St. James Infirmary

St. James Infirmary

This is one of a series of poems exploring the life and work of jazz pioneer Louis Armstrong.

After trombonist Fred Robinson and drummer Zutty Singleton, who played on Armstrong’s “St. James Infirmary

Two Freds, one the composer the other the tromboner.

Two Freds one the composer other the tromboner.

Got to have both or this hit would need a church organ donor.

But Robinson’s trombone is in mourning.

Fred Robinson’s trombone is certainly, definitely mourning.

The bell looks like a broken heart, tear-filled and bawling.

Still Zutty’s hip to the tip with the boom-chicka, boom-chicka.

Zutty’s hip to those hips boom-chicka, boom-chicka.

My last, hot-damn solo: a dagnabit, ooh-bop cadenza.

St. James: ordinary tune just made it Negroid and torrid.

St. James: vanilla cut made it Negroid and torrid.

But if you can swung that swing lawdy, lawd, lauded.  




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