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


Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?

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


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Devil's in the house of the rising sun ? (27)
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)


Murph 12 Jan 99 - 11:40 PM
Joe Offer 13 Jan 99 - 12:11 AM
Barry Finn 13 Jan 99 - 01:37 AM
Steve Parkes 13 Jan 99 - 03:48 AM
Lesley N.Lesley N. 13 Jan 99 - 06:56 PM
WillWill (inactive) 13 Jan 99 - 10:53 PM
Ronn Gilbert 16 Jan 99 - 01:04 AM
Lesley N. 16 Jan 99 - 01:17 AM
Dave T 16 Jan 99 - 08:43 AM
Allan S, 16 Jan 99 - 11:10 AM
16 Jan 99 - 11:56 AM
rick fielding 16 Jan 99 - 12:06 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 16 Jan 99 - 09:52 PM
mm 17 Jan 99 - 04:44 PM
Stubs 17 Jan 99 - 06:34 PM
Dani 02 Apr 00 - 09:12 AM
Alan of Australia 02 Apr 00 - 10:03 AM
Abby Sale 02 Apr 00 - 10:50 AM
JedMarum 02 Apr 00 - 11:49 AM
JedMarum 02 Apr 00 - 11:52 AM
Rick Fielding 02 Apr 00 - 12:00 PM
JedMarum 02 Apr 00 - 12:06 PM
Charlie Baum 02 Apr 00 - 04:34 PM
Sandy Paton 02 Apr 00 - 07:41 PM
GUEST,Arkie 02 Apr 00 - 08:45 PM
Caitrin 02 Apr 00 - 09:09 PM
GUEST,Megan 02 Apr 00 - 09:56 PM
WyoWoman 03 Apr 00 - 01:32 AM
Lonesome EJ 03 Apr 00 - 01:51 AM
Bugsy 03 Apr 00 - 05:02 AM
alison 03 Apr 00 - 05:12 AM
GUEST, A.C. 03 Apr 00 - 05:43 AM
Ritchie 03 Apr 00 - 12:51 PM
Kim C 03 Apr 00 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,Gregory_Rush@hotmail.com 03 Apr 00 - 03:51 PM
Doctor John 04 Apr 00 - 01:49 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 05 Apr 00 - 01:55 AM
Terry Allan Hall 05 Apr 00 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,Ritchie 05 Apr 00 - 12:46 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 05 Apr 00 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,Arkie 06 Apr 00 - 06:43 PM
GUEST,Arkie who has lost his cookie 07 Apr 00 - 12:26 AM
GUEST,Amazing Grace/House of the Rising Sun 07 Apr 00 - 03:07 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 07 Apr 00 - 03:32 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 07 Apr 00 - 03:35 PM
Petr 07 Apr 00 - 08:52 PM
Stewie 07 Apr 00 - 10:23 PM
Eluned 07 Apr 00 - 10:53 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 08 Apr 00 - 06:53 PM
Mark Cohen 08 Apr 00 - 11:15 PM
GUEST,The Burren Ranger. 09 Apr 00 - 04:59 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 10 Apr 00 - 03:27 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 08 Feb 02 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,ted andrews 10 Nov 02 - 02:04 PM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Nov 02 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,ted andrews 10 Nov 02 - 02:30 PM
Mark Ross 11 Nov 02 - 01:31 AM
fox4zero 11 Nov 02 - 03:26 AM
JedMarum 11 Nov 02 - 09:47 AM
Mark Clark 11 Nov 02 - 10:51 AM
AggieD 11 Nov 02 - 12:31 PM
Joe_F 11 Nov 02 - 07:30 PM
Joe Offer 12 Nov 02 - 12:46 AM
Susan A-R 12 Nov 02 - 10:13 PM
Stewie 13 Nov 02 - 01:53 AM
GUEST,leroy.pea@rocketmail.com 31 Dec 02 - 02:43 AM
GUEST,ghostofdreams 31 Dec 02 - 05:42 PM
Mark Ross 31 Dec 02 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 01 Jan 03 - 11:15 AM
Mark Ross 01 Jan 03 - 05:23 PM
GUEST,Nerd 02 Jan 03 - 04:24 AM
GUEST 22 Feb 03 - 09:35 PM
Stewie 22 Feb 03 - 10:55 PM
GUEST,Eric Chomko 19 May 03 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,daisydeadpetal 27 May 03 - 11:05 AM
Steve Parkes 28 May 03 - 03:06 AM
Walking Eagle 28 May 03 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,sorefingers 29 May 03 - 12:20 AM
GUEST,Mandrake 11 Jun 03 - 05:56 PM
GUEST,sorefingers 11 Jun 03 - 06:41 PM
GUEST 11 Jun 03 - 07:53 PM
Billy the Bus 12 Jun 03 - 01:05 AM
GUEST,pyromaniac_0@hotmail.com 27 Jun 03 - 04:44 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 27 Jun 03 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,carl hales - dnt ask me how i got here but h 22 Jul 03 - 10:03 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 09 Jul 05 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,Lighter at work 09 Jul 05 - 12:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Jul 05 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 09 Jul 05 - 01:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Jul 05 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 09 Jul 05 - 02:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Jul 05 - 03:37 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 09 Jul 05 - 06:52 PM
Lighter 09 Jul 05 - 08:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Jul 05 - 09:56 PM
GUEST 10 Jul 05 - 09:58 AM
Lighter 10 Jul 05 - 06:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Jul 05 - 11:44 PM
Leadfingers 11 Jul 05 - 10:13 AM
Leadfingers 11 Jul 05 - 10:13 AM
Charmion 11 Jul 05 - 02:02 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Jul 05 - 02:43 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Jul 05 - 05:02 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Jul 05 - 05:17 PM
Charmion 11 Jul 05 - 07:15 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Jul 05 - 08:22 PM
GUEST,Lighter 11 Jul 05 - 08:59 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Jul 05 - 11:39 PM
Charmion 12 Jul 05 - 02:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Jul 05 - 03:10 PM
Charmion 12 Jul 05 - 04:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Jul 05 - 05:51 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Jul 05 - 05:20 PM
GUEST 04 Aug 05 - 10:55 AM
GUEST,John Garst 04 Aug 05 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,John Garst 15 Aug 05 - 04:44 PM
Tannywheeler 15 Aug 05 - 05:27 PM
GUEST,John Garst 23 Aug 05 - 02:44 PM
Tannywheeler 24 Aug 05 - 01:08 PM
GUEST,John Garst 25 Aug 05 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,John Garst 25 Aug 05 - 03:40 PM
KIMCHEE 25 Aug 05 - 04:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Aug 05 - 06:44 PM
GUEST,John Garst 27 Aug 05 - 03:16 PM
GUEST,John Garst 06 Sep 05 - 03:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Sep 05 - 04:36 PM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Sep 05 - 08:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Sep 05 - 01:45 AM
Don Firth 07 Sep 05 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,John Garst 07 Sep 05 - 03:40 PM
Don Firth 07 Sep 05 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,John Garst 09 Sep 05 - 10:49 AM
Lighter 09 Sep 05 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,John Garst 16 Sep 05 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,John Garst 16 Sep 05 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,awlinsdog 25 Mar 06 - 09:44 PM
The Fooles Troupe 26 Mar 06 - 09:12 AM
Purple Foxx 26 Mar 06 - 09:20 AM
The Fooles Troupe 26 Mar 06 - 11:30 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 Mar 06 - 02:16 AM
Purple Foxx 27 Mar 06 - 02:42 AM
GUEST,Mysha 27 Mar 06 - 11:31 AM
Big Al Whittle 27 Mar 06 - 12:34 PM
The Fooles Troupe 27 Mar 06 - 06:40 PM
GUEST,thurg 27 Mar 06 - 09:38 PM
GUEST,Mysha 02 Apr 06 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,mrwookie 16 May 06 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,Michael Sunderland 11 Jun 06 - 11:45 PM
GUEST,thurg 12 Jun 06 - 12:27 AM
Dave Hanson 12 Jun 06 - 01:27 AM
jojofolkagogo 13 Jun 06 - 10:51 AM
Charmain 14 Jun 06 - 09:46 AM
GUEST 25 May 07 - 11:43 PM
GUEST,meself 26 May 07 - 12:08 AM
GUEST,SCORPIO 27 May 07 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,meself 27 May 07 - 10:59 AM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 27 May 07 - 07:25 PM
GUEST 27 May 07 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,John Garst 20 Jun 07 - 04:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Nov 07 - 08:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Nov 07 - 10:05 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 27 Nov 07 - 12:01 PM
Brendy 18 Jan 08 - 06:09 AM
mrmoe 18 Jan 08 - 08:09 AM
gnomad 18 Jan 08 - 08:29 AM
Brendy 18 Jan 08 - 08:45 AM
PoppaGator 18 Jan 08 - 01:27 PM
Mr Red 19 Jan 08 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,protestfolk 29 Feb 08 - 12:10 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 29 Feb 08 - 12:26 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 29 Feb 08 - 12:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Feb 08 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's open minded Apprentice 29 Feb 08 - 02:00 PM
Roger the Skiffler 01 Mar 08 - 09:31 AM
Gene Burton 01 Mar 08 - 10:29 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Jan 09 - 12:04 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jan 09 - 02:38 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 07 Oct 09 - 12:06 PM
GUEST 10 May 10 - 04:18 AM
GUEST,Neil D 10 May 10 - 09:32 AM
PoppaGator 10 May 10 - 06:06 PM
pavane 11 May 10 - 05:41 AM
Mysha 05 Feb 13 - 06:18 AM
PHJim 23 Aug 13 - 03:42 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Origin or title of
From: Murph
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 11:40 PM

