity impossible to quote.

So blasting goats and petticoats and feeling downright sinful,
Despairfully he wandered in to Shinnigan's shebeen;
And straightway he proceeded to absorb a might skinful
Of the deadliest variety of Shinnigan's potheen.
And when he started homeward it was in the early morning,
But Shamus followed faithfully, a yard behind his back;
Then Casey slipped and stumbled, and without the slightest warning
like a lump of lead he tumbled - right across the railroad track.

And there he lay, serenely, and defied the powers to budge him,
Reposing like a baby, with his head upon the rail;
But Shamus seemed unhappy, and from time to time would nudge him,
Though his prods to protestation were without the least avail.
Then to that goatish mind, maybe, a sense of fell disaster
Came stealing like a spectre in the dim and dreary dawn;
For his bleat of warning blended with the snoring of his master
In a chorus of calamity - but Casey slumbered on.

Yet oh, that goat was troubled, for his efforts were redoubled;
Now he tugged at Casey's whisker, now he nibbled at his ear;
Now he shook him by the shoulder, and with fear become bolder,
He bellowed like a fog-horn, but the sleeper did not hear.
Then up and down the railway line he scampered for assistance;
But anxiously he hurried back and sought with tug and strain
To pull his master off the track . . . when sudden! in the distance
He heard the roar and rumble of the fast approaching train.

Did Shamus faint and falter? No, he stood there stark and splendid.
True, his tummy was distended, but he gave his horns a toss.
By them his goathood's honour would be gallantly defended,
And if their valour failed him - he would perish with his boss
So dauntlessly he lowered his head, and ever clearer, clearer,
He heard the throb and thunder of the Continental Mail.
He would face the mighty monster. It was coming nearer, neared;
He would fight it, he would smite it, but he'd never show his tail.

Can you see that hirsute hero, standing there in tragic glory?
Can you hear the Pullman porters shrieking horror tothe sky?
No, you can't; because my story has no end so grim and gory,
For Shamus did not perish and his master did not die.
At this very present moment Casey swaggers hale and hearty,
And Shamus strolls beside him with a bright bell at his throat;
While recent Missis Rooney is the gayest of the party,
For now she's Missis Casey and she's crazy for that goat.

You're wondering what happened? Well, you know that truth is stranger
Than the wildest brand of fiction, so Ill tell you without shame. . . .
There was Shamus and his master in the face of awful danger,
And the giant locomotive dashing down in smoke and flame. . . .
What power on earth could save them? Yet a golden inspiration
To gods and goats alike may come, so in that brutish brain
A thought was born - the ould red shawl. . . . Then rearing with elation,
Like lightning Shamus threw it up - AND FLAGGED AND STOPPED THE TRAIN.
--
It is from Robert W. Service, Bar-Room Ballads, 1940.

@animal
filename[ GOATSHR4
JG
BILL GROGAN'S GOAT

Bill Grogan's goat
    Bill Grogan's goat
Was feeling fine
    Was feeling fine
Ate three red shirts
    Ate three red shirts
Right off the line
    Right off the line.

Bill took a stick
Gave him a whack,
And tied him to
The railroad track.

The whistle blew
The train was nigh
Bill Grogan's goat
Was doomed to die!

He gave a cough
Of mortal pain,
Coughed up those shirts
And flagged the train!

@animal @train
filename[ GOATSHRT
play.exeÿGOATSHRT
RG
HARLEM GOAT

That Harlem goat / was feeling fine
Ate three red shirts / right off the line.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . ..../ . . . . . . . . . . . . .
And tied him to / a railroad track.

The whistle blew / the train drew nigh
That Harlem goat / was doomed to die.

He gave one groan / of mortal pain
Coughed up those shirts / and flagged the train.


I remember singing that at Camp Reed, a Boy Scout camp for troops in Westchester
and Putnam Counties (NY), back in the late thirties. We knew it as "That Harle
m Goat," but the action stopped after the goat flagged the train. We sang it cal
l-and-response--the leader would sing a line and we'd repeat it. I remember som
e rather wild attempts at harmony on the last line of each stanza. That seemed t
o be the mostest fun part of the song.

filename[ GOATSHR3
SI
HUNGRY GOAT

There was a man by the name of Billy Hall
He had a goat and that ain't all

One day his goat was feeling fine
Ate six red shirts right off the line

First Billy cursed and then he swore
That doggone goat would eat no more

He took him by his wooly back
And tied him to the railroad track

Say au revoir if not goodbye
The big black train is drawing nigh

The goat he gave a shriek of pain
Coughed up the shirts and flagged the train

The engineer stopped, got out to see
What this strange thing on the tracks might be

And when he saw it was a goat
He took his knife and cut its throat

Now this poor goat was surely dead
He went to heaven without his head

When he got there Saint Peter said
"Tell me, poor goat -- where is your head?"

