Art Works Blog

Happy Mardi Gras!

New Orleans, Louisiana

Built as a private residence in the late 1700s, New Orleans' French Quarter stalwart Preservation Hall reinvented itself as a performing arts venue in 1961. Today the venerable venue presents New Orleans-style jazz nightly thanks to a number of house bands---including the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Preservation Hall Swing Kings---and visiting artists, including the New Birth Brass Band and the 726 Jazz Band. The Preservation Hall bands also take their show on the road; spring 2011 will find them in Hot Springs, Boston, Tucson, and Los Angeles, to name a few stops.

In honor of Mardi Gras, Preservation Hall's actually closed tonight, but we can catch a little of the Fat Tuesday spirit in this animation by Tancotoons of Preservation Hall Jazz Band's rendition of the classic New Orleans tune, "St. James Infirmary--King Britt remix." Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Video courtesy of Preservation Hall Jazz Band.)

 

 

Transcript of St. James Infirmary as performed by the Preservation Hall Band

Now I went down to Little Joe's barroom,
On the corner here in Treme,
In the shadows stood old Joe McKenzie
And these are the words that he said.

I went down to the St. James Infirmary.
I saw my baby lying there.
She was stretched out on a cold white table,
So sweet, so cold, so sweet, so fair.

So Let her go, let her go, God bless her;
Wherever she may be.
She can search this whole wide world over
but she'll never find a sweeter man than me.

I let her go, let her go, God bless her;
Wherever she may be.
She can search this whole wide world over
But she'll never find a sweeter man than me.

When I die, I want to be buried
in a box coat suit and a Stetson hat.
I want a twenty-dollar gold piece on my watch chain
So the guys know I died standin' pat.

I want 18 white horses
to pull my coffin.
I want the Preservation Hall Band
leading the parade.

I let her go, let her go, God bless her;
Wherever she may be.
She can search this wide world over
but she'll never find a sweeter man than me.

I let her go, let her go, God bless her;
Wherever she may be.
She can search this wide world over
but she'll never find a sweeter man than me.

She'll never find a sweeter man than me.

 

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