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June 11, 2004 11:50 AM Subscribe
The story of "St. James Infirmary."
You thought it was a piece of old New Orleans? Turns out St. James Hospital was in London (and treated lepers), and the song goes back at least to the 18th century (though it used to be sung to the tune of "Streets of Laredo"). Rob Walker's Letter From New Orleans #13 describes the results of his obsessive researches. If you have more info, he wants to hear from you! (Via Wordorigins
, a site any word lover should know.)
posted by languagehat (9 comments total)
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