"Seven Drunken Nights" is an Irish version of a humorous folk song most famously performed by The Dubliners. The song (Child 274, Roud 114) is often referred to as "Our Goodman". It tells the story of a gullible drunkard returning night after night to see new evidence of his wife's lover, only to be taken in by increasingly implausible explanations.
According to Roud and Bishop
"This was an immensely widespread song, probably known all over the English-speaking world, with the wording varying considerably but the structure and basic story remaining the same."
In British Popular Ballads John E. Housman observes that "There is much of Chaucer's indomitable gaiety in this ballad. The questions of the jealous husband and the evasions of his wife are treated here in a humorous vein, and there are French ballads of a similar type."The song is first found in a London broadside of the 1760s entitled "The Merry Cuckold and the Kind Wife". The broadside was translated into German, and spread into Hungary and Scandinavia. Unaware of the origin of the German ballad, Child cited it as an analogy. It was also collected in Scotland in the 1770s and was believed to be a Scottish song. Unusually for such a popular and widespread song, it appears in only a few nineteenth century broadsides.
The structure and bawdy nature of the song allow it to be sung from memory by convivial companies. Among polite audiences only five of the seven nights usually are sung because of the vulgar nature of the final two.
Each night is a verse, followed by a chorus, in which the narrator comes home in a drunken state to find evidence of another man having been with his wife, which she explains away, not entirely convincingly. The song also became part of American folk culture, both through Irish-Americans and through the blues tradition.
The song passed from oral tradition to a global mass market with The Dubliners recording of "Seven Nights Drunk". The record reached number 7 in the UK charts in 1967 and appeared on Top of the Pops, thanks to its diffusion on Radio Caroline, though it was banned from the national broadcasting station. The song also charted at No.1 in Ireland.
~~~ChordPro Version UPDATED March 04, 2017 CEL~~~
A video for this song:
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