Readers of this blog will be familiar with quite a few recent entries discussing various incarnations of the verse that begins "Let her go, let her go, God bless her."
Over at No Notes, Rob Walker has posted a lengthy rumination on "St. James Infirmary" and its "Let Her Go" verse. As always, his writing is vivid and captivating. I too had been pondering the almost - or seemingly - haphazard injection of the "let her go" sentiment, and how it gives the song its peculiar aura. Rob's conclusion is well worth reading, but I advise none to rush to the end of his narrative - there is great pleasure to be had in the journey.