Reel, D, Traditional Irish
Also known as Devaney’s Goat; Devanny’s Goat
Devanney’s Goat is a jaunty Irish reel. It is generally considered to be “traditional,” but is sometimes attributed to Tommy Whelan, a member of The Ballinakill Ceilidhe Band of East Galway in the 1930s.
The colorful goat in the image above is from the 1924 book “Billy Whiskers at Home,” by Frances Trego Montgomery with illustrations by Frances Brundage and C.W. Frank. My father, who is just about age 90, has had several books from this series on his bookshelf for as far back as I can remember. Now they are on my bookshelf. He read them to our family when I was a child. He told me yesterday that his mother had to stop reading them to him when he was a child because the books inspired him to butt his head into things as Billy Whiskers did. — Jonathan Lay (November 6, 2022)
- Video – Patrick Street: Devanney’s Goat/The Leitrim Rover/Michael Ryan’s – from the album Corner Boys.
- Video – Trad Linn: DeVaney’s Goat/ Geehan’s Reel (reels) – played on tin whistle. From the album The Roads of Clare.
- Audio – Comhaltas: Devanney’s Goat / Galway Rambler / Last Night’s Fun – session recording. From Foinn Seisiún Book 3
Dots (Music Notation)
As always for traditional tunes, the musical notation and chords do not indicate the “right” way to play the tune, but are a useful reference.
Play from the Dots
Examples of sets that include this tune.
- Devanney’s Goat Reel Set: Devaney’s Goat (D) / Galway Rambler (G) / Swinging on a Gate (G)
- Devaney’s Goat / Galway Rambler / Last Night’s Fun
References and Resources
For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.
- More Recordings
- Audio – The Irish Mandolin (Aidan Crossey): Devanney’s Goat played on Paris Swing Macaferri mandolin
- Video – Gerry O’Connor: Devaney’s Goat / Dr. Gilbert / Richard Dwyer’s Reel – played on tenor banjo in the key of E flat. From the album Time to Time.
- Video – Tunes from Doolin: Devaney’s Goat (Reel) | Irish Concertina Tunes – played on concertina.
- Lesson – Shannon Heaton: Learning Irish Flute – Tune of the Month with Shannon Heaton – Devanney’s Goat [Reel] – taught phrase by phrase on flute.
- Lesson – The Irish Mandolin: Devanney’s Goat REVISITED – a reel in D Major tabbed for mandolin and played by Aidan Crossey (Also see The Irish Mandolin for downloadable sheet music and audio files.)
- Other Resources
- Webpage – The Session: Devanny’s Goat (Reel) – crowdsourced sheet music, comments and more
- Webpage – The Irish Traditional Music Tune Index: Devaney’s Goat – tune archival information curated by Alan Ng.
- Book – “Billy Whiskers at Home” by Frances Trego Montgomery with illustrations by Frances Brundage and C.W. Frank. US Copyright 1924. Public domain. Available for free from the Gutenberg Project.