The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #46310   Message #4022677
Posted By: Jack Campin
07-Dec-19 - 04:05 PM
Thread Name: Origin: Saint James Infirmary Blues
Subject: RE: Origin: Saint James Infirmary Blues
I had a look at the earliest source for "The Unfortunate Rake" tune. It's in the Irish Jigs section of Kerr's Merry Melodies volume 1, probably published in 1878 but definitely no later than 1880, i.e. significantly before Ryan.

It's a "Banks of the Devon" variant but has drifted a long way from it in the A part. The B part is more like the original, but that's the part that didn't make its way into "The Streets of Laredo". I can't see how it could have anything to do with any of these songs.

Gore's index lists a 12/8 "Unfortunate Joak" tune in Rutherford's dance tune collection of 1750, but the theme code says it's totally unrelated.