It’s time for another St. James Infirmary post. If you haven’t heard, St. James Infirmary is one of the great American folk songs. Bumba and Maybank are hooked on it and here present another version recorded earlier this week. Sing along, play along. Listen to Louis Armstrong do it. Meanwhile you can check out our latest go at it.
What more to say about St. James Infirmary? Robert J. Harwood wrote a fine book about it. Dozens of great artists have recorded it in it’s various versions. Purportedly rooted in a 17th century English folksong and a London Hospital for lepers, St. James Infirmary morphed in America into a gambler’s lament, a cathouse anthem, a New Orleans classic. The sadness, the blunt commentary on the death of a young woman, the bar room ambiance, in short the glory/blues of the song are something to carry on. So,”put a $20 gold piece in my watch chain so the boys’ll know I went standin’ pat.”