Any unknowing person asked to venture an opinion about "Paddy McGinty's Goat" might very well reply that it was a novelty song written by an Irishman. While it is indeed a novelty song that was recorded by a popular Irish family entertainer, it was in fact written by two Englishmen, and first popularized by an American double act.
The Two Bobs visited Britain on holiday, and ended up working in music hall, which by 1917 was already past its peak; their names appear on the cover of the sheet music, which was published originally by Francis, Day & Hunter. R.P. Weston's songwriting career was launched when this firm published "Boys Of The Chelsea School". Later, he teemed up with Bert Lee, and the two men churned out songs by the dozen, of which "Paddy McGinty's Goat" - which is written in 2/4 time - appears to have been moderately successful. It was not until 1964 however, when both Weston and Lee had long departed this Earth, that the song became known to a wider audience. Val Doonican's recording was released on the Decca label as the B-side of "Delaney's Donkey". Although it failed to chart, it became one of the song's most readily associated with Doonican during his five decade plus career.
Doonican's definitive recording consists solely of the folk singer accompanying himself on acoustic guitar; a full arrangement, by John Rose, was published by Eden Music of Cheltenham in 1995; this includes treble voices, recorders, clarinet/trumpet, violin, cello, piano, guitar and percussion instruments.
Suggestion credit: Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
Doonican had a run of five UK Top 10 hits from 1964-1967 and hosted his own program, The Val Doonican Show, on the BBC from 1965 to 1986. He died in 2015 at age 88. According to his daughter, his "batteries had just run out."