Paddy McGinty's Goat

Album: The Very Best of Val Doonican (1964)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • 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."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Dennis DeYoung

Dennis DeYoungSongwriter Interviews

Dennis DeYoung explains why "Mr. Roboto" is the defining Styx song, and what the "gathering of angels" represents in "Come Sail Away."

Female Singers Of The 90s

Female Singers Of The 90sMusic Quiz

The ladies who ruled the '90s in this quiz.

Matthew Wilder - "Break My Stride"

Matthew Wilder - "Break My Stride"They're Playing My Song

Wilder's hit "Break My Stride" had an unlikely inspiration: a famous record mogul who rejected it.

Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"

Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"Songwriter Interviews

Ian talks about his 3 or 4 blatant attempts to write a pop song, and also the ones he most connected with, including "Locomotive Breath."

Lecrae

LecraeSongwriter Interviews

The Christian rapper talks about where his trip to Haiti and his history of addiction fit into his songs.

Stephen Christian of Anberlin

Stephen Christian of AnberlinSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer/lyricist for Anberlin breaks down "Impossible" and covers some tracks from their 2012 album Vital.