St. James Infirm'ry

by Joe Primrose nee: Irving Mills

Arranged for Brass Quintet by Daniel Leavitt.

Set includes

  • Score
  • Trumpet 1 in Bb
  • Trumpet 2 in Bb
  • Horn
  • Trombone
  • Tuba

This arrangement offers the quintet the opportunity to stretch out on some jazz choruses. The introduction is similar to the famous Armstrong recording. This chart is ideal for the quintet that can jam.

Score excerpt (PDF) 1

Audio Sample 1

View as Sibelius Scorch 1

Cat. No. BQ265

Price $15.50



About St. James Infirm'ry

This tune is also known as 'Gamblers Blues' or 'Gamblers Lament', although it may be a 'traditional' tune from the end of the 19th century. In a book by Dr. Sigmund Spaeth "A History of Popular Music in America" (Random House) 1948, on page 612, Spaeth suggests Gambler's Blues (St. James infirmary Blues) dates to 1899. No composer credit is given indicating a "traditional" tune. St. James' hospital was founded about the time of the Norman Conquest for "maidens that were leprous."  King Henry VIII took possession of the hospital and it was rebuilt as St. James palace in 1533, becoming the London residence of British sovereigns from 1697-1837.  The song, whose origins probably stem from The Unfortunate Rake , an English folk song from the late 18th century, is a later adaptation of Gambler's Dream from the 1890s.  According to New Orleans historian, Jack Stewart, St. James Infirmary was a temporary facility during the Civil War