Oh, last Friday in Joe Batt's Arm a raffle did take place,
And I was invited as a guest along with Mr. Grace;
When the boys they all assembled in their little Jersey coats,
And took the dice and shook them nice to try and win the goat.
Oh, a fiddler sat on a keg and then the dance began,
When Sarah Emma Anderson was vis to Pat McCann;
For Shannahan led of the head when Esau led the side,
To see them lash the whitewash beams, you surely would have died.
Oh, McCarthy tossed the aces out, six, five and then four,
When Casey hit McCarthy, he fell clean on the floor;
For ructions then was in the house, boys fought in twos and pairs,
When Hennessey broke off his wrist behind the kitchen stairs.
Some fool made at the fiddler and nearly laid him dead,
He broke the fiddler and the bow in splinters on his head;
For all the fun got broken up, well no one won the goat,
And Kennedy in the rumpus he lost his father's coat.
####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland ballad ....####
Originally printed in The People's Songster, Buyers' Guide and Gems of Poetry and Prose, published in 1900 by John Burke and George T. Oliver, St. John's; and reprinted in November, 1955, on page 37 of the tenth anniversary edition of the Atlantic Guardian.
The video above features a 1980 videocassette published by Memorial University Extension Service. While most non-aboriginal dances in Newfoundland and Labrador can be traced to Britain, Running The Goat is a group dance in eight figures, indigenous to Harbour Deep, a community which stopped existing in 2002 as a result of the 1992 closure of the in-shore cod fishery. The eight figures or movements of the dance are notated in the video as: Off She Goes, Swing Your Partner, Cross Over, Through The Bushes, Figure Eight, On The Labrador, Dance Around, and One Swing Off.