Posted by ESC on May 04, 2005
In Reply to: Good Night Irene posted by James Briggs on May 04, 2005
: : Good Night Irene. What is it's origin?
: It's the title of a 1950s popular song. Go to http://www.lyricsfreak.com/v/van-morrison/143236.html%20for%20the%20lyrics
My favorite is the Willie Nelson version. But anyway. This sounds like the expression may have a history pre-song:
"good night - interj. (used to indicate or comment on a disastrous conclusion; also used to indicate surprise or exasperation). - also constru. With 'nurse,' 'Irene,' etc. ..1918 'Independent' (June 22) 472: 'When he draws a bead on one, it's good night nurse.'" From "Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, A-G" by J. E. Lighter.