Goodnight Irene

Album: Leadbelly Volume One (1950)
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  • Leadbelly version:

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

    I asked your mother for you
    She told me that you was too young
    I wish dear Lord that I'd never seen your face
    I'm sorry you ever were born

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

    Sometimes I live in the country
    Sometimes I live in town
    Sometimes I haves a great notion
    Jumping in, into the river and drown

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

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

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

    I love Irene, God knows I do
    I love her 'til the sea runs dry
    If Irene turns her back on me
    I'm gonna take morphine and die

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


    Alternate version:

    The very last words that I heard her say
    Was please sing me one more song

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

    Last Saturday night, I got married
    Me and my wife settled down
    Now me and my wife are parted
    I'm gonna take another stroll downtown

    Stop rambling, stop your rambling
    Stop staying out late at night
    Go home to your wife and family
    Stay there by your fireside bright

    I love Irene God knows I do
    Love her till the seas run dry
    And if Irene turns her back on me
    I'll take morphine and die

Comments: 8

  • Darian from San Antonio, Txthe "sometimes i live in the country" lines are most definately in the leadbelly version, or at least the one i have.
  • Tristan from Philadelphia, PaThe saddest thing about this song, was that the line "I get you in my dreams" was later changed to "I'll see you in my dreams" and became a number one hit by the Weavers after Leadbelly died. Sadly there is a great number of people out there who have been robbed of the sullen true meaning of this song.
  • Bushrules from Houston, TxActually, the "Sometimes I live in the country..." line was in at least one of Leadbelly's versions. I am sure of this, as I just listened to it not 5 minutes ago :) It is, to me, the most poignant lyric in the song.

    Also, I it was Governor O.K Allen of LA who pardoned Leadbelly.
  • Jerry from Brooklyn, NyThe Weavers add another verse to this: "Sometimes I live in the country, sometimes I live in the town, sometimes I have a great notion, to jump into the river and drown".
  • Chris from Mansfield, Txi agree with Adrienne. actually Nirvana cover a few of leadbelly's song. in unplugged, they do "where did you sleep last night" and they did a few cover in the box set "with the lights out"
  • Peter from Toronto, Canada"Goodnight Irene" didn't get Leadbelly out of jail. It was his "Governor Neff" song, which he sang to Governor Pat Neff of Texas, about how he'd release the Governor if their positions were reversed. Although Governor Neff had sworn never to pardon a prisoner, was so overcome by the song that he released the murderous Leadbelly. Hence the legends of Leadbelly's dangerous charisma.
  • Adrienne from Santa Barbara, CaMy dad brought a Leadbelly album home from the library in 1963 and my mom and I thought he was nuts. Of course, with some living and heartache under my belt, I really appreciate Leadbelly. On a tv program about blues, they showed some photos and actually played a phono/tape of Leadbelly singing in jail in his stripes. I wish I could remember what the special was and what channel it was on. It was well worth the viewing for historical content as well as seeing and hearing this guy and how alot of his life was lived. All the old blues singers, followed by The Beatles, set the path for rock music of the 20th century.
  • Janelle from New York City, Nywow! so this song helped him get out of jail. amazing
see more comments

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