The goat replied, "I cannot tell -
It must have gone right down to la-de-da-de-da-de-da
De-da-de-da- de da-de-da de-da- HEY!

As sung at Boy Scout Camporee Jefferson County, KY (Louisville) circa
1947

John Garst wrote:
three variants.
>
1 A Highland goat was feeling fine
   It ate three red shirts right off the line ...

2 Bill Grogan's goat was feeling fine
   Ate three red shirts right off the line ...

3 There was a girl, called Clementine
   Hung three red shirts upon the line ...
>
Some information is given at the on-line Ballad Index. There it is
stated that the song is American ("Highland goat"?) and that the
earliest known appearance is 1945.
>
Norm Cohen, in Long Steel Rail (1st ed) notes a 1923 recording by
Fiddling John Carson and gives references to many appearances in
print as well as sound recording, the earliest printed version being
from 1904 ("The Tale of the Shirt" Norm thinks that "the persistent
Irish association suggests that the piece dates from the 1880s." [JG]


@animal @train
filename[ GOATSHR2
RB


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Subject: ADD Version: The Goat
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 08:59 PM

I'm sorry, but I'm not tired of goats yet. Here's the version in Sigmund Spaeth's Read 'Em and Weep: The Songs You Forgot to Remember (1927, page 158):

The Goat

There was a man, now please take note,
There was a man, who had a goat.
He loved that goat, indeed he did,
He loved that goat, just like a kid.

One day that goat felt frisk and fine,
Ate three red shirts from off the line.
The man he grabbed him by the back,
And tied him to a railroad track.

But when the train hove into sight,
That goat grew pale and green with fight.
He heaved a sigh, as if in pain,
Coughed up those shirts and flagged the train.


This is more-or-less what Kendall posted, and more-or-less what's in the Digital Tradition, and more-or-less what's in the Boy Scout Songbook. I have to say that I don't sing this song very often because kids have no idea what you mean by "flagged the train" - and if you try to explain it, it kills the joke.

Anybody have any luck singing this song nowadays? It's a song I grew up with, but I've never been able to make it "work" for me. Same with "My Gal's a Corker." These songs were sung by Old Guys that I loved and admired when I was a kid - particularly the program director of the camp where I worked. They seemed out-of-date then, but I "got" the joke, and I enjoyed the songs because they seemed quaint. Nowadays, kids look at you quizzically if you sing a song like this, and they seem to think you're really weird. I have better luck with the "F-Word" song.

-Joe-

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Subject: RE: Lyr /Origins: O'Grady's Goat, Bill Grogan's, etc.
From: EBarnacle
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 09:07 PM

At the moment, I cannot find it but I see no indication of the line that includes: "he bought him for his precious skin."


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Subject: RE: Lyr /Origins: O'Grady's Goat, Bill Grogan's, etc.
From: Goose Gander
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 12:33 AM

I Bought A Goat, a fragment by J. W. Becker includes the line "I bought him for his precious skin," and was "learned by Mr. Becker in 1908, when he was in 3rd grade."

Recorded at Shafter FSA Camp, 8-15-40.

Source: Voices From the Dust Bowl at American Memory.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A GOAT IDYL
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Jan 10 - 02:14 PM

Here's the oldest version of the story I can find. It doesn't mention Bill Grogan, though.

From Modern Medical Science, Volume 16, No. 6 (New York: Wm. Cowper Conant, December, 1903), page 364:

A GOAT IDYL.

Dr. Johnson, a friend of mine,
Hung three red shirts upon a line.
Now, what else do you think our doctor did
But buy a goat for his only kid?
One day this goat, while roaming round,
Spied those red shirts and ate them down.
The doctor was mad, and cursed and swore
That he would have the old goat's gore.
So he led him to the railroad track,
And tied him there upon his back,
Leaving him in this sorry plight,
Just as a freight train hove in sight.
"Say au revoir, but not good-bye!"
This goat was far too cute to die.
He strove with all his might and main—
Coughed up those shirts and flagged the train!


