‘Come On, Irene?’ What Happened To ‘Good Night, Irene?’

From the Atlantic Wire on the wave of “Come On, Irene” references:

The cliché: As Irene gained strength and set her sails for the east coast this week, a familiar Celtic fiddle started sounding in America’s head. It started on Twitter as observers began repeating the refrain. “Come On, Irene!” they tweeted. Pretty soon it was making its way into news headlines. New York magazine’s Daily Intel wrote on Aug. 23, “It has the potential to be a category four storm, with winds between 130 and 155 miles per hour. Come on, Irene!” “Come on, Irene — it’s hurricane season,” blogged Bryan Walsh for Time. Come on, everyone, let’s calm down. As the hurricane continues to advance, the “Come on Irene” gags have taken over.

The source, of course, is “the 1982 song Come on Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners.” But that shortsighted connection passes over the more venerable “Good Night, Irene,” Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter’s blues classic.

Come on, Ireneniks. Get your Lead Belly on.

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6 Responses to ‘Come On, Irene?’ What Happened To ‘Good Night, Irene?’

  1. Steve Stein says:

    “Goodnight Irene”? Seriously? With all due respect to Ledbetter, what are you, 120 years old?!
    “Come on Eileen” is a stretch, though. And it’s lame for weather music. I do remember when the ex-BCN’ers were rockin’ “Gloria” back in ’85. Now THAT was a storm song!

  2. Steve Stein says:

    Teh Google brings a couple of good stories:
    Top 10 Songs About Irene (http://www.toptensongsabout.com/2011/08/songs-about-irene/) – after the first one it gets pretty lame, but it has a Christine Lavin song on the list (“Sweet Irene the Disco Queen”), so it’s not all bad.

    “It’s Not Easy Being Irene” by Irene Oladeinde, writing for the Manassas VA Patch (http://manassaspark.patch.com/articles/its-not-easy-being-irene): “I love music, but I hate most songs with “Irene” in the title, especially “Goodnight Irene.” For some reason more than a few people I have met in my life like to sing that song to me when they meet me. I’m even told the doctor that delivered me sang it while my mother was in labor. I hate that song so much, he probably helped my entrance into the world come a little faster.”

  3. Bob Gardner says:

    “Come on Irene”? Reminds me of Nuke Laloosh singing “she may get wooly . . .”

  4. Pingback: Good Night, Irene II | Campaign Outsider

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