Can anybody tell me the original title & origin if this song? Is it public domain? Thanks. Great website!

Click for lyrics in the Digital Tradition


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jan 99 - 12:11 AM

Hi, Murph - the earliest printed version I could find was in the 1941 John & Alan Lomax book Our Singing Country. They call it The Rising Sun Blues. They had no certain information about the history of the song, but said it appeared to be "fairly old as blues tunes go." I guess it's safe to say it's in the public domain.
It was recorded in 1941 by the Almanac Singers, and is available on their The Complete General Recordings CD on MCA, MCAD-11499. Also recorded by the Weavers, and by Eric Burdon and the Animals.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Barry Finn
Date: 13 Jan 99 - 01:37 AM

I had also heard that the Whore house had a motif of the rising sun above it's entrance way, hence it's name. Can't confirm anyof that though. Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 13 Jan 99 - 03:48 AM

I heard a radio interview last year with Eric Burden of the Animals. Older 'Catters will remember the band had a hit with the song in the sixties, so making the song famous where it wasn't already well known. Burden said he'd been to New Orleans not so long ago and was introduced to a woman who lived in the actual HOTRS, which I think is now a hotel or a private residence. She took him to the house and told him they'd found evidence to indicate that this was the actual original house in the song. There were lots of brothels in N.O. in those days (when? I don't know!), apparently, and this was, she said, famous in its day. I can't remember what it was that made them believe it was the house; maybe we can e-mail Eric Burden for more details?

