St. James Infirmary Blues

PROFILE
Provenance Traditional American folksong

Lyrics

I went down to St. James Infirmary
To see my baby there,
She was lyin’ on a long white table,
So sweet, so cool, so fair.

Went up to see the doctor,
“She’s very low,” he said;
Went back to see my baby
Good God! She’s lying there dead.

I went down to old Joe’s barroom,
On the corner by the square
They were serving the drinks as usual,
And the usual crowd was there.

On my left stood old Joe McKennedy,
And his eyes were bloodshot red;
He turned to the crowd around him,
These are the words he said:

Let her go, let her go, God bless her;
Wherever she may be
She may search the wide world over
And never find a better man than me

Oh, when I die, please bury me
In my ten dollar Stetson hat;
Put a twenty-dollar gold piece on my watch chain
So my friends’ll know I died standin’ pat.

Get six gamblers to carry my coffin
Six chorus girls to sing me a song
Put a twenty-piece jazz band on my tail gate
To raise Hell as we go along

Now that’s the end of my story
Let’s have another round of booze
And if anyone should ask you just tell them
I’ve got the St. James Infirmary blues

Session / Album Information

1946

“St. James Infirmary Blues” was recorded in 1946 and released in 2011 on Rarities, Outtakes & Other Delights, Vol. 1. Tony Bennett sang as Joe Bari, with The 314th Army Special Services Band Of The European Theater.

This recording released on:

  • 2011: Disc #1 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK1) Rarities, Outtakes & Other Delights, Vol. 1

1994

“St. James Infirmary Blues” was recorded on April 12, 1994 with Jay Mascus on Bennett’s Live MTV Unplugged concert. This recording, however, was not released on the album of that concert.

This recording released on:

  • 2011: Disc #2 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK2) Rarities, Outtakes & Other Delights, Vol. 2

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