"Good Night Irene" as written by and John A Lomax Huddie Ledbetter....
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

Sometimes I live in the country,
Sometimes I live in town
Sometimes I take a great notion,
To jump into the river and drown

I love Irene, God knows I do,
I'll love her till the seas run dry
But if Irene should turn me down,
I'd take the morphine and die

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


Lyrics submitted by Arc_Light

"Goodnight Irene" as written by John A Lomax Huddie Ledbetter

Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.

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Goodnight Irene song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commenti can't believe no one has commented... this is the best folk song ever. period.

    there are quite a few lyric variations floating around out there. the version i have includes a different first verse, and the last two verses are reversed. (heh).
    king_midason January 23, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti can't believe no one has commented... this is the best folk song ever. period.

    there are quite a few lyric variations floating around out there. the version i have includes a different first verse, and the last two verses are reversed. (heh).
    king_midason January 23, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI haven't heard the song with the first verse used above. The classic version was

    I asked your mother for you
    she told me that you was to young
    I wish to the lawd
    I never seen your face
    I’m sorry you ever were born.

    This always suggested to me that the song was about unrequited love for an underage girl; that may be my seedy way of thinking, but many of leadbelly's songs dealt with dark and disturbing themes. I agree with the king however that this is the greatest folk song recorded.
    tired82on April 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis version is different than the copy I have. I have read that Leadbelly never played his songs the same twice. He liked to mix it up a bit. But this is the most popular rendition of the lyrics for this song. It seems that my CD version is the one that is unusual. The lyrics on this page represent what I have found for this song on every search I have done.
    Agreenmachineon April 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWoW...this is the original and yet no comments? Hmmmmmmm. Am trying to figure out how this song was written as a protest song yet disguised as a love song. I don't see it, but supposedly that's the case. Anyone care to take a stab at the interpretation as a protest song???? It's beyond my capabilities:)
    ComeOnEileenon October 10, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"The song, however, was not written by Leadbelly. Its origins actually stretch back to a song by Gussie L. Davis in 1889, and Leadbelly learned the song from his uncle. After Leadbelly's "discovery" and consequent fame from the song in the 1940s, The Weavers picked it up and hit number one with it in 1950, a year after Leadbelly's death." ~folkmusic(dot)about(dot)com. As for you Idnite, that's your choice. It's always been your choice.
    ComeOnEileenon October 10, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song. It's so sinister. I hate that in some versions they took out "get" and made it "see you in my dreams"

    To me this is a song about an obsessed psycho whose stalking a young girl. It sounds so pretty but when you read the lyrics the singer is crazy and scary.
    blueelmon November 14, 2011   Link

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