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Lesley N.Lesley N.
Date: 13 Jan 99 - 06:56 PM

Supposedly the "house" was a brothel on Rampart Street in New Orleans. There was a different tune by the same title that was popular in the "gay 90's". This from brief notes in the Golden Encyclopedia of Folk Music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: WillWill (inactive)
Date: 13 Jan 99 - 10:53 PM

Huddie Ledbetter also recorded a version of the song, though I'm not sure when.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Ronn Gilbert
Date: 16 Jan 99 - 01:04 AM

Lead Belly did record a song called "In New Orleans" which had similar words, but the tune was much different.

Various guidebooks for New Orleans make reference to a building reputed to be the original Rising Sun, but none state that any proven factual link has been made. Wishful thinking, probably.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Lesley N.
Date: 16 Jan 99 - 01:17 AM

The GEF says the authorities shut the House of the Rising Son down, though it oesn't say when. I'm surprised there aren't several claiming to be "THE" House, given the commercial possibilities - even if they couldn't openly indulge in the same trade.

I believe the folklore that grows up around a song is often as entertaining as the music. Hence though we'll never prove David Rizzio wrote either The Lass of Patie's Mill or Broom of Cowdenknows I think it's remiss of folklorists not to mention that is one of the rumors around the tunes. Of course that's not quite the same as giving an address for a brothel!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Dave T
Date: 16 Jan 99 - 08:43 AM

Along with the Leadbelly & Eric Burden versions, Doc Watson does one ("The Essential Doc Watson, Vol 1 & 2" and also on "Portrait"). The title is Risin' Sun Blues and Doc apparently learned it from Clarence Ashley. Before I heard this, I had always assumed Leadbelly wrote it. I think I have to agree with Joe that it's probably public domain.
Dave T


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Allan S,
Date: 16 Jan 99 - 11:10 AM

Is that Rising SUN or SON ? Sorry I couldnt resist the pun :-}


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From:
Date: 16 Jan 99 - 11:56 AM

According to the booklet accompanying the Electra "Folk Box" anthology from 1964, Rising Sun has its roots in a 16th century English ballad, 'The Unfortunate Rake'. It is also related to 'The Cowboy's Lament' (Streets of Laredo). The song, itself, they date to the WWI period.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: rick fielding
Date: 16 Jan 99 - 12:06 PM

Leadbelly's version of "House of.." which he called "Way Down in New Orleans" is an amazing performance and I urge mudcatters who haven't heard it to hunt it down. (sorry I can't recall which collection it's in) The guy was just so original, it blows me away to this day.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 16 Jan 99 - 09:52 PM

I would assume that The Rising Sun would have been the name of a tavern-cum-whorehouse, or perhaps just a low sort of tavern where the flash girls hung around plying their trade. (Perhaps, being in New Orleans, it was a reference to the face in the shape of a brilliant sun that was the symbol of King Louis XIV, "The Sun King"?) The Rising Sun would have been a good name for a whorehouse, because that is what the rake would have seen in the guilty dawn. Up here they tended to use red lights.

I wonder if anyone has gone through old directories or newspapers to determine if there was ever such an establishment in New Orleans. I have a hunch that The Rising Sun might have been a common name for taverns in the last century -- certainly there are pubs in England called "The Sun".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: mm
Date: 17 Jan 99 - 04:44 PM

Brothels were and are often nicknamed rather than officially named. I doubt it would have been in a street directory.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Stubs
Date: 17 Jan 99 - 06:34 PM

It's hard to remember, but I think there was some dialogue regardng the famous House on an old Steve Goodman album (interview?). This was to the effect that its music had evolved from "Greensleeves" as well as that to "Streets of Laredo" and "St. James Infirmary", brought to America by Irish immigrants(This might help to date it). The dialogue then progressed to a rendition of a medley of those songs, all using the tune to "Greensleeves", an enjoyable combination which I have adapted to my own songlist. As well, I recall a sixties reference, origin long forgotten,which primarily dealt with "Sloop John B" and its origin as a sailors' ribald sing-a-long but also mentioned "House of the Rising Sun" because each of them had over one hundred and fifty known verses! Each one likely had a different writer. Public domain? No problem!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Dani
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 09:12 AM

An interesting (to me, anyway) note: You can sing "O, Little Town of Bethlehem" to this tune. Done on acoustic guitar, it's lovely.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 10:03 AM

G'day,
Well Dani, in that vein you can also fit the 23rd psalm to the tune. Whether you should or not I don't know.........

Cheers,
Alan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Abby Sale
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 10:50 AM

I'm sure the claim that it has roots in 'The Unfortunate Rake' is a confusion with "St James Infirmary (and/or) Hospital" & "Bad Girl's Lament."

If any want to check DejaNews, there were several long threads on it in rec.music.folk . We evoked much of the ultimate European roots or text & motif and the likelihood that the Rising Sun was an image - a rising sun mirror, perhaps, and common on back to France.

I got interested in the song as the spouse & I managed the building on Rampart St., a flop hotel at the time, in 1966. There was good evidence this was the actual building. Far better evidence (police lore, etc) than could be produced by the _other_ two cheap hotels making the claim.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: JedMarum
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 11:49 AM

I learned this song from a folk music collection my guitar teacher had me using when I was a kid. It had a different melody than the pop version, and in fact I learned before the pop version came out (it's been that long since I was a kid). The old version still has merit, but I find audiences are not swayed - they want the pop melody, although they'll accept a wide variety of arrangement. It's a good song.

I must say, in my travels I was amazed to see the popularity it has in the karaoke bars of China. It was a favorite in Beijing, Chensha, and other PRC cities I visited ... ranking right up there with Unchained Melody and I Did it My Way! Who'd a thunk it???


