Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?

DigiTrad:
HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN
HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN


Related threads:
(origins) Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun? (184)
Lyr Req: House of the Rising sun (24)
(origins) Origins:House of the rising sun - Doors recording? (56)
Which Genre is it? (House of the Rising Sun) (86)
Lyr Req: Rising Sun (Leadbelly) (26)
(origins) Origins: House of the Rising Sun - Unf. Rake? (3)
House of the rising sun on Stan Carew-cb (6)
The House of the Rising Sun (6)
House of the Rising Sun - factual? (25)
Fred Hellerman's 'Rising Sun'. Wow! (5)


Les B 11 Aug 05 - 06:34 PM
Le Scaramouche 11 Aug 05 - 06:42 PM
dick greenhaus 11 Aug 05 - 06:52 PM
Le Scaramouche 11 Aug 05 - 07:02 PM
GUEST,Dido, No Aeneas 11 Aug 05 - 07:03 PM
Cluin 11 Aug 05 - 07:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Aug 05 - 08:13 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Aug 05 - 09:59 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Aug 05 - 10:05 PM
Le Scaramouche 11 Aug 05 - 10:12 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Aug 05 - 11:09 PM
Liz the Squeak 12 Aug 05 - 12:40 AM
Les B 12 Aug 05 - 01:38 AM
MissouriMud 12 Aug 05 - 12:17 PM
BillR 12 Aug 05 - 03:28 PM
Le Scaramouche 12 Aug 05 - 03:42 PM
MissouriMud 12 Aug 05 - 04:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Aug 05 - 06:16 PM
Les B 13 Aug 05 - 01:07 AM
Cluin 13 Aug 05 - 01:25 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Aug 05 - 01:42 AM
GUEST,masha 06 Dec 05 - 05:44 PM
Tannywheeler 07 Dec 05 - 10:54 AM
GUEST,SunnySoCal 08 Jan 10 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,999 09 Jan 10 - 02:47 AM
GUEST,revtheteke 04 Feb 13 - 11:30 PM
GUEST 10 Apr 14 - 04:08 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: Les B
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 06:34 PM

In Charlie Daniel's folk-country-pop hit of a few years ago, "Devil Went Down to Georgia", the protagonist in the song has a contest with the devil.   

He jumps up on a stump and proceeds to play a series of tunes - "Fire on the mountain, Run boys run, Devil's in the house of the rising sun, Chicken in the bread pan picking out dough, Granny does your dog bite no child no".

I heard a fiddler the other night do a bit where he played through all these tunes. "Devil's in the house of the rising sun" sounded much like the folk tune known as "House of the rising sun". The fiddler claimed it was based on a seven-hundred-year-old British tune.

I can't find it referenced in the Ceolas tune finder. Does anyone have any info about it??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 06:42 PM

Sounds like fakelore, especially the seven-hundred year old bit.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising su
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 06:52 PM

Fire on the mountain, Run boys run, is a well-known fiddle tune (often pronounced "Far in the Mountain" .Devil's in the house of the rising sun is most likely inventrd to rhyme. Chicken in the bread pan picking out dough is a bit of square dance calling patter (rhymes with Do-si-do); Granny does your dog bite no child no" is a real tune.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 07:02 PM

I always thought Devil in the House of the Rising Sun was not only to rhyme, but a caution to Johnny.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising su
From: GUEST,Dido, No Aeneas
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 07:03 PM

To throw in a bit of spare obscurity, it is a folk song of some sort - the original House of the Rising Son has the lyrics 'it's been the ruin of many a poor GIRL' but is probably no older than about a hundred years. A good search of the internet will turn things up. Tunes are harder to pin down, because they get re-used so often. It could be based on a far older tune, but it certainly predates the sixties.

Now argue it out. That's all I know, but at least I said it.

DNA


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: Cluin
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 07:08 PM

Old fiddle tunes acquire new names and perhaps a few new notes as they move on down the road. They were pretty localized until certain versions and names made famous when the recording era started. The same tunes went by different names in different locales and in fact still do.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 08:13 PM

For information on House of the Rising Sun, see thread 8592 and its links: House of the Rising Sun .
Much better information than that which is scattered over the internet.

For fiddle tunes, with many of the local names, see Fiddle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 09:59 PM

700 years? The fiddler you met was talking out of his arse hat. Next time you meet him, ask for specifics. If he can't come up with the goods, call him a liar. Fiddlers (I speak as one) sometimes need to be reminded that telling the truth about their material isn't really such a bad thing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 10:05 PM

I have a 700 year old fiddle I'll sell him.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 10:12 PM

With a set of string used by Boudicca's Druids as they marched to war banging on bodhrans.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 11:09 PM

Don't forget their ancient, Pre-Christian Uuuuiiiilleeeeannnn pipes.

