Good Morning Irene

Obviously, an answer song to Leadbelly’s “Goodnight, Irene,” inverting that eve’s hope-tinged despair for the new morn’s despair-tinged hope.


(also in lead sheet below)

These follow the Leadbelly changes (I-V-V-I, I7-IV-V-I), but in 4/4, not 3/4 (though when we repeat last two lines we go into 3/4)

G / / / | / / / / | D7 / / / | / / / / |
D7 / / / | / / / / | G / / / | / / / / |
G / / / | / / / / | C / / / | / / / / |
D7 / / / | / / / / | G / / / | / / /

Lead Sheet (pdf)



With the Famous Orchestra – very close to how we’d do it

(for download)

For reference: with a more old time band (the Paint Branch Ramblers) – you know, fiddles, autoharps, and banjo-ey sounding things (actually a Turkish mandolin!)For reference: with me and my uke! Probably the easiest one to practice along with, if you’re so inclined

(for download)


(just for reference)
I told your mother that you were the one
I loved you with all of my heart
I’d love, honor, cherish, obey
And keep you ’til death did us part

Irene, good morning; good morning, Irene
The sun will soon come creeping through
The day ahead I know will be
A day just for me and for you

I’ll stop all my rambling and staying out late
I’ll sit by the fireside bright
No rambling, no gambling, no bounding, no rounding
No staying away half the night

I’ll live in the country, I’ll live in the town
I’ll live in a land far away
And if I don’t jump in the river and drown
I’ll live anywhere that you say

I’ll take you to Georgia, I’ll take you to Rome
Far from these hills of Tennessee
I’ll take you to Georgia and we’ll make a home
In the land of the sweet what’s-to-be

I love Irene, the Lord knows it’s true
I love her with all of my might
I’ll pack up my morphine and put it all away
‘Til the day that Irene says goodnight
I’ll pack up my morphine and put it all away
‘Til the day that Irene says goodnight


the kind of music your great-great-great-grandparents warned your great-great-grandparents about