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: JedMarum
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 11:52 AM

... by the way, the folk song book in which I found the older/alternative melody was, I believe, and Alan Lomax collection (released in the early/mid 60's). I heard this was the version Woody Guthrie sang ... but I could not confirm that myself.

Myabe I'll try the old version again ... see if audiences respond any differently now-a-days.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 12:00 PM

I think, like the "Loch Ness Monster" and "Roswell N.M." the locals in New Orleans (and tourist bureaus everywhere) are very happy to have as many "authentic" Houses Of the Rising Sun as possible. Just good business. Not saying the ones' mentioned AREN'T authentic though. Wonderful song.

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: JedMarum
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 12:06 PM

probably true, Rick. It is also possible the original author, or early contributors to te song, had more than one place in mind when they wrote it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 04:34 PM

The image of the "rising sun" was a common one in 18th century America--as a motif in furniture design, for example. There's a well known story of Benjamin Franklin looking at the design on the back of a chair at the Continental Congress (or was it the Constitutional Convention?) and deciding that it was of a rising sun rather than a setting one.

The image of the rising sun gave its name to a tavern in Northeastern Maryland--now the town of Rising Sun, MD.

--Charlie Baum


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 07:41 PM

Caroline and I love Hally Wood's singing of this song on either her Elektra 10 inch LP Oh Lovely Appearance of Death or her Stinson record, also a 10 inch LP, Texas Folksongs. Great singing! Unaccompanied.

I collected a splendid version from William Harrison Burnett in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in 1963. He had learned it from a fellow migrant apple picker, if memory serves, decades before. I'll have to check my field recording for more complete information, but I want to do that anyway, since I plan to use his singing of it on my next Ballads and Songs of Tradition CD.

I would assume it is a "trad." number, but be careful about duplicating anyone's popular arrangement, which is surely held by the Animals (was it?) or Leadbelly, or their respective publishing companies. You might be able to prove that the song is older and p.d., but I'm afraid the arrangement is not.

Sandy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 08:45 PM

Relying upon memory and speaking before checking this thing out, but I believe the House of the Rising Sun was recorded by the Callahan brothers back in the 20's under the title of Rounder's Luck.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Caitrin
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 09:09 PM

You can also do "Amazing Grace" to this tune. Very odd-souding. "House of the Rising Sun" sounds even stranger to the tune of "Amazing Grace", though. : )


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: GUEST,Megan
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 09:56 PM

I looked up "Rounders Luck" on the internet and came up with a site entitled - House Of The Rising Sun:

http://www.willy.msk.ru/music/willy1.html

Anyone speak Russian?

Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of a Russian to English translator on microsoft word.
Anyone?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: WyoWoman
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 01:32 AM

I really hate to mention this, because it will stay with you forever, but you can also sing any of Emily Dickinson's poems to this tune.

Heart we will forget him,
You and I tonight

or
I heard a fly buzz -when I died,
The stillness in the room
Was like the stillness in the air
Between the heaves of storm
etc.
(Of course, you can also do House of the Rising Sun and any of Dickinson's poetry to the tune of "Yellow Rose of Texas," too, but why mention that?

WW


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 01:51 AM

Dylan had an interesting version on Freewheelin'.

A friend from New Orleans told me the name "Rising Sun" was an intentional play on words. The establishment was popular among the fairly well-to-do gentlemen of the city, and it was traditional for them to take their sons there for their first taste of sin, hence "House of the Rising Son".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Bugsy
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 05:02 AM

Interesting to note that the two earliest versions I heard, I think by Woody Guthrie and Huddie Ledbetter were both in a Major key as opposed to the more modern versions which are in a Minor.

Cheers

Bugsy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: alison
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 05:12 AM

Another hymn..... we used to do "There is a green hill far away".. to 'House of the Rising sun".....

slainte

alison


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: GUEST, A.C.
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 05:43 AM

Hymn? Where did you do this, Alison, Belfast?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Ritchie
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 12:51 PM

Check out Snakefarms version, which along with some other great versions of other 'old' songs on their recent cd release. In my humble opinion a contender for the cd of the year in what was 1999. Funnily enough another contender, by Wyclef Jean, has a song which has the same tune as 'the house...' on.

Ritchie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Kim C
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 02:31 PM

I'd like to know, too, where this actually came from. I read somewhere that a red lantern was standard at whorehouses and was referred to as "the rising sun"... hence the term red-light district. This may be one of those things that's been handed down and around so many times that its origins have been forgot. --------------Kim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: GUEST,Gregory_Rush@hotmail.com
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 03:51 PM

The best history I've heard about the origins of the song "House of the Rising Sun" goes like this. Originally written by a black musician named Sam House His mother was a freed slave who became seamstress in a New Orleans brothel in the late 1800's. The brothel itself burnt to the ground around the turn of the century and a new hotel was built on the site with a new name. Sam House performed at the brothel as well as other places around N.O.

The line in the song which referenced his real mother, was changed Eric Burden when he recorded it. His version has a line that ends with "she sewed my new blue jeans", originally went "she sewed dem fancy things".

There are several other phrases that were "cleaned up" by Eric Burden during the recording process because they were "too black".

I wish I could remember where I got this information, but I've "known" this history of the song for over 20 years and I doubt I could ever prove any of it or discover its source. At any rate it was fascinating at the time I heard it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Doctor John
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 01:49 PM

The red light district of N.O. - Storyville - was closed down by the authorities around WWl. There's a good song about this called "Farewell to Storyville" about the whores moving out. I think I have a recording of it by a jazz singer with the Kid Ory band but that's the only time I've heard it. Dr John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 01:55 AM

I am curious as to where the Animals got their melody, as well--I don't remember any one else using quite that one-- Was the tune that Chet Atkins used to do, called "Rising Sun Blues" the same as the Clarence Ashley melody?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Terry Allan Hall
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 09:38 AM

Eric Burton & the Animals stole their version from Bob Dylan's 1st album, who in turn learned it from Ramblin' Jack Elliott, who in turn learned it from a New Orleans busker...

