St. James Infirmary
Joe Cocker Lyrics

It was down by old Joe's barroom, on the corner of the square
They were serving drinks as usual, and the usual crowd was there
On my left stood Big Joe McKennedy, and his eyes were bloodshot red
And he turned his face to the people, these were the very words he said

I was down to St. James infirmary, I saw my baby there
She was stretched out on a long white table,
So sweet, cool and so fair

Let her go, let her go, God bless her
Wherever she may be
She may search this whole wide world over
Never find a sweeter man as me

When I die please bury me in my high top Stetson hat
Put a twenty dollar gold piece on my watch chain
The gang'll know I died standing pat

Let her go, let her go God bless her
Wherever she may be
She may search this wide world over
Never find a sweeter man as me

I want six crapshooters to be my pallbearers
Three pretty women to sing a song
Stick a jazz band on my hearse wagon
Raise hell as I stroll along

Let her go Let her go
God bless her
Wherever she may be
She may search this whole wide
World over
She'll never find a sweeter
Man as me

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Songtrust Ave
Written by: Irving Mills

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:


It's a wonderful Version, to be sure. But the BEST VERSION EVER by Joe Cocker is the one with a hammond organ instead of the piano:

This is THE blues… Close your eyes and stop doing anything else… Listen, how he sings "her" in "Let her go, let her go! - God bless her …" so weak of depression.... And the solos of the other Instruments (I'm talking like his voice is an Instrument, i just realize….), especially the flute which goes double-voice at some point, but the others, too …. Gorgeous! So musical …. Uncomparable!

All comments from YouTube:


One of the best versions I’ve ever heard. Gritty, raw, and awesome!


Some people can sing. A few people have a voice for the ages. Thanks to God for Joe Cocker and the gift he shared with the world.

Zė Portella

Saint James Infirmary! A quintessência do blues! Cocker coloca a alma nas cordas vocais! Sonzão!

A Person

I have been going back, and forth between versions of this amazing song and I was trying to figure out which version is the best..... I think I have a winner. This was amazing

Alison Perry

Wen i was leaning to pkay this I listen to 6 or so versions I took a compilation of my favourite lyrics & made a unique version as all the greats have done .. I love the simplisity of the chords...way fun to play


I just made myself a play list of a bunch of good versions - and it came out to 29 because it's such a good song - but I am inclined to agree - this might be my favorite. It's really hard to decide though.


Strange how this song draws people to do that. I'm on that same quest. Still like Satchmo's version best, vocal-wise, but this geetar is just amazing!

Robert Cubinelli

No-one sings it like the late GREAT Joe Cocker !!

Carlos Morales

WORD. I love this song and the number of versions it has. I love blues and this song was the first one that got me into it. I also highly recommend the Hugh Laurie version bro, it also hits deep into the soul.

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Ann Smitt

Cocker's version is my favorite. We'll miss you Joe.

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