St. James Infirmary
Blues Song
Janis Joplin, Cab Calloway, Jimmy Smith, Joe Cocker, Earl Hines

Midi 1(F120)  Midi 2(C120) Midi 3(F80)
  Midi 4(Bb100)   Midi 5(F120)  Midi 6(C104)
Midi 7(G120   Midi 8(Bb45)
Interesting Letter
Tabbed by Mark Purintun
For Diatonic harmonica
See YouTube videos below
Hilarious videos


-4 -5 -6 -6 -5 6 -6 6 -5 -4 -4
-5 -4 -5 -6 -6 -6 8 -8 -6
-5 6 6 -5 6 -6b 6 -5 -4 -4
-5 -4 -5 6 -6b 6 -5 -4

I went down to old Joe's bar room
On the corner by the square.
Well, the drinks were bein' served as usual,
And this motley crowd was there.

Well, on my left stood Joe McKennedy
And his eyes were bloodshot red.
When he told me that sad story,
These were the words he said:

 -4 -5  -6   -6  -5  6    -6   6 -5  -4
Well I went down to St. James Infirm ry.
-4 -6-6  -6 -6 8 -8    -6
My baby was a layin' there.
    -6     -6 -6 -5  6  -6 6  -5 -4
Stretched out on a long white table
-4   -5  -4  -5    6  -6    6  -5    -4
So young, I said "Oh Lord, it ain't fair".

Let her go...let her go...god bless her
Wherever she may be
She can look this wide world over
But she’ll never find a sweet man like me

When I die want you to dress me in straight lace shoes
I wanna a boxback coat and a stetson hat
Put a twenty dollar gold piece on my watch chain
So the boys’ll know that I died standing flat.

Folks, now that you have heard my story,
Say, boy, hand me another shot of that booze;
If anyone should ask you,
Tell 'em I've got those St. James Infirmary blues.



The way others play this tune:

A song like that might fit really well into 5th position. 
It has been many years since I have heard the song, and I don't do tab, so be a little easy
on me if I screwed it up.  :-)

2B 2B 3B 3D 3D->3Dbb 2D 2B
5B 5B 5B 4D 3D
2B 2B 3B 3D 3D 3D->3Dbb 2D
2B 2B 2Db 2D 2D 2B 2Db 2B 1D 2B

where B = blow, D = draw, b = half step bend down, bb = full step bend down
You will have to work out your own timing and expression, because I can't figure out how
to show it in tab.

Bill "Wild Willy" Gausman


Mojo Red does this song in 3rd position at our harp club and it is a killer
in that position.  It's cool in either the middle or lower registers.  Also,
4th position is neat sounding.  Normally mojo does it in G (on a C harp), I
think.  Mojo has a gig this weekend so I would think that explains his
failure to chirp in on this one.  Louie Armstrong has a super intro to his
version of the song with a very slow, moanin' 1D 1Db 1D sounding like a fog
horn down on the docks.  He plays that twice with a nice pause between each
time before he launches into the song.

Try this one:
4D 5D 6D 6D 5D 6B 6D 6B 5D 4D 4D
5D 4D 5D 6D 6D 6D 8B 8D 6D
5D 6B 6B 5D 6B 6Db 6B 5D 4D 4D
5D 4D 5D 6B 6Db 6B 5D 4D


Turns out my memory was flawed- this is the way I play it:

2B 3B 3D 3D 3Dbb 3D 3Dbb 2D 2B
2B 3B 3D 3D 5B 4B 3D
2B 3B 3D 3D 3Dbb 3D 3Dbb 2D 2B
2B 3B 3Db 3Dbb 2D 2B 4D 3Db 2D 2B

Jason Martin

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Cab Calloway                                                                                                                                               (on the harmonica)

Another harmonica version

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