Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Req: Goodnight Irene

DigiTrad:
GOODNIGHT IRENE


Related threads:
(DTStudy) Origin: Goodnight Irene (91)
Lyr Add: Goodnight Irene (parodies) (23)
I Know Goodnight Irene - need help on comedy routine (5)
Tune Req: Goodnight Irene (request only) (1)


Rick C. 02 Feb 98 - 09:41 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 02 Feb 98 - 11:26 PM
Barry 02 Feb 98 - 11:28 PM
RS 02 Feb 98 - 11:42 PM
RS 02 Feb 98 - 11:47 PM
03 Feb 98 - 04:18 PM
chet w 03 Feb 98 - 05:59 PM
Bob Landry 03 Feb 98 - 06:02 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 03 Feb 98 - 07:54 PM
Bert 04 Feb 98 - 08:59 AM
Bill D 04 Feb 98 - 01:06 PM
chet w 04 Feb 98 - 06:52 PM
Bob Landry 04 Feb 98 - 09:05 PM
Art Thieme 06 Feb 98 - 09:28 AM
Charlie 11 Jan 99 - 05:13 PM
b_gillen@hotmail.com 10 Apr 99 - 09:49 PM
Blissfully Ignorant 27 Oct 04 - 01:45 AM
Mr Red 27 Oct 04 - 06:02 AM
Tannywheeler 27 Oct 04 - 02:57 PM
Joe_F 27 Oct 04 - 09:37 PM
Flash Company 28 Oct 04 - 06:21 AM
Bill D 28 Oct 04 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,Gerrymac 28 May 08 - 03:48 AM
GUEST,Jim 28 May 08 - 11:48 AM
Joe_F 28 May 08 - 09:07 PM
Leadfingers 28 May 08 - 09:49 PM
GUEST,Jim 29 May 08 - 03:46 PM
Doc John 29 May 08 - 04:08 PM
Larry The Radio Guy 09 Aug 12 - 12:51 PM
Joe_F 09 Aug 12 - 08:26 PM
Musket 10 Aug 12 - 04:08 AM
Nigel Parsons 10 Aug 12 - 04:44 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: lyrics for Goodnight Irene
From: Rick C.
Date: 02 Feb 98 - 09:41 PM

I am looking for the lyrics to Goodnight Irene. My granddaughter loves this particular song, but do not all the words. Thanks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: GOODNIGHT IRENE (from Leadbelly)
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 02 Feb 98 - 11:26 PM

Here is the Leadbelly version:

I asked your mother for you
She told me you were too young
I wish to god I'd never seen your face
I wish that 'eed never been born

CHO:
Good night Irene, good night
Good night Irene
Good night Irene
Good night Irene
I'll get you in my dreams

Sometimes I lives in the Country
Sometimes I live in town
Sometimes I has a great notion
To jump into the river and drown

Cho

Stop ramblin' and stop gamblin
Stop stayin' out late at night
Go home to your wife and your family
Sit down by the fireside bright

Cho

I love my Irene
Love 'er till the sea runs dry
An' if Irene turns her back on me
I gonna take morphine and die

That is the version done in the so-called "Last sessions". There are several other ones he did for Moses Ashe.

When the Weavers made their popular version they cleaned it up a bit. The replaced some of the repetitious "Goodnight Irene"s with "Irene Goodnight"s. they changed "get you in my dreams" to "see you in my dreams", and they changed "morphine" to "poison". Otherwise, I think the above is the version your grandfather would have sung.

Also, It seems that Leadbelly was trying to "improve" his thick southern accent and he alternats his natural pronounciation with the one he thought he should use, so when I say "sometimes I lives in the country" but "sometimes I live in town"--that is the way I hear it.

Murray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: GOODNIGHT IRENE
From: Barry
Date: 02 Feb 98 - 11:28 PM

Sometimes I live in the country
Sometimes I live in town
Sometimes I get the notion
To jump in the river & drown

Ch. Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene
I'll see you in my dreams

Stop you're ramblin stop you're gamblin
Stop staying out late at night
Go home to your wife & family
Sit by your fireside bright

Last Saturday I got married
Me & my wife settled down
Now me & my wife have parted
Think I'll take a walk round town

I loves Irene god knows I do
love her till the sea runs dry
And if Irene turns her back on me
I'll take morphine & die

You caused me to weep you caused me to moan
You caused me to leave my home
But the very last words I heard her say
Huddie won't you sing me one last song