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Origins: O'Grady's Goat, Bill Grogan's, etc.
From: GUEST,Tony Gratton
Date: 14 Sep 11 - 11:49 AM

There was a man who's name was Strong
he bought a goat for just a song

one day this goat was feeling fine
he ate three shirts right off the line

Strong got a stick, gave him a whack
and tied him to the rail road track

the whistle blew, the train grew nigh
that little goat was doomed to die

he gave three groans of awful pain
caughed up those shirts and flagged the train!


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Origins: O'Grady's Goat, Bill Grogan's, etc.
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 01:21 PM

This version was published only a few months before the one in Modern Medical Science:

From Locomotive Firemen's Magazine, Volume 35, No. 1 (Inianapolis: Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, July, 1903), page 18:


A teacher in the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans' Home, at Xenia, sends for publication the following verses, which were composed by a ten-year-old pupil:

There was a man named Rosanhall
That bought a goat just for the stall.
One day the goat became inclined
To eat red shirts right off the line.

Then Rosanhall to the goat did say:
"Your time has come; you must die this day!"
He took him to the railroad track
And there he bound him on his back.

The train it came, the whistle blew:
The goat he knew his time was due,
And with an awful shriek of pain
Coughed up the shirts and flagged the train.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GOAT'S DILEMMA (A. F.)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 11:56 AM

From The Railroad Telegrapher, Volume 16, No. 7 (Peoria, Ill.: Order of Railroad Telegraphers, July 1899), page 568:


THE GOAT'S DILEMMA.
By A. F.

A red shirt hung upon the line,
A goat came 'long and thought 'twas fine;
He took a hold and chewed it down,
And swallowed it without a frown.

The man came forth with "hue and cry,"
He then declared the goat mast die;
He threw him down upon his back,
And tied him to the railroad track.

He waited long to see the smoke,
And hear the engine's steady stroke;
And when he did he grinned and said:
"Mr. Goat, you'll soon be dead."

The train came on with deafening shriek,
Which made the goat feel pretty weak:
He gave one awful, mighty strain,
Threw up the shirt and flagged the train.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Origins: O'Grady's Goat, Bill Grogan's, etc.
From: GUEST,cindy heiselman
Date: 07 Nov 12 - 06:15 PM

my Dad tought it to us as kids this way,
There was a man named Angeling.Hung three red shirts on his close line.
His goat got loose bout half past nine and eat those shirts right off that line.
Then Angeline got mad and said he wished that mean old goat was dead
so he took him to the railroad track and tied him hard upon his back.
Now down the line came the express to oooo you'll guess the rest.
Sing any old song but not good bye for mr. goat to wise to die, he had a sceam up in his brain coughed up those shirts and flaged that train.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Origins: O'Grady's Goat, Bill Grogan's, etc.
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Nov 12 - 09:50 AM

Reminds me of the old story about Capt. Plumber and his coastal schooner the Hannah B. As I recall, Capt. Plumber was cruising along the Maine's Midcoast area with a load of lumber when he saw signs of a gale coming in from the East. Now you don't want to be pinned to the Maine coast if there's a Downeaster coming in. So Capt. Plumber swung the Hannah B. around and headed toward the shelter of Christmas Cove, rounded up neat and dropped anchors off the bow and stern, had everything battened down in 30 minutes flat. Well, that gale was a real rip-snorter and Capt. Plumber and the Hannah B. had a merry old time in that cove rocking up and down all night but everything held just fine. Come morning the sun came out, and Capt. Plumber climbed back on deck and looked all around, floating debris all around, trees knocked down on the rocky shore, and lobster traps washed up on the shingle beach.

Now if you've ever been to Christmas Cove, you know that the Boston & Maine rail line runs right along the shore, and as Capt. Plumber was surveying the damage all around with his telescope he saw a terrible sight! Quickly he dashed down below and grabbed two clothes pins, climbed back on deck and launched the dinghy over the side, and rowed swiftly to the shore. Off in the distance Capt. Plumber heard the whistle of the on-coming train, and knowing there was not a moment to spare he ran up the rail line waving the two clothes pins, which the engineer saw, and the train drew to a grinding stop inches from the twisted track around the bend and hundreds of passengers were saved!

"Why did the engineer stop the train?"

I thought you'd never ask. Well, as soon as the engineer saw Capt. Plumber running up the tracks waving those two clothes pins, he knew there was a washout on the line.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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