Sunday, November 14, 2010

St. James Infirmary

This is one of those songs that everyone seems to have a version of. Some a direct cover, others use the melody with their own lyrics. It's transcended the borders between blues, jazz and swing, and it's transformed lyrically so much that it's hard to tell what it started out as. Below are my favorite versions.

St. James Infirmary Blues - White Stripes

I think the White Stripes version is the best, and it's one of my favorite songs of all time. It's absolutely haunting. Not sure I've ever heard a more chilling song.

St. James Infirmary Blues - The Wild Cards

Another fantastic version is a little known cover by The Wildcards. It has a swing vibe with some fantastic guitar work.

The next best is the Bob Dylan version, which uses the melody of the song but replaces the lyrics with his own words. That song is called "Blind Willie McTell", and unfortunately appears to have been pulled from youtube and is not able to be uploaded with my usual mp3 upload service. If I can find a way to get it to you, I'll edit this post.


  1. the wild cards is pretty amazing

  2. that white stripes version is awesome man. Ive never been too educated in blues music but I like it a lot.

  3. I was not familiar with the Wildcards version. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Yeah, heard of it! Not bad at all... :)

  5. i hadn't heard of this before now! think i agree with you, the white stripes version is best.

  6. whens your next post man? i need new music