They call me Murphy,
the billy goat who belongs
to Mr. Bill Sianis.
In 1934, I fell off a truck
in front of his Chicago bar
and he took care of me,
like I was family.

He said I’d bring good luck,
grew a nice goatee like mine,
changed the name of the place
to the Billy Goat Tavern
and told the regulars
to call him Billy, not Bill.

They give me lots to eat,
like peanuts, popcorn, pretzels,
and all the cheeseburgers I want.
I learned to drink bottle beer–
my favorite is Blatz–
I mix with customers
who have fun with me and joke,
take my picture and don’t complain
about the way I smell.

The Cubs got in the World Series
against the Detroit Tigers in 1945.
We were ahead two games to one
when Mr. Bill decided to take me
to the fourth game at Wrigley Field.
He bought two tickets for $7.20,
showed me off in the outfield
when the teams were warming up
and had me wear a sign that said,
“Give the Tigers the goat.”

Before the first pitch,
we went and sat in the stands
but pretty soon an usher came
and told us that we had to go
because some fans close by
complained and said I stunk.
Mr. Bill, who has a temper, yelled,
“I paid for us, this is my friend!”
and started swearing in Greek
but they wouldn’t let us stay.

On the way out of the park,
he put a curse on the team
and said the Cubs will never win
another World Series.
They lost that game and the next two
and haven’t been back since then.
He let everybody know,
“I fixed ‘em real good–
they’re vlachas–idiots–
we call them in Greece.”

Once in a while I get depressed
and think he keeps me around
just for the publicity
and sometimes I miss the fields,
the weeds and grass, the fresh air
and all the nannies that I had

but then I remember billy goats
who didn’t fall off the truck
and wound up in the stockyard
or ones who lost their private parts–
the professor who comes here all the time
says that they are “wethers”–
I’d rather be dead than have someone
call me a name like that.

And what would I do
if I had no place to go
and hung around our kitchen door,
waiting for bones and scraps,
like the stray dogs and cats?
When I think of stuff like that,
I get thirsty, rub my horns
against the barmaid’s leg
and she brings another Blatz.