So why does the Animal's bassist has the copyright?

Hmmmmmmmm..........


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: GUEST,Ritchie
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 12:46 PM

Sadly the Animals bassist, Chas Chandler, is now no longer with us. Chas after leaving the Animals went on to manage Slade & Jimi Hendrix...a very shrewd and sensible man (Chas that is, not Jimi !)

Ritchie (not a real guest) my PC's crashed again.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 01:00 PM

As I remember it isn't the same melody at all--Unless I am very much mistaken, that version uses the major melody, and is similar to the Woody Guthrie version...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 06:43 PM

I finally had a chance to check on the Callahan Brothers and found the following: The song "Rounder's Luck", also called "Rising Sun Blues" is on the Old Homestead LP OHM-90031. The album is entitled The Callahan Brothers. While the album notes are short on the songs, they are long on the brothers. The brothers were originally from Madison County in North Carolina but played on the radio in many states. They started recording in 1933. Rounder's Luck, according to album notes was orginally recorded April 11, 1935 on Matrix No. 17289-2. Homer (a pseduonym sometimes used by Bill) Callahan is credited on the record with vocal and guitar. The words and tune are a little different from the better-known versions but are close enough to be identified with "The House of the Rising Sun". I will post the words when I get a chance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD: Rounder's Luck (RisingSun Blues)
From: GUEST,Arkie who has lost his cookie
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 12:26 AM

Here are the words to Callahan's version of Rounders Luck. The best I can figure them out. The place where I really had trouble is in ().

ROUNDER'S LUCK
(Rising Sun Blues)
from Homer (Bill) Callahan's 1935 Matrix recording

The only thing that a rounder wants
Is a suitcase and a trunk.
And the only time he's satisfied
Is when he is on a drunk.

He'll (loft) those glasses to the brim
Let the drinks go merrily round
We'll drink to the health of the rounder poor boy
Who hobos from town to town.

My Mother she's a seamstress.
She cuts and sews them jeans.
My Daddy he's a gambling man.
He gambles in New Orleans.

Oh Mama, mama how could you go
And treat that rounder so cold.
(For he's a rounder for all his strife)
And to wear your crown of gold.

Theres a place down in New Orleans
That's called the Rising Sun.
Where many poor boy (to judgment have gone)
And me oh lord for one.

O tell my youngest brother
Not to do what I have done
And to shun that place down in New Orleans
That's called the Rising Sun.

I'm going back to New Orleans
My race is almost run.
Gonna spend the rest of my weekly pay
Beneath that Rising Sun.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: GUEST,Amazing Grace/House of the Rising Sun
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 03:07 PM

You can sing the four songs Amazing Grace, Gilligan's Island Theme, House of the Rising Sun, and Stairway to Heaven all to each other's tunes. It's my favorite party trick, actually.

Amazing Grace to Gilligan's Island is probably the funniest. Try it!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 03:32 PM

The funniest thing of all is that, if you didn't know Gilligan's Island, you wouldn't know it was funny!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 03:35 PM

Oops, posted before I finished---Arkie, thanks for the Rounder's Luck--it is very interesting!! Too bad they didn't say more about the sources of the songs--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Petr
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 08:52 PM

Hey speaking of gilligans island, did anyone see that episode where they almost get off the island but gilligan bungles it up. Petr


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: RISING SUN BLUES (Clarence 'Tom' Ashley)
From: Stewie
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 10:23 PM

Back in October, in a thread started by Rick about Fred Hellerman's vesion of 'Rising Sun', I posted the following note and Clarence Ashley's version. My authority for saying it was the first commercial recording is Ralph Rinzler (Notes to 'Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley's Vol 2). It is interesting to compare it with the Callahan Bros version posted above by Arkie:

The first commercial recording of the song was by Clarence 'Tom' Ashley (guitar and vocals) accompanied by Gwen Foster (harmonica). I don't know the date, but it was probably 1931. Ashley has said that he thought he recalled his grandmother, Enoch Ashley, singing it to him when he was a young boy. Ashley taught it to Roy Acuff at medicine shows and Acuff also recorded it. It was also recorded by the Callahan Brothers in the 1930s. I think Woody, Josh White etc recorded it later in the 1940s. The Library of Congress also has some early recordings, all from Kentucky singers. In the country scene, it was a 'rounder' song. Here is Ashley's version which is interesting to compare with the wellknown version in DT:

RISING SUN BLUES

There is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
Where many a poor boy to destruction has gone
And me, Oh God, I'm one

Just fill the glass up to the brim
Let the drinks go merrily round
We'll drink to the life of a rounder, poor boy
Who goes from town to town

All in this world does a rounder want
Is a suitcase and a trunk
The only time he's satisfied
Is when he's on the drunk

Now, boys, don't you believe what a girl tells you
Let her eyes be blue or brown
Unless she's on some scaffold high
Saying, 'Boy's I can't come down'

I'm going back – back to New Orleans
For my race is almost run
Gonna spend the rest of my wicked life
Beneath the Rising Sun

Source: 'Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley's Vol 2 Folkways LP FA 2359


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Eluned
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 10:53 PM

Petr, that was redundant! (wasn't it, though?)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 06:53 PM

I read somewhere that it might have been a woman's prison. It would explain the last verse on a version: One foot on the platform, the other on the train, Goin' back to New Orleans to wear the ball and chain.

