Guitar Tabs, Chords and Lyrics

Goodnight Irene  Leadbelly

[D]Asked your mother for [A7]you
She told me that you was too [D]young
I wish, dear Lord, that I’d never [G]seen your face
I’m [D]sorry you [A]ever was [D]born.

[D]Irene, [A7]Goodnight
Irene, Good[D]night
Goodnight, Irene, Good[G]night, Irene
I’ll [D]get you [A]in my [D]dreams.

[D]Sometimes I live in the [A7]country,
Sometimes I live in [D]town.
Sometimes I haves a great [G]notion
To jump [D]into the [A]river and [D]drown.

[D]Stop ramblin’ and stop [A7]gamblin’
Quit staying out late at [D]night
Go home to your wife and your [G]family
Stay [D]down by the [A]fireside [D]bright


[D]I loves Irene, God [A7]knows I do
Love her till the sea runs [D]dry
If Irene turns her [G]back on me
I’m gonna [D]take [A]morphine and [D]die

-i wouldn't put too much effort into getting it to sound exactly like leadbelly for a
reasons: he's playing a 12 string and so has the octave-high drones on every string, he
likely playing a guitar tuned at least a full step down or possessive of poor quality
heads that slipped constantly with the travel he did, and the original recording was
on wax cylinder so the fidelity is considerably less than perfect which gives it that
rough acoustic blues edge but makes it a pain to mimic. plus blues tradition was more
on individual artists giving their own touches to a lot of communal traditional songs,
fool around with it and make a version you can really call your own.

-the first instance of the IV chord (here an A) in the verses is always a 7th, but the
instance is not. the recording was too old and grainy for me to be 100% certain of this,
the second instance is only held for a split second anyway so i doubt anyone will
if you like to play it faster you can probably get away with the old blues trick of
the A chord instead of actually playing it by just hitting (x022xx), (x02xxx) or any
simple voicing of A.

-for a nice, subtle variation you can substitute Gsus (320033) for the G wherever you
didn't experiment with how this sounds in other keys with other suspended chords because
supposed to be writing an essay for literature class and i'm really just tabbing this to

tabbed by the-ian

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A A7 D G
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