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GOODNIGHT IRENE
Huddy William Ledbetter
aka Leadbelly

 
                                                    Irene goodnight, Irene Goodnight
                                                    Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene
                                                    I will see you in my dreams.
 
                                                    Sometimes I live in the country
                                                    Sometimes I live in town
                                                    Sometimes I take a great notion
                                                    To jump in the river and drown
 
                                                    Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
                                                    Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene
                                                    I will see you in my dreams
 
                                                    Stop your ramblin
                                                    Stop your gamblin
                                                    Stop staying out late at night
                                                    Go home to your wife and family
                                                    And stay by thr fireside bright
 
                                                    Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
                                                    Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene
                                                    I will see you in my dreams
 
                                                    Sometimes I live in the counry
                                                    Sometimes I live in town
                                                    Sometimes I take a great notion
                                                    To jump in the river and drown
 
                                                    Irene goodnight, Irene Goodnight
                                                    Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene
                                                    I will see you in my dreams
 
                                                    Stop your ramblin
                                                    Stop your gamblin
                                                    Stop staying out late at night
                                                    Go home to your wife and family
                                                    And stay by the fireside bright
 
                                                    Oh Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
                                                    Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene           
                                                     I will see you in my dreams
 
 
Footnote : This song by the great Leadbelly concluded many Folk Nights I attended in the 1960s. Huddie William Ledbetter (20 January 1888 - 6 December 1949) was an ex convict-turned-singer. On his release from prison in 1934 his singing career was aided by father and son, John and Alan Lomax. The joint copyright to this song was to prove very beneficial to Alan Lomax, who died earlier this year (19 July 2002), in financing his many field trips to record folk song and music, which included much good work in Scotland. Alan Lomax and the late Scottish collector,poet and songwriter Hamish Henderson did much recording in the field together of Scottish song and with the late Calum McLean, Alan Lomax collected much Gaelic material. The 25 reels of tape he collected in Scotland became the foundation of the sound archive of the School of Scottish Studies. In a letter to Hamish Henderson, Alan Lomax described his colection in Scotland as 'the finest flower of Western Europe'. My thanks to William R MacBride for supplying words to 'Goodnight Irene'.

 


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