"When the Lomaxs' first came hunting folk songs in the southern prisons, the State Penn at Angloa, Louisiana was the first stop & the first thing they recorded was Huddie Ledbetter singing this song. Allen Lomax says that this song was the first & actual start of the Archive Of American Folk Song. Leadbelly died Dec. 6, 1949, six months later Irene became a hit & sold 2 million & was translated into every European language". Lifted from A. Lomax's Folk Songs Of North America. I also believe that this song marched in the folk music revival. Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics for Goodnight Irene
From: RS
Date: 02 Feb 98 - 11:42 PM

Search the Digital Tradition by locating the "Search" box on the upper right hand corner of this page; type in: Good Night Irene (or even just Irene); press the Search button ... wait until a list of song titles appears, click on the one you want, & there you are!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics for Goodnight Irene
From: RS
Date: 02 Feb 98 - 11:47 PM

Sorry, didn't mean to sound officious; when I typed my post no one else had yet replied.

The above versions do have more info than the copy already on the DT.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics for Goodnight Irene
From:
Date: 03 Feb 98 - 04:18 PM

Another line that's missing - it's in the version on The Chieftains' "Another Country" - is

Last Saturday night I got married Me and my wife settled down Now me and my wife are parted Gonna take another stroll downtown...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD: Parody for Goodnight Irene^^^
From: chet w
Date: 03 Feb 98 - 05:59 PM

I heard the following tongue-in-cheek version...OK I wrote it. It has generally been popular around here.

Irene grew up in the country
Her daddy raised chickens and ducks
I called her up last Friday night
To see if she wanted to talk

CHO Irene good night, Irene good night
Goodnight Irene, Goodnight Irene
I'll see you in my dreams

Irene she drives a Plymouth
And sometimes she drives a truck
Irene was only twelve years old
When she first started to drive

CHORUS

Irene wins money at gambling
She's always had plenty of luck
One night out back of the barroom
A cowboy showed Irene his horse

CHORUS

It's in the ear of the behearer. Please don't be offended.

All in good fun,
Chet W.^^^


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics for Goodnight Irene
From: Bob Landry
Date: 03 Feb 98 - 06:02 PM

Chet - great tune - can I use it, huh? huh?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics for Goodnight Irene
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 03 Feb 98 - 07:54 PM

Chet,

The last line of your posting should have been

It's in the ear of the behearer
If you don't like it tough luck
But don't complain to me if you don't
Because I don't give an inch

Murray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics for Goodnight Irene
From: Bert
Date: 04 Feb 98 - 08:59 AM

"behearer" Now that's a good word.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics for Goodnight Irene
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Feb 98 - 01:06 PM

from the depths of my memory...(gotta upgrade the RAM in there someday)

"Sometimes Irene wears pyjamas
Sometimes, she wears a gown
But when they're both in the laundry,
Irene is the talk of the town"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics for Goodnight Irene
From: chet w
Date: 04 Feb 98 - 06:52 PM

Bob, use away. just let me know if you have a hit record. I have to admit that the "ear of the behearer" is not my phrase. I got it from an album cover by Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Love the extra verses.

Chet W.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics for Goodnight Irene
From: Bob Landry
Date: 04 Feb 98 - 09:05 PM

Chet, me with a hit record? I doubt it. Maybe a free beer at a local open mike session. If that works, I'll let you know and we can hoist one across the miles.

Maybe we can update Bill D's verse by changing the "gown" to a "frock".

Bob


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics for Goodnight Irene
From: Art Thieme
Date: 06 Feb 98 - 09:28 AM

TRY THIS: I love Irene-God knows I do, Love her 'til the seas run dry, And if Irene turns her back on me Gonna eat cholesterol and die.----Art Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics for Goodnight Irene
From: Charlie
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 05:13 PM

Re: Bill D.'s verse:

"Sometimes Irene wears pyjamas Sometimes, she wears a gown But when they're both in the laundry, Irene is the talk of the town"

The Southland Quartet from Augusta, Ga. sings this verse:

Sometimes she weareth Pajamas Sometimes she weareth a Gown Sometimes she puts 'em in the laundry That's when we goes to town.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics for Goodnight Irene
From: b_gillen@hotmail.com
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 09:49 PM

Hi - I know this thread is a bit old, but maybe somebody's still out there listening... I seem to recall a version of Goodnight Irene in which it begins:

Irene stop your roamin' You came home late last night (can't remember this line) Come stay with me tonight.

Is this lyric in any version that anybody knows?