On the other hand, other verses point to the brothel.

As re: the Animals, if you study the chord progressions for Josh White's interpretation, you will find similar ones to the Animals. They changed some of the chord structure but it's easy to see where they got it.

Josh was the one who did it in a minor key.

Roy Acuff did a major version as did Woody and others.

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 11:15 PM

All the songs mentioned are (more or less) in what is known as Common Meter, for obvious reasons. If you look at a shape note book, many of the songs will have the meter, that is, the rhythmic structure, listed as a parenthetical abbreviation after the title. This helped (and still helps) with tune switching. Love the words but not the tune? No problem, find another C.M. tune and dive right in. I can't remember the other meters and don't have my shape note book with me. Now where else but on the Mudcat can you go from Animals to brothels to Gilligan's Island to shape note hymns?

Aloha, Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: GUEST,The Burren Ranger.
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 04:59 AM

Check out the amazing version (which they call 'Rising Sun' ) by Snakefarm from their album 'Songs From My Funeral' (BMG). TBR.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 03:27 PM

The verse is actually Iambic Heptameter--The shape note terms are based on the terms for analyzing verse but they are a bit ideosyncratic--check here Terms for Poetic Analysis">Click here when we talk about folk songs, we are really talking about poetry, and the terminology can be very helpful--

The melody features a a rest at the end of each line that is the equivalent of an eight iamb which is one of the little tricks that composers used to even out the odd length phrases that were standard in poetry and the older type of music that accompanied it, back in the Renaissance--

Those of us who lean "Balkan" know that the iamb translates into a 5/4 musical measure, and that there is a Bulgarian Folk Dance called Pajdushko(spell it like you want--Bulgarians use Cyrillic characters) that accompanies the singing of iambic ballads--

Weirdo that I am (b), I started playing this in 5/4 and it is a perfect Bulgarian Pajdushko!--This may not be big news for anyone normal, but there is basically only one 5/4 Bulgarian melody that anyone much uses, so it is sort of cool to find another one--

Mark mentions that this is called common meter, and it sure is--and has been for along time--most interesting thing to note is that, most likely, common meter songs were originally in 5/4--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 02:02 PM

The oldest versions of the song are posted in this thread by Arkie ("Rounder's Luck") and by Stewie ("Rising Sun Blues"). These date from the 1930s.
John and Alan Lomax published the song, with music, in "Our Singing Country," 1941, under the title "The Rising Sun Blues." The version in the DT is similar, but is one verse shorter.
Lomax obtained the song from Georgia Turner, from Kentucky, in 1937. Some verses he obtained from Bert Morton, also of Kentucky. Lomax notes that a few jazzmen from "before the war have a distant singing acquaintance with the song, indicates that it is fairly old as blues songs go. None of them, however, has information ... about the mother who ran a 'blue-jean shop ...or about the "house they call the Rising Sun." "We have heard it sung only bt southern whites."
Lomax was not a documenter, and seldom looked into the background of the songs that he collected.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,ted andrews
Date: 10 Nov 02 - 02:04 PM

I heard many years ago that this song was origonaly a cornish song reffering to a house of ill repute in polppero cornwall ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Nov 02 - 02:17 PM

Or, more likely, in the nearby town of Legpullan...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,ted andrews
Date: 10 Nov 02 - 02:30 PM

Think again as 90% of all american folk and early music is based on or basterdised versions of origonal europion songs and poems


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 01:31 AM

Dylan's version was a direct steal from Dave Van Ronk, who told me that he learned the song from Hally Wood's recording. Dave also told me that the House of the Rising Sun was the womens prison in NO,he had a picture of the doorway with a rising sun carved in stone above it.

Mark Ross


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: fox4zero
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 03:26 AM

Cisco Houston recorded it in a minor key on a 10" Stinson 33 1/3 disk in the late 40's or early 50's. He was a buddy of Woody Guthrie in the WW II merchant marine. He described Woody boarding ship with all his instruments as a "walking pawn shop window"

Larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: JedMarum
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 09:47 AM

Thanks for bringing this thread up again. Good disucssion here, and good info.

It always bothered me that a singer of this old song would have a mother that sewed new blue jeans. It didn't strike me as blue jeans would have been something that a tailor would have been sewing, in those days, in that area ...

I learned the song first from my Art of the Folk Blues book (Jerry Silverman) when I was 11 or 12 years old. It was listed as the version that Woody sang and was indeed a major key version of the melody, otherwise similar to the popular version the Animals sang.

I have to say the Animals introduced a song to the Pop culture that has resonated for years ... sit in any pub in the western world and play the first couple bars of the arpeggiated(sp?) chord progression and you'll have half the room on the edge of their seats in anticipation of you playing that "Animla's" song! If you're asked to play the song, and you give them on of the earlier versions, they'll feel cheated! Eric Burden and the Animals have given us the House of the Rising Sun that the world wants to hear!

And that's OK with me too. I've had fun playing with this song over the years - trying a few variations (mostly on the Animal's/minor key tune). It has a real bluesy/folk bluesy quality and is a great tune to sing.


... there's much gold among these Mudcat threads!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Mark Clark
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 10:51 AM

My understanding of the line “One foot on the platform and one foot on the train” is that it's an African American folk reference to pregnancy. I got that understanding from some long forgotten but surely authoritative <g> source. Does anyone else have that understanding or know of any scholarly source for such an association? I've tried searching the Net for some discussion but so far have come up empty.

      - Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: AggieD
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 12:31 PM

Joan Baez did a female version of this. Looking at her discography it was recoreded on several of her records. She has it listed as traditional.

