My father, who went to medical school in New Orleans in the 1930s, was a big jazz fan. He taught me 'St. James Infirmary' and 'Minnie the Moocher' when I was in kindergarten and when I got quite a bit older, told me that the actual St. James Infirmary was a hospital famous for treating venereal diseases. I don't know how he knew this. He wasn't one to do research on music or poetry so perhaps it was common knowledge in New Orleans among young doctors. The song is still one of my favorites.
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