I was born and raised in the country,
Mama but I’m stayin’ in town.
Two of the Leadbelly songs I have had running in the back of my head for the past few days are “We Shall Walk Through the Valley” and “In the Pines,” which is also known as “Black Girl” and “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” I have not yet unearthed complete lyrics or background for either, but here are audio samples of both, with very clear sound, from his 1943-44 recording sessions.
Leadbelly lyrics are marvelous, and chilling. Try this, from the famous “Irene, Goodnight”:
I love Irene, God knows I do
I’ll love her all my life.
If Irene should ever leave me
I’ll take morphine and die.