Thanks, Bridget.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics for Goodnight Irene
From: Blissfully Ignorant
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 01:45 AM

Ooh, this is an old thread, but there's a version with this verse in it-

Sometimes there's a change in the ocean
Sometimes a change in the sea
Sometimes there's a change in my own true love
But never no change in me

I don't know the origins of it, but i've got a Michelle Shocked CD where she sings that verse.

Just my favourite song ever! First one where i got my co-ordination together and was able to sing and play guitar at the same time. Sounds stupid, but then i am...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics for Goodnight Irene
From: Mr Red
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 06:02 AM

Ya can't beat a good Delta Blues Song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lyrics for Goodnight Irene
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 02:57 PM

Heard this verse at a party from someone just foolin' around:

    "Some people live in houses;
    Some folks live over stores.
    My girl lives in a place downtown
    With sixteen other women."

It feels so good to sing this song. Anything one can do to extend the pleasure is OK. imho    Tw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Goodnight Irene
From: Joe_F
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 09:37 PM

Tannywheeler: That stanza, I believe, has drifted in from "Bang, Bang, Lulu" and should be sent back where it belongs.

I have also heard "Goodnight Irene, you sex machine."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Goodnight Irene
From: Flash Company
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 06:21 AM

Remember I once had an argument with a Folk Club organiser because I sang 'get you in my dreams'. Had to lend her the record to prove I was right!

FC


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Goodnight Irene
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 12:03 PM

what? You mean even the composer didn't know the 'right' words?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Goodnight Irene
From: GUEST,Gerrymac
Date: 28 May 08 - 03:48 AM

Iteresting discussion. When I lived in Dallas and performing at a coffee house and some beer bars I used to include this as the song's final verse with good audience response. I don't have a dictionary handy so excuse the mispelled words.

Some say Irene is a schitzo,
Her rorchark shows paranoic signs
The kid's Id's on the skid
But she's still a good kid
And I'll love her
Until she's confined


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Goodnight Irene
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 28 May 08 - 11:48 AM

I've heard:

If I had the wings of an eagle,
If I had the wings of a dove,
If I had the wings of a nightingale,
I'd fly to the one I love.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Goodnight Irene
From: Joe_F
Date: 28 May 08 - 09:07 PM

Guest Jim: Cf. The Prisoner's Song (1924):

If I had the wings of an angel,
Over these prison walls I would fly
Straight into the arms of my loved one,
And then I'd be willing to die.

Extensively parodied.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Goodnight Irene
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 May 08 - 09:49 PM

Definately NOT the Original , but :-

If I had the wings of an Eagle

And the dirty black arse of a crow

I'd fly so high all over the town

And crap on the people below

















OK - I've already got my coat !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Goodnight Irene
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 29 May 08 - 03:46 PM

If I had the wings of an eagle,
If I had the wings of a dove,
If I had the wings of a nightingale,
I'd fly to the one I love.

The late Hedy West sang this on Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest show. She, Pete and Mississippi John alternated verses. John Hurt started the song and played it in 4/4 time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Goodnight Irene
From: Doc John
Date: 29 May 08 - 04:08 PM

Can't anyone work out what the song is actually about? Lead Belly's interpolations on the long 2 disc LofC recording is difficult to follow. It seems to mw like disjointed verses cobbeled together blues fashion but oddly set in 3/4 time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Goodnight Irene
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 12:51 PM

I think it's about a guy who gets married, but leaves his wife due to an infatuation with a young girl (how old we don't know....but still under the care of her mother who told him that "she was too young"). He threatens suicide, verbally berates her......then decides he needs to go back to his wife and family and forget all this nonsense. Alas, but it doesn't work.....and now he's threatening to kill himself with an overdose of morphine.

Does that sound coherent?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Goodnight Irene
From: Joe_F
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 08:26 PM

Just like a man!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Goodnight Irene
From: Musket
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 04:08 AM

Parody can be dangerous..

I did an act in a charity concert once full of the usual ironmongery, Lady this, Lord that, Rt Hon the other..

As there were many seats filled with people bussed in from local care and nursing homes , I thought I would end with Goodnight Irene for them.

Without really thinking, I started;

Sometimes I live in the country,
Sometimes I live in the town,
Sometimes I have a great notion,
To burn the shithouse down.

As I carried on, I could hear murmerings from the stalls, "Did he just...??"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Goodnight Irene
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 04:44 AM

Suitable for this Diamond Jubilee Year, Spike Milligan added the verse (on Spike Milligan & Jeremy Taylor Live at Cambridge University):

God save the Queen, Irene
God save the Queen.
Oh God save the Queen, I mean Irene.
For God's sake, Save the Queen.

Nigel


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 20 June 2:36 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.