Goodnight Irene - Sheet music download

£1.00

Goodnight Irene - Sheet music download
Words and music by Huddie Ledbetter and John Lomax.

From Wikipedia;-
"Goodnight, Irene" or "Irene, Goodnight," is a 20th century American folk standard, written in 3/4 time, first recorded by American blues musician Huddie 'Lead Belly' Ledbetter in 1932.

The lyrics tell of the singer's troubled past with his love, Irene, and express his sadness and frustration. Several verses make explicit reference to suicidal fantasies, most famously in the line "sometimes I take a great notion to jump in the river and drown," which was the inspiration for the 1964 Ken Kesey novel Sometimes a Great Notion. The song is also the terrace song for Bristol Rovers F.C. who play in the English Football League One.

Lead Belly.
Like many traditional folk songs, the specific origins of "Irene" are unclear. Lead Belly was singing a version of the song from as early as 1908, which he claimed to have learned from his uncle Terell. An 1886 song by Gussie L. Davis has several lyrical and structural similarities to the latter song, however no information on its melody has survived. Some evidence suggests the 1886 song was itself based on an even earlier song which has not survived. Regardless of where he first heard it, however, by the 1930s Lead Belly had made the song his own, modifying the rhythm and rewriting most of the verses.

Lead Belly continued performing the song during his various prison terms, and it was while incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary that he encountered musicologists John and Alan Lomax who would go on to record hours of Lead Belly's performances. A few months prior to his release in 1934, Lead Belly recorded a number of his songs, including Irene, for the Library of Congress.[3]
"Irene" remained a staple of Lead Belly's performances throughout the 1930s and '40s. However, despite popularity within the New York blues community, the song was never commercially successful during his lifetime.


This is an excerpt from the Album "Peter Maurice Song & Dance Album No. 19" which is also available for download.

The download can be easily read by Adobe Reader or other similar pdf reader.

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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 30 March, 2011.

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