It looks at the subject from the ruined woman's side.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Joe_F
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 07:30 PM

A few years ago, when I mentioned Dave Van Ronk's story about the women's prison on rec.music.folk, somebody was rather snooty about it; but I forget the details.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 12:46 AM

Maybe it's worth posting the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index, although most of the information in this entry has already been posted above.
-Joe Offer-

House of the Rising Sun, The

DESCRIPTION: The singer laments, "There is a house in New Orleans / They call the Rising Sun / It's been the ruin of many a poor girl / And me, O God, I'm one." She tells of her troubled childhood, laments that she cannot escape her life, and warns others against it
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1941 (Lomax/Lomax, "Our Singing Country")
KEYWORDS: whore lament
FOUND IN: US(So)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Randolph-Legman I, pp. 250-253, "The House of the Rising Sun" (5 texts, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 151, "The Rising Sun Blues" (1 text, 1 tune)
PSeeger-AFB, p. 18, "House Of The Rising Sun" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 184, "House Of The Rising Sun" (1 text)
DT, HOUSESUN*

RECORDINGS:
Roscoe Holcomb, "The Rising Sun" [LP] or "House in New Orleans" [CD] (on Holcomb-Ward1, HolcombCD1)
Almanac Singers, "House of the Rising Sun" (General 5020B, 1941; on Almanac01, Almanac03, AlmanacCD1)
Pete Seeger, "House of the Rising Sun" (on PeteSeeger18)
Notes: Legman offers extensive, if rambling, notes in Randolph-Legman I. - EC
File: RL250

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2002 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Susan A-R
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 10:13 PM

It certainly is a song that has travelled. I was just in a small town named Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic, hanging out in a bar where a group of folks were sitting around the table with guitars singing. They were doing House of the Rising Sun in Czech, They seemed to have a lot of verses. They did other familiar-sounding songs in translation. Hurrah for the folk tradition.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Stewie
Date: 13 Nov 02 - 01:53 AM

I found the following useful summary posted to the rec.music.folk newsgroup a few years ago by a Michael Thilo. I could not find the earlier messages by Blech and Suffet:



As I have posted a while ago Clarence Ashley said he taught 'Rising Sun Blues' aka 'House of the Rising Sun' to Roy Acuff "shortly after WW I". Now this must have happened after 1924, when Acuff graduated from high school in Knoxville and joined Dr Hauers Medicine Show" (OTM 12, 21).

Alan Lomax in The Penguin Book of American Folksongs gives these notes to the song (The Rising Sun):" A ragged Kentucky Mountain girl recorded this modern white song for me in 1937 in Middlesborough, Kentucky ... This blues song of a lost girl probably derives from some older British piece. At any rate, the house of the Rising Sun occurs in several risque English songs, and the melody is one of several for the ancient and scandalous ballad Little Musgrave". (Could this "ragged Kentucky Mountain girl" be Georgina Turner?, cf. Stephen Suffet in a previous posting).

R. Shelton has in the 'Josh-White-Songbook' (Quadrangle Books Inc. 1963) the following information:" He (i.e. J. White) learned Rising Sun from a white hillbilly singer in either Winston-Salem or High Pont, N.C. A few years ago he had to 'convince' a folklorist that he hadn't learned it from one of his books or recordings." I guess the 'folklorist' was A. Lomax. But more interesting is, that Josh White learned it from a "white hillbilly in N.C." Josh White went north to Chicago in the winter of 1924 with Blind Man Arnold (Josh White was then only ten years old) and stayed in the north except for a short interlude in his hometown Greenville, South Carolina in 1928. His only time in North Carolina was in 1923 and early 1924, when he had been leased out by Arnold to Blind Lemmon Jefferson whom he led through the major cities of N.C. , the same area Clarence Ashley toured with am medicine show since 1911. Ashley might have been the "white hillbilly singer".

Now what have we got so far?:

1905 : HoRS is said to have been known at that time by miners(?)

1923/24: Josh White learns it from a "white hillbilly singer" (C. Ashley ?)

1924/1925: Clarence Ashley teaches it to young Roy Acuff, who had just joined Dr Hauer's Medicine Show

1928: recorded by Texas Alexander (?), ca. 1928 (?) by Ashley and Foster (cf Kerry Blech in a previous posting)

1936 recorded by E. Tubb (maybe he got it from Acuff, when both where on Grand Old Opry?)

1937: A " ragged Kentucky Mountain girl" sang it to A.Lomax

1942: recorded by Josh White, copyrighted by Leeds Music Corp., N.Y.

1940ies: Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie learn it from Lomax and/or Josh White in New York City and so on into the wide, wide world of folk and pop.

All this seems to point to the medicine show / vaudeville milieu in the North Carolina- Tennessee-Kentucky area in the early years of the century as the origin of HoRS.



Texas Alexander recorded 'The Risin' Sun' on 15 November 1928 [OK 8673]

Tom Ashley and Gwen Foster recorded 'Rising Sun Blues' on 6 September 1933 - issued in February 1934 as Vocalion 02576.

Homer Callahan recorded 'Rounder's Luck' on 11 April 1935 - issued on ARC in February 1936.

Roy Acuff recorded 'Rising Sun' on 3 November 1938 - issued as Vo/OK 04909 in August 1939.

For articles by journalist, Ted Anthony, on Georgia Turner story see HERE and HERE. I have no idea of the accuracy of these articles.

