The Night We Had The Goats reel

Also known as An Oidhche Bha Na Gabhair Againn, Glenloggie, The Goat’s, The Goats, Isla, The Night The Goat’s Came Home, The Night The Goats Came Home, The Night We Had The Goat, The Nights The Goats Came Home, Ther Night We Had The Goats.

There are 23 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

The Night We Had The Goats has been added to 6 tune sets.

The Night We Had The Goats has been added to 152 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Two settings

X: 1
T: The Night We Had The Goats
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:dGG2 BGBd|e2eg dBAB|dGG2 BGBd|1 egdB BAA2:|2 egdB A2Bd||
|:e2eg dBBd|e2eg deg2|afge dBBd|1 egdB A2Bd:|2 egdB BAA2||
X: 2
T: The Night We Had The Goats
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
dG G/G/G dBBd|efge dBBe|dG G/G/G dBBd|egdB A/A/A A2:|
e|d<BgB dBBA|dega bage|d<BgB dBBd|egdB A/A/A A2e|
d<BgB dBBA|dega bage|(b/a/g/f/) ge dBBd|egdB A/A/A A2||

Eight comments

The Night We Had the Goats

I think this is one of the most important Scottish pipe tunes and popular especially among pros. Though it preserves a primitive element of the Celtic music, it is not boring to play at all.

This particular setting is mainly based on the low whistle playing of Rory Campbell with Deaf Shepherd and the piping of Finlay MacDonald, but I intentionally simplified the music, considering there are many possibilities for variations. For example, dG~G2, dG (3GGG, d2G2, etc. Play it as you like.

I personally like playing Abbey reel after this one. Please let me know if you think of any other good idea.

P.S. John Williams also recorded this reel on the whistle, which means the tune is not so exotic to Irish mucians, I guess.

This looks like a setting of a tune called Miss McGuinness (which will be posted very shortly), ‘compressed’ to fit into the range of the bagpipes.

My favorite setting of this is John Williams’s, off Steam -- playing a variety of whistles and I think some drones off his accordion. He plays Billy Brocker’s into The Old Dudeen into this tune. Paul Donnelly backs him up on bodhran. Stellar track.

If you want a quick listen to it, and you see this in time, have a listen at -- I have it up for some friends (to convince them why they should buy the album!) but will be taking it down as soon as they’ve heard it.


Is actually an old Gaelic song; “Oidhche bha nan Gobhair Againn” from Puirt a beul (Mouth music) and as far as I know was traditionally used for dancing.


Found another version, “Isla Reel” published by J & W Gow (sons of Niel), around 1795 according to Gore. ( Isla Reel is also another name for Mason’s Apron btw).

Second Setting

This is close to Alex Francis MacKay’s version on ‘A Lifelong Home’. It’s a great little tune, but you could call this the super-sized version I reckon.

Re: The Night We Had The Goats

Great little tune!
I’ve always heard this tune with an E string A in the third bar of the the B part. However, my teacher played it with a high B. ?? How do you guys hear/play it? Which is most common to hear?
Is this tune predominantly a Scottish/Cape breton tune, or would it also be familiar to Irish fiddle players?

By the way slainte, I liked this followed by The Marquis of Tullybardine, in A. It provides an nice transition, modulation, and crescendo!