The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #46310   Message #4022785
Posted By: GUEST,Guest
08-Dec-19 - 08:13 AM
Thread Name: Origin: Saint James Infirmary Blues
Subject: RE: Origin: Saint James Infirmary Blues
Hello Jack

Interesting post.   

Frank Kidson, writing about The Unfortunate Lad in 1904 gave two sources for the tune The Unfortunate Rake: Crosby's Irish Repository (c1808) and volume ii of Holden's Irish airs.

As far as I can discover, Kidson was the first to suggest that the tune and the lyrics might have been linked at some time. But this is his conjecture, he doesn't offer it as a fact.

I haven't seen Holden, not that I remember. But you can download Crosby. The tune is in two parts. I like it. It's unusual as it has a minor third but a major seventh, which means it isn't in a standard mode eg mixolydian. Also it doesn't seem to be in a 7 note scale, (there is no c where you would expect a sixth). I cannot find out what name might attach to the scale it does use! I don't think either part is at all like Streets of Loredo to be honest.

Can you enlighten me at all regarding this tune and how to describe it? I know that hexatonic scales are sometimes said to be used in Irish music, but I know more or less nothing about that.

Not sure if it is the same or similar to the one you have in Kerr.

Any thoughts gratefully received.