The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #46310 Message #2086889
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
25-Jun-07 - 06:21 PM
Thread Name: Origin: Saint James Infirmary Blues
Subject: Lyr Add: HOW SAD WAS THE DEATH OF MY SWEETHEART
Lyr. Add: HOW SAD WAS THE DEATH OF MY SWEETHEART
(Negro folk song; Scarborough, 1925)
I went to John Seley's hospital;
The nurse there she turned me around.
She turned me around, yes, so slowly,
An' said, "The poor girl is sleepin' in the ground."
I was walkin' down Walnut Street so lonely,
My head it was hanging so low.
It made me think of my sweetheart,
Who was gone to a world far unknown.
Let her go, let her go.
May God bless her, wherever she may be.
She is mine.
She may roam this wide world over
But she will never fin' a man like me.
While walkin' I met her dear mother,
With her head hangin' low as was mine.
"Here's the ring of your daughter, dear mother,
And the last words as she closed her eyes:
"Take this ring, take this ring,
Place it on your lovin' right hand.
And when I am dead and forgotten
Keep the grass from growing on my grave."
Obtained from a 'young Galveston Negro, a student at Straight College, New Orleans'. Worth Tuttle Hedden, the collector, said it was rather widely sung among the Negroes in Galveston. John Seley Hospital is (or was) in Galveston.
p. 94, Dorothy Scarborough, 1925, "On the Trail of Negro Folk-Songs," Harvard University Press. Facsimile 1963, Folklore Associates, Inc.
A version of the same song was recorded by Louis Armstrong and others musicians in New Orleans as "Saint James Infirmary (Blues)." The song on the Armstrong recording was arranged by G. Primrose, Louis Armstrong and His Savoy Ballroom Five, 1928.
Hear the recording at http://www.redhotjazz.com/savoy5.html
St. James Infirmary
Other recordings were made aboout the same time. See Traditional Ballads Index.