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Published on Oct 16, 2010
Betty Boop is an animated cartoon character created by Max Fleischer with contributions from animator Grim Natwick among others. She originally appeared in the Talkartoon and Betty Boop series of films which were produced by Fleischer Studios and released by Paramount Pictures. She has also been featured in comic strips and mass merchandising. With her overt sexual appeal, Betty was a hit with film-goers, and despite having been toned down in the mid-1930s to appear more demure, she became one of best known cartoon characters in the world and remains popular today.
"St. James Infirmary Blues" is based on an 18th century traditional English folk song called "The Unfortunate Rake" (also known as "The Unfortunate Lad" or "The Young Man Cut Down in His Prime"). There are numerous versions of the song throughout the English-speaking world. It also evolved into other American standards such as "The Streets of Laredo". "The Unfortunate Rake" is about a sailor who uses his money on prostitutes, and then dies of a venereal disease. Different versions of the song expand on this theme, variations typically feature a narrator telling the story of a youth "cut down in his prime" (occasionally "her prime") as a result of some morally questionable actions. For example, when the song moved to America, gambling and alcohol became common causes of the youth's death. The title is derived from St. James Hospital in London, a religious foundation for the treatment of leprosy. It was closed in 1532 when Henry VIII acquired the land to build St. James Palace. The song was first collected in England in its version as "The Unfortunate Rake" by Henry Hammond by a Mr. William Cutis at Lyme Regis, Dorset in March 1906.
Folks, I'm goin' down to St. James Infirmary, See my baby there; She's stretched out on a long, white table, She's so sweet, so cold, so fair.
Let her go, let her go, God bless her, Wherever she may be, She will search this wide world over, But she'll never find another sweet man like me.
Now, when I die, bury me in my straight-leg britches, Put on a box-back coat and a stetson hat, Put a twenty-dollar gold piece on my watch chain, So you can let all the boys know I died standing pat.
An' give me six crap shooting pall bearers, Let a chorus girl sing me a song. Put a red hot jazz band at the top of my head So we can raise Hallelujah as we go along.
Folks, now that you have heard my story, Say, boy, hand me another shot of that booze; If anyone should ask you, Tell 'em I've got those St. James Infirmary blues.