Oh, sorry. That was Prehistoric (18th century) Ireland.

Woad was just the thing to scare the dinosaurs in Ancient Britain, though. When you staggered out of the pub after being snowed in there for a couple of months, those velociraptors would be hanging around out there in the (anachronistic) Celtic Twilight, just waiting to bite your head off and drink the rest of your beer. If you were bright blue, they'd lay off in order to avoid the risk of food poisoning.

Well, that's what my third Grandfather (the one who was a Druid) told me. Unless he didn't, and I made it up all by myself. I've already warned you about fiddlers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 12:40 AM

Every tune has at least 3 names... the one the English know it as, the one the Irish know it as, and the other one.

Only very rarely do these names have any similarity or sense or logic to them.....

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: Les B
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 01:38 AM

Well, I was willing to give the fiddler I saw a bit of leeway on his dating of the tune (600 years or so). He did a fine job on all the tunes - very old-timey sounding.

He was with a group out of California called the Black Irish band and he was pretty good. (Can't remember his name though, darn it!) He claimed to have won the old-time fiddle contest at Galax (Virginia) in 1993, and he sounded like he could have. It's just that I never thought of that tune (House of the Rising Sun) as being British, or Irish, but maybe the other one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: MissouriMud
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 12:17 PM

Well Dave Rainwater from California, who I think plays lead fiddle for the Black Irish Band, did win the Galax fiddle contest in the early 90s, so his fiddling competence is not in question. That does not vouch for his historical accuracy. You might check the band's cds to see if there is any reference to the tune you heard.

Granny does your Dog Bite is still a popular fiddle tune in these parts. Only words I know are:

Granny does [or will] your dog bite? - No, child, no.
Daddy cut his biter off a long time ago!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising su
From: BillR
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 03:28 PM

Maybe I'm totally off base here, but I always thought that the line was

The Devil played "The House of the Rising Sun".

I haven't got a copy of the song handy to check, but the song is about a fiddling contest between Jonny and the Devil isn't it. I assumed the lyric at that point was describing the contest. Jonny played "this" then the Devil played "that" and then some more songs with out mentioning who played.

Les B, Is it possible you misunderstood this guy? Could he posibly have been playing and talking about "House of the Rising Sun"?

-Bill


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 03:42 PM

No, it's the Devil's in the House of the Rising Son.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: MissouriMud
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 04:29 PM

The Bluegrassmessenger.com site has the following entry on the tune "Fire On the Mountain", which seems to suggest that most if not all of the phrases (the Chicken and Granny lines are expressly referenced) may have actually been floating verse or even altenrate titles used in the tune Fire on the Mountain.   Oddly the "Devil's in the House" line is not specifically mentioned.   I don't do enough research to know how authoritative this source is but it seems to suggest that perhaps rather than 4 tunes, Johnny was just playing one jumbled up one (Fire On the Mountain) and that the 4 listed "tunes" in the Charlie Daniels song may not all be full independent tunes themselves.

There is more info on the site but here is are the key sections on Fire On the Mountain (2):
"Library of Congress: Henry Reed's "Fire on the Mountain" is a fine set of a tune that is well-documented from early America down to the present, yet seems not traceable to the British Isles. It is thus (along with a number of other tunes in this collection) evidence that by the late eighteenth century there was already a distinctly American repertory of fiddle tunes. The tune seems to be associated with a cluster of playful rhymes and jingles used in children's songs, play-party songs, and courting songs across the early frontier. The jingles in turn give rise to many of the bewildering array of titles that have turned up for this tune. Some representative examples are "A. Shattuck's Book [ca. 1801]," p. 59 "I Betty Martin--tipto fine"; Riley's Flute Melodies (ca. 1814), p. 87 "Free on the Mountains"; Winner's Choice Gems, p. 66 "Granny Will Your Dog Bite. (Jig.)"; Brown, The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore vol. 5, 119 (#158) "Chicken in the Bread Tray"; Wilkinson, "Virginia Dance Tunes," p. 9 "Fire on the Mountains," played by J. H. Chisholm, Greenwood, Virginia; Ford, Traditional Music of America, p. 58 "Tip Toe, Pretty Betty Martin"; Adam, Old Time Fidders' Favorite Barn Dance Tunes #62 "The Butchers' Dog"; Moser, "Instrumental Music of the Southern Appalachians," pp. 5-6 "Old Daddy Bowback (Fire on the Mountain)," played by Marcus Martin, Swannanoa, North Carolina. As in Henry Reed's case, Southern sets are inclined to begin with the high strain, while Northern or Midwestern sets (and hence most printed sets) begin with the low strain.

