And now I interrupt this site’s Q&A series with I Went Down To St. James Infirmary author Robert W. Harwood to bring you: A Q&A with Mr. Harwood published elsewhere! It’s at GuelphMercury.com. One interesting answer: Asked if all the research and writing “made the song any less special for you,” he replies:
As a result of writing the book, the allure of St. James Infirmary has become more intense for me. I continue to play it on my guitar, and I enjoy listening to its many variations. If I had to point the contemporary listener to an introductory version of the song, it would probably be Van Morrison from his CD, What’s Wrong With This Picture? As for earlier versions, one of my favourites is the wild, mostly scat/instrumental 1930 recording by Alphonso Trent and his Orchestra.
The rest is here.