Well, the production values look good.
Time will tell.
[Or: The Point of this Site]
A couple of years ago I did some research into the song "St. James Infirmary," wrote up what I found, emailed that essay to friends and posted it on my web site (as part of a series of "Letters From New Orleans," as I was living in that city at the time). Based on the feedback, I wrote a second version of the essay, and asked for more feedback. Based on that, I wrote a third version.
And now, this site: A place to collect some of the links, leads, thoughts, and suggestions relating to the song that readers (from Finland, The Netherlands, Australia, Spain, England, Sweden, Canada, and all over the U.S.) have sent me. This may lead to a fourth and significantly expanded version of the essay, some day. Also on this site: Plenty of tangents.
Never heard "St. James Infirmary"? Start here.
The most recent version of my "St. James Infirmary" essay is now a few years old. But it's still a fairly decent overview of what I know about the song, and why I'm interested in it. You can read it either in the book Letters from New Orleans (see below), or in the archives of The Gambit, the New Orleans weekly that published the piece as a book excerpt when LfNO came out.
This site is a partial spinoff of the book Letters from New Orleans, published by the unstoppable Garrett County Press. My interest in "St. James Infirmary" is the subject of one essay in the book. All author proceeds from the book still go to post-Katrina relief efforts, so I think it's okay for me to say: You ought to buy it.
I either own or am familiar with a bunch of versions of S.J.I. and close variations by a variety of artists. Here's a list, in progress. For now I'm concentrating on SJI, rather than its folk antecedents or any of the "Streets of Laredo" thread. Title is "St. James Infirmary" or "St. James Infirmary Blues" unless otherwise noted:
Dave Van Ronk