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Paddy McGinty’s Goat
(Roud 18235)
Vincie Boyle
Mount Scott, Mullagh
Recorded November 2003

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Vincie Boyle

Now Patrick McGinty, an Irishman of note,
Fell in for a fortune, and bought himself a goat.
Said he, ‘Sure, in goat's milk I mean to have my fill!’
But when he brought the nanny home, he found it was a bill.

So all ye young ladies from here to Killaloe,
Who are all wearing bustles like their mothers used to do.
They each wear a bolster beneath the petticoat,
And leave the rest to providence, to Paddy McGinty's goat.

Mrs Burke to her daughter said, ‘Listen, Mary Jane,
Who is the fellow you was cuddling in the lane?
He had long wiry whiskers hanging from his chin.’
‘Twas only Pat McGinty's goat,’ she answered with a grin.

Then she went away from the village in disgrace,
She came back with powders and paints upon her face.
She'd rings on her fingers, and she wore a sable coat,
You may bet your life she didn’t get those from Paddy McGinty's goat.

Now Nora McCarthy the knot was going to tie,
She washed out her trousseau and hung it out to dry.
Then up came the goat and he saw the bits of white:
He chewed up all her falderals, upon her wedding night.

‘Turn out the light quick!’ she shouted out to Pat,
Although l'm your wife, sure l'm not worth looking at.
I had two of everything, I told you when I wrote,
But now I've one a-nothing, unto Paddy McGinty's goat.'

Mickey Riley, he went to the races t'other day.
He won twenty dollars and shouted, ‘Hip Hooray!’
He held up the banknote, saying , ‘Look at what I've got!’
The goat came up and grabbed it and swallowed up the lot.

‘He's eaten my banknote,’ said Mickey, with a hump.
They sent for the doctor, they got a stomach pump.
They pumped and they pumped for the twenty dollar note,
But all they got was ninepence out of Paddy McGinty's goat.

Now Paddy's goat had a wonderous appetite,
And one day for breakfast he had some dynamite.
A small box of matches he swallowed all serene,
Then out he went and swallowed up a quart of paraffin.

He sat by the fireside, he didn't give a hang,
He swallowed up a spark and exploded with a bang.
If you ever go to heaven you can bet the dollar note,
That the angel with the whisker is Paddy McGinty's goat.


“Despite giving the impression of a late 19th century American stage song, this hugely popular comic song is listed as ‘traditional’ in collections, with no indication of origin. It was included in Chas. Sanderson’s broadside catalogue, ‘More Favourite Songs’, undated, but this places it in Edinburgh some time in the mid- to late 19th century.”
Jim Carroll

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