Afraid I don’t know much about Devanny or his goat. Not a tune I’ve encountered much in sessions, but it’s been recorded often enough.
A great reel Kenny which should be played at every session - must learn it myself though and have no excuse now! Don’t know the exact history but have a feeling it originated around the Galway area as I remember hearing that Micheal O hEidhin (Connemara) was responsible for composing the "B" part.
I just recently learned this tune off a 2 yr old mini disc recording by Mike McHale in the Catskills. He told our class it was about a tinker named Devanny who had some goats that would always eat the lettuce in other folks’ gardens. Great tune. It almost has a hornpipe kind of feel to it.
I have this from a Brian Conway workshop a few years back.
ED|:CEGA GEGA|cded cAGE|C ~E3 AEGE|CDEC (3DEF ED|
CEGA GEGA|cded cAGe|(3ded cA G ~E3|GEDE C3:|
B|cega gece|gcec dcAc|GAcd e~c3|dcec dcAc|
GAcd e~c3|dcec dcAc|G2 cA GECE|GEDE C3:|
Yep, I was about to say it sounds pretty cool in C, especcially on a C Whistle.
From Edel Fox
Here’s the setting Edel plays on the Comhaltas website. http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/comhaltaslive_198_segment_5_edel_fox
DFAB AFAB|defe dBAF|DF~F2 B/c/dAF|EFDF ~E3F|
[A3D3]B AFAB|defe dBAg|fedB AF~F2|1AFEA ~F3E:|2AFEA FAD2||
a3b afdf|agfa efdB|ABde fddf|gefd efdB|
ABde ~f3a|gefd edBd|~A2dB AF~F2|1AFEA FAD2:|2AFEA F3E||
Of course she’s doing a few nice variations and a parallel octave thing at the turn around, but I didn’t try to transcribe that kind of stuff.
This tune is often associated with Eddie Moloney of Ballinakill, East Galway. He recorded it on the whistle on one of Shaskeen’s recordings, which I heard on the radio a few weeks ago.
A Great Session Reel
Hopefully now with the transcriptions and also the video clip this tune will be picked up by more musicians and heard a lot more in sessions. To me this reel typifies all that’s best in Irish traditional music (great melody, lift, swing,etc) as opposed to the contrived intricasies we hear in some of the current newly composed offerings.
Yeah, nice one. I learned Edel Fox’s version last weekend and was happy to see Jack’s transcription. I became aware of this tune from a Sharon Shannon recording — she and her band tag it on the end of the song, "Say You Love Me" as rendered by Dessie O’Halloran. A great track.
Funny you should say that Paul as this was the recording I learn’t it from. I cursed that song though as I had to continually fast forward through it on the CD to get to the tune until I could commit it to memory. Have to agree with you that it’s a lovely version of the tune by Sharon and her band.
A short but nice sound clip of Eddie Moloney’s whistle playing: http://www.cdworld.ie/mp3/172326_000100010010.mp3
Hard to play on the B/C box but a great tune.
Grace Kelly on the whistle
There’s also an audio of the tune from the Comhaltas Foinn Seisiún 3 tunebook over at http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/devanneys_goat/
T: Devanny’s Goat
|:DF F2 ADFA | defe dBAF | DF F2 BFAF | E3D EGFE |
DF F2 ADFA | defe dBAd | efdB AFdB | AFEG FD D2 :||
|:faab afdf | a2 fd edBd | ABde fd d2 | e2 fd edBd |
Adcd fdcd | edfd edBd | A2 dB AFDF | AFEG FD D2 :||
Máirtín O’Connor Box, Cathal Hayden Fiddle, Brendan Larrisey Fiddle, Dessie Adams Flute, Brendan O’Regan Bouzouki, Johnny (Ringo) McDonagh Bodhrán.
Here’s my transcription from the Patrick Street recording Corner Boys (1996) with Kevin Burke, Jackie Daly, Ged Foley and Andy Irvine. It’s almost note-for-note the same setting as Breathnach’s Ceol Rince na hEireann Vol. II #267.
267. Gabhar an Dubhánaigh: Devanney’s Goat, from Paddy Ryan [fiddle], Birmingham, England. Mrs. Lawrie made the recording for me, Winter, 1970.
Translated by Paul de Grae on Nigel Gatherer’s site http://www.nigelgatherer.com/books/CRE/
Try it in C
Why not? I sometimes wonder if the mark of a really good melody is its ability to sound good whatever the key.
John Carty recorded this tune in A.
C: Tommy Whelan
In the sleeve notes of John Carty’s recording, Don Meade writes:
"According to Jack Coen, a renowned east Galway flute player long resident in the Bronx, ‘Devaney’s Goat’ was composed by Tommy Whelan, a flute player with the Ballinakill Ceili Band, who named the tune for a neighbor’s animal."
It seems that the tune was first recorded on Shaskeen’s first record in 1974 by Eddie Moloney, another flute player from the parish of Ballinakill, East Galway.
…thought it such a good tune, he recorded it on BOTH of his solo recordings.
Hmmm sounds a lot like…………
Sounds like he may have been channelling Master McDermott’s when he wrote this then. https://thesession.org/tunes/682
“Leader of the Band”
While it may seem an unlikely pairing, Cherish the Ladies used this tune as the wrapper for their version of the more modern standard "Leader of the Band" on their "At Home" album (1998-99).
Obtaining permission for using tunes
Researching Devanney’s Goat for a possible recording, and noted Don Meade’s comments as to the purported origin. At what point can it be considered "traditional" vs seeking permission from relatives? (Which I am happy to do.)…a real grey area. Please advise. Already in a volume of Breathneach, but is this enough? Wouldn’t seem so. And how much might one expect to per for royalties, again something I would willingly do. ITMA might be the best source to check? I’m sure it has been sorted before. Trying not to reinvent the wheel.
According to above, it’s on 56 recordings already. I’d be willing to bet that on most, if not all, of those recordings, it’s listed as "traditional", therefore with no known composer, and with no royalties being paid.
I don’t think there’s any legal obligation for you to obtain permission from any relatives of a deceased composer to record a piece of music. That’s not something I’ve ever heard of, anywhere.
I’ve had a look at the sleeve notes to the "Eddie Moloney - Master Musician" double CD, released this summer. There are 9 tunes on it specifically attributed to Tommy Whelan. "Devanney’s Goat" is played, but there is no mention of it being associated with Tommy Whelan. Given that the compilers of the CDs have been so fastidious in giving credit to Tommy Whelan for his 9 compositions, if "Devanney’s Goat" was one of his tunes, logically you would have expected it to be attributed to him in the notes.
Re: Devanny’s Goat
Isn’t Devanny’s Goat very similar to Tim Moloney’s reel