The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #46310   Message #3889320
Posted By: Steve Gardham
19-Nov-17 - 02:29 PM
Thread Name: Origin: Saint James Infirmary Blues
Subject: RE: Origin: Saint James Infirmary Blues
I have Thorp and 2 editions of Fife. I have also done my own studies of all the versions at my disposal not particularly looking at the named locations as I know how fickle these can be in transmission. Looking back at my study apart from adding a few obscure versions I can't really add substantially to the discussions here.

My study is nowhere near as comprehensive as those carried out by Richie, being mainly concerned with similar versions and possible evolutions, but like Richie I do try to categorise different oecotypes using comparisons stanza by stanza and picking out obvious characteristics such as the gender of the main character.
He's about ready to start on a new song family and I could ask him to have a go at this one, but I doubt he'll be able to add any opinions other than those already expressed. He is, however very thorough and if there are any 'St James's' versions earlier than 1900 he's your man to find them.

The misleading title 'The Unfortunate Rake' introduced by Kidson/Broadwood and perpetrated by the likes of Bert Lloyd doesn't seem to be relevant here unless the two tunes can be seen to be related.