Goat's Song (The)

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X:1 T:Goat's Song, The M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Air Q:"Moderate" S:O'Neill - Music of Ireland (1903), No. 480 Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:F c|A>cd cAF|A/B/cA cGc|A>cd cAF|f2e d2c| A>cd cAF| A/B/cA cGc|A>GF Afa|gfe {e}d2 :| |: f|{d}cAA {g}fAA|{g}aAA {d}cGG|{d}cAA {g}fAA|{g}af^c d2f| |1 {d}cAA {g}fAA|{g}AA cGc|A>GF Afa|gfe {e}d2:| |2 cde fga|gfe {g}fed| c>AF Afa|gfe {e}d2||



GOAT'S SONG, THE (An Cronan Gabhair). AKA and see "Goat Pen (The)," "Short Apron (1) (The)," "Short Black Apron (The)." Scottish, Air (6/8 time). F Major/D Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB'. The tune features ornaments that sound like a goat's bleating. O'Neill says an almost identical version of the melody can be found in Logan's Scottish Gael vol. 2 (London, 1831, No. V between the music pages between pp. 260-261) under the title "Cronan Gabhair (An)" (see also "Oisin's Lament" for another tune O'Neill reprinted from Logan's volume). It also appears in Simon Fraser's 1816 volume Airs and Melodies Peculiar to Scotland and the Highlands under the title "Goat Pen (The)." In a letter to A.P. Graves, Francis O'Neill wrote that the air was to be found in Mooney's History of Ireland. It appears that the tune has a Scottish provenance. See note for "Short Apron (1) (The)" for more.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - "Mr. Quinn, a famous Irish piper of Chicago (and) his friend Segt. James Early" [O'Neill]. In Irish Minstrels and Musicians (1913, p. 124) O'Neill states that Quinn and Early learned "an odd jig called 'The Goat's Song' in which the bleating of that sportive animal is an ever-recurring tone. Its antiquity is undeniable for almost identical version of the tune under its Irish name 'Cronan Gabhair' is to be found in Logan's Scottish Gael." Later, O'Neill said the the tune was played "in equally good style" by the duo James McFadden and Sgt. Early on fiddle and uilleann pipes[1].

Printed sources : - O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 480, p. 84. O'Neill (Irish Minstrels and Musicians), 1913; p. 124.

Recorded sources: -



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  1. Paul de Grae, "Notes on Sources of Music in the O'Neill Collections", 2017.