Friday, February 15, 2013

Bill Grogan's Goat

I lead preschool and Kindergarten worship for the 11 AM service at our church (the wonderful Calvary Chapel South).  This gig sort of fell into my lap (read: no one else signed up), and this is now the third (or fourth?) year that I've tortured the kiddos with my lack of musical talents and amused them with my abundance of goofiness. Lately, a little guy who is somewhere twixt the ages of 3 and 4 has been badgering me to sing a certain particular worship song: Bill Grogan's Goat.  Now, I had never heard this chart-topper for the preschool set before, but I was assured by my young petitioner that it was most excellent in all ways of godly praise.  So, I told him a couple weeks ago that I would look the song up and try to learn it so that we could sing it during worship time.

True to my word, I Googled the song.  Turns out, it has little to do with God and much to do with a man who got very angry at his goat.  Undaunted, I copy-pasted both lyrics and chords.  A wee rewrite later, and this dandy ditty (which, in some versions, could veer into the realm of gory) obtained a few verses of redemption to earn it a place in the worship song roster.  Inspired by the vivid lyrics, I then drew some pictures that illustrated the actions, so the children could follow along while we learned the song.  Here is what I came up with and what I began to teach the kiddos last Sunday:

Bill Grogan's Goat (Redemption Version)

 There was a man (there was a man)
Now, please take note (now please take note)
This man named Bill (this man named Bill)
He loved his goat (he loved his goat) 

 One day Bill's goat (one day Bill's goat)
Was feeling fine (was feeling fine)
Ate three red shirts (at three red shirts)
Right off the line (right off the line)

Bill took a stick (Bill took a stick)
Gave him three whacks (gave him three whacks)
And tied him to (and tied him to)
The railroad tracks (the railroad tracks)

The whistle blew (the whistle blew)
The train drew nigh (the train drew nigh)
Bill Grogan's goat (Bill Grogran's goat)
Seemed doomed to die (seemed doomed to die)
 That goat he groaned (that goat he groaned)
As in great pain (as in great pain)
Coughed up those shirts (coughed up those shirts)
And flagged the train (and flagged the train)
 That train it stopped (that train it stopped)
As on a dime (as on a dime)
Bill Grogan's goat (Bill Grogan's goat)
Was saved in time! (was saved in time)
Bill watched the scene (Bill watched the scene)
With great remorse (with great remorse)
Ran to his goat (ran to his goat)
His voice all hoarse (his voice all hoarse) 
"Dear goat will you (dear goat will you)
Forgive forget?" (forgive forget)
The goat said, "Maaah!" (the goat said maaah)
Which means, "You bet!" (which means you bet)
So that is all (so that is all)
Our story's done (our story's done)
A lesson learned (a lesson learned)
And so much fun! (yes so much fun!)


Dad said...

I love your drawings! You always could draw so well. I also didn't know all the verses. Quite a saga.
Love you,Dad

Justine said...

Well, I wrote a few verses myself, so that it had the redemption of Bill and forgiveness of the goat in it; but, this is one of those folk songs that everyone seems to claim rights to ammending any way they want, so I do not feel guilty. In some of the versions I found on-line, the train's engineer slits the goat's throat -- which, though certainly interesting, was a little too gory for Sunday School.

The kids sure love this song. They want to hear it every week!

Glad you like the drawings!

Jeremy Kane said...

Hi from the Orenco Elementary Music Room in Hillsboro Oregon!!! I ran across your version of Grogan's goat an I love it. I had my k-2 students make a recording of it and I made a movie of it with your drawings. Check it out on youtube at

I didn't monetize it or anything but please let me know if you want me to take it down realizing this is your personal work.