MORE NOTES: Verses are sometimes sung to the melody, especially in the variants by other names such as "Betty Martin," "Pretty Betty Martin" and "Hog-eye." Wilkinson (1942) says that the following verse made its way into some editions of Mother Goose (See Lyrics below).

"The Devil Went Down to Georgia," a song and fiddle tune by Charlie Daniels Band has floater lyrics from "Fire on the Mountain." "


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 06:16 PM

The Bluegrass Messengers is fairly well researched (MissouriMud comments above). They posted many threads in Mudcat looking for additional information for their website. Many knowledgeable people contributed.
The link 'Fiddle' which I gave in my post of 11 Aug 05 takes one directly to their section on fiddle tunes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: Les B
Date: 13 Aug 05 - 01:07 AM

Bill R - I'm pretty sure the lyrics are "The Devil's in the House of the Rising Sun" - it's part of the list of all the songs the boy, Johnny, plays to best the Devil. At least that's what I found when I looked up the lyrics on the I-net.

Yes, it was Dave Rainwater who was doing the fiddling. Sorry I forgot his name.   Here's the way it came down: When the Black Irish band start their second set, Rainwater comes on stage by himself and does this solo spot for about ten minutes.

He starts out by saying that Charlie Daniels had a hit song with "Devil Went Down to Georgia," and plays a short piece of that tune, saying it is perhaps a variation of "Lonesome Fiddle Blues". Then he explains that the song describes a contest between the Devil and a country boy named Johnny, and that the boy jumps up on a stump and plays a series of tunes which are better than the Devil's fiddling.

Rainwater then says he'd like to play those tunes, and then proceeds through them - naming them and playing them each about two times through. When he gets to "Devil's in the House of the Rising Sun" he makes the reference to it being an old British tune. What he plays sounds like an old timey version, with lots of double stopping and shuffle bowing, of "House of the Rising Sun" - the one which every aspiring folky guitarist was doing in the 1960's.

Later on, after the show, I asked him about the "Devil's in the House of the Rising Sun" tune, and he again repeated the 'very old British tune' info - saying 'about 700 years old' - He didn't give any references, and, unfortunately, I didn't purchase one of their CDs. That piece may not have been on it anyway, since he seemed to imply this was a fairly new piece of schtick for the act.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: Cluin
Date: 13 Aug 05 - 01:25 AM

Here are the lyrics, according Charlie Daniel's site.

Browse around the site, maybe you can find a link there to email Mr. Daniels and ask him personally the source(s) of the chorus. If you can get past his quazi-political ramblings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Aug 05 - 01:42 AM

Dave Rainwater did win the Old Time Fiddle contest at Galax in 1993. Sounds like he could have won a Liars' contest as well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising su
From: GUEST,masha
Date: 06 Dec 05 - 05:44 PM

From Alan Lomax's "The Folk Songs of North America", Garden City, NY, 1960. p. 280:   
The "Rising Sun" occurs as the name of a bawdy house in two other traditional songs, both British in origin.... The melody can be linked with one setting of "Lord Barnard and Little Musgrove"... and with other old traditional tunes.'
    Yet this song is, as far as I know, unique. I took it down in 1937 from the singing of a thin, pretty, yellow-headed miner's daughter [Georgia Turner] in Middlesborough, Kentucky, subsequently adapting it to the form that was popularized by Josh White....
---------
Since Dave R. was not *singing* the song, and only said that the *tune* was old, I think he's in the clear... altho 700 years old is probably a bit of an exaggeration...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 07 Dec 05 - 10:54 AM

Oh, boy, LTS; I knew I loved you for some good reason. Your posting in this thread("Every tune has 3 names...") puts me in mind of the piece of military wisdom that hubby(veteran of the U.S. Navy) imparted to me: There's a right way, a wrong way, and The Navy Way(for anything being done during the enlistee's term of service). ALWAYS do it The Navy Way.               Tw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: GUEST,SunnySoCal
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 01:21 PM

Rising Son would be a christ reference and would make sense as a sort of pun. Devil's in the house of the rising son. Son or Sun hard to tell when transcribing a son that is only heard they both work which makes the lyrics even better.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising su
From: GUEST,999
Date: 09 Jan 10 - 02:47 AM

http://www.guitarnoise.com/lesson/some-notes-on-the-house-of-the-rising-sun/


That link leads to a really good history. Worth reading.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: GUEST,revtheteke
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 11:30 PM

I'm about eight years late to the discussion, but I think I may have some light to shine on things, with what is a somewhat educated guess at the meaning behind the song in question.

As we all know, the ballad of the Devil Went Down to Georgia is that he challenges young Johnny to a fiddle contest. The Devil then goes first and plays a pretty amazing fiddle solo with accompaniment from a band. Throughout the solo you pick up a very rocked up vibe, perhaps somewhat indicative of the type of music that the Charlie Daniels Band was most well known for in the 1970's. The CDB had paid homage to the country rock/southern rock of the era five years earlier in the song "The South's Gonna Do It Again" on the album "Fire on the Mountain" in 1974, and the CDB certainly was most well known for fitting into the vibe of the sort of music that you hear in the Devil's solo.

But, the next thing that happens in the ballad is that Johnny jumps up on a hickory stump and he plays, by my count, three songs. The first is easy enough to figure out: "Fire on the Mountain" is a traditional fiddle ballad that would have been played by many old-time bands in the early to mid 20th Century. Probably the best known recording of that song is Bill Monroe's version. Monroe was, himself, a fiddle and mandolin player, and on his recording the song (which would have often been played as an instrumental number) features Monroe's high pitched tenor singing the words repeatedly, "Fire on the Hillside, Run Boys Run, Fire on the Mountain Run Boys Run," and so forth.

Next, it would seem that Johnny plays "House of the Rising Sun". As you can see in the discussion above, lots of folks here have been wondering about the roots of the song, how old it really may or may not be, whether it is or is not an American adaptation of a Celtic fiddle tune, etc. All of those questions are good ones, but let me suggest a more likely reason for why this song makes sense in the trio mentioned in Johnny's medley: Roy Acuff, who himself was a prominent fiddler, was one of the first country musicians to record the song. It appeared as "Rising Sun" on the B-side of his 1938 single for "The Great Speckled Bird". Acuff was undisputedly one of the biggest stars of the pre-Hank Williams country music era, and so Daniels' parents and grandparents would have surely had that recording in their library, and it probably goes without saying that a country boy like Charlie Daniels probably heard Roy Acuff play that song before he ever heard the Animals or Bob Dylan do it in the 60's. From what I can tell on this thread, there's no version of "House of the Rising Sun" that specifically has the line "The Devil's in the House of the Rising Sun", so Daniels probably stuck that "The Devil's in the" in there to make the melody work, but the allusion is clearly to the "House of the Rising Sun" song, and the idea that it's an allusion to Roy Acuff's version makes as much sense as any other theory.

Finally, Johnny sings the refrain from "Granny Does Your Dog Bite". This song is a traditional fiddle tune as well, but what is notable about it is that it was one of the tracks on Seals and Croffts's 1970 album "Down Home". Seals and Crofts were a duet that were very popular in the 70's, and they were surely a group that Daniels himself would have been listening to, and the "Down Home" album was recorded nine years before "The Devil Went Down to Georgia". Daniels surely was familiar with that track on the record, and himself being a fiddler liked it because it was a traditional fiddle tune.

So, consider all of that and think about the meaning of the song. The Devil challenges Johnny to a fiddling contests, plays an impressive rock tune, but then loses to Johnny who plays a medly of tunes that were traditional ballads that would have been heard on country radio thirty and forty years before "The Devil Went Down to Georgia", along with at square dances across the south.

That all having been said, my take on the song is that it's Charlie Daniels' nod to fiddlers and fiddle tunes who inspired him to be what he is: a very talented fiddle player. I think the song is his clever way of saying that as much as he loves the music he makes, he knows that he's forever indebted to fiddlers like Bill Monroe and Roy Acuff, who were undisputed legends amongst Daniels' parents generation, along with those standard fiddle tunes that you'd hear at barn dances on Saturday nights LONG before you ever heard Charlie Daniels playing along with an electric bass and electric guitar accompanying him.

One more thing: while there was perhaps even more anti-rock reaction to rock music amongst southern evangelicals in the 1980's (Jimmy Swaggart wrote a book on the subject in 1986), it's still true that throughout the 60's and 70's, as rock music became less and less like Elvis and more and more like the Beatles, Black Sabbath, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, lots of folks in Daniels' parents' generation may have heard his brand of country-rock and associated it with the "devil's music". So, again, the song pits the CDB's sound itself--as it was being critiqued and characterized by old timers--against the traditional sounds of Bill Monroe, Roy Acuff, and fiddle tunes you'd hear at square dances. But, the genius of the song is that Daniels gives the Devil his due by championing the fiddlers of yesteryear.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 04:08 PM

"Fire on the mountain, Run boys run, Devil's in the house of the rising sun, Chicken in the bread pan picking out dough, Granny does your dog bite no child no".


People think way too much about this.. They're just references to classic country and/or fiddle tunes.. Much like the John Denver Country Boy line that says, "I'd play 'Sally Goodin' all day if I could" The point was Johnny played a series of classic tunes hot and humbled the Devil..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 24 June 4:49 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.