For further discussion of the song put House of the Rising Sun (no quote marks) in the 'Search the Archives' link at Ballad-L site. Messages from John Garst are of particular interest. Ballad-L site.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,leroy.pea@rocketmail.com
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 02:43 AM

The Animals were, perhaps, the sweatiest live act of all the British R'n'B groups of the sixties. They came from Newcastle and by the end of 1963 they had established themselves as the leading band in the North East. Under the guidance of producer Mickie Most, their first single Baby Let Me Take You Home, which was an adaptation of a track from the first Bob Dylan album, almost made the Top Twenty. The following release was also taken from Dylan's debut, this was an adaptation of House Of The Rising Sun, which shot to the top of the charts in the UK and the USA. {source: http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Villa/9500/animals.htm )


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,ghostofdreams
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 05:42 PM

as a beginning guitar player my ear is not well, so I need some help. If anybody knows the chord sequence to Woody Guthrie's version of the house of the rising sun I would greatly appreciate it if it was posted. thanx


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 05:51 PM

Woody played it in a major key, I, IV, and V, but sang a modal melody.


Mark Ross


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 01 Jan 03 - 11:15 AM

M. Ted,

I bet the Animals got their minor version from Joan Baez and Josh White. Josh was there in the forties. Other versions of the song to that time had been in major.

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 01 Jan 03 - 05:23 PM

Frank,
      The Animals definitely got their version from Dylan, who got it from Van Ronk, who told me that he'd come up with his version after hearing Cyntia Gooding's. Parenthetically, Dave told me that he had a photograph of the door to the Women's Prison in New Orleans which had a rising sun carved into the stone over the entrance. Dave said that the song is definitely NOT about a whorehouse.

Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 04:24 AM

Seems we have two different authoritative statements about the Burdon/Dylan Genealogy:

Burdon-Dylan-Jack Elliott-Nawlins Busker

Burdon-Dylan-Van Ronk-Gooding-?

Anyone have any more info on this?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 09:35 PM

New song out to the tune of "The House of the Rising Sun."

"Chitlin' Cooking Time in Cheetham County," John Cohen, on "Stories the Crow Told Me."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 10:55 PM

Hardly new. It is from Fiddlin' Arthur Smith who recorded it in 1936. Smith's original is not on the recent excellent County reissue compilation of Smith and his Dixieliners [CO-CD-3526], but it is on Various Artists 'The Early Stars of the Grand Ole Opry' Catfish KATCD203.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,Eric Chomko
Date: 19 May 03 - 12:18 PM

Not directly related to the orgin of the song, I do feel the need to mention a rendition of the song by a band called "Frijid Pink." No one has mentioned them and I think that they did the best version of the song. That is my opinion of course. Their version is more like something from Iron Butterfly or Vanilla Fudge (i.e. Acid Rock). Anyway, I prefer their version over the Amimals' or Dylan's.

Check out this link:
http://music.lycos.com/artist/default.asp?QW=Frijid%20Pink


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,daisydeadpetal
Date: 27 May 03 - 11:05 AM

tori amos has performed a version in concert that is quite long with a different vocal melody than others i have heard. she adds the lines: "he will rise, he will rise, he will rise, they prophesize. for he rises, mine does, everyday.. everyday." (or something like that). its quite a haunting version that really gives the lyrics a depth of emotion that most other versions havent really. it can be downloaded at: http://www.hereinmyhead.com/sounds/sw.html


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 28 May 03 - 03:06 AM

Mine does every day too ... must be all those emails I get!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 28 May 03 - 08:14 PM

Charlie, you made mention of Gen. Washington's chair awhile back on this thread. Ben Franklin made that observation about the sun after the Continental Congress approved the Constitution to be distributed among the states for ratification.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 29 May 03 - 12:20 AM

The tune comes from a very ancient Roman Dirge, sung by the Maidens while tipping out the Pewspots , later it was grabbed by Tweediddlums an English songwriter in the rain of K Henry 8th. This fellow was later ripped off by a Scottish chap called Wadkins. Wadkins sang a Hymn -Thee Rising Early I Pray - later bawlderised by drunken minstrels into a Jousting Song 'Faith I thee deflowered nicely'. Next mention occurs in Notcott's edition of Newcombe's Tunes for a Lute, 'a sweet refrain' probably means 'theme'. Then finaly in common circulation as a drinking song, 'Ale, riseth my heart's desires on me' and last into the above mentioned cradle song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,Mandrake
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 05:56 PM

More info here:

http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mrisingson.html


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 06:41 PM

Rising Sun.

As opposed to full moon.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 07:53 PM

Three years ago, Alison mentioned that the hymn, "There Is A Green Hill Far Away," had the same melody as "House of the Rising Sun."
The hymn is in Cyberhymnal, but I can't see the resemblance. Of course, there may be more than one tune used for the hymn. The tune in Cyberhymnal is right perky. Give it a listen. Green Hill


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 12 Jun 03 - 01:05 AM

Whewww... Great song, with a great history!

Of the above posts, there was one that caught my eye.

Abby Sale - please expand on your message.

Did you really manage one of the four (or more) HotRS in New Orleans in 1966? If so, we could start a Rampsrt St Parade!

I can't add a sausage to this thread, but, methinks Abby can ... ;0

cheers = Sam


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,pyromaniac_0@hotmail.com
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 04:44 PM

My take on this song has always been that it was kind of like "Hotel California" by the eagles- that it was about the pain of hell.. anyways thats just my opinion


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 05:05 PM

I have pondered on the origins of the melody Dylan used for " The House of the Rising Sun". It has been written in many books on Dylan that he got his version from Dave Van Ronk, But, of course, Dylan might have changed it. And , of course, The Animals, got it of Dylan's first album. I love Dylan's version, the slow build up, the little folky turns in his voice. The Animals , unfortunately, took a hammer to it - talk about lack of subtlety!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,carl hales - dnt ask me how i got here but h
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 10:03 PM

erm.....this is the origin for house of the rising sun..not wot songs cn be played to this tune! look ul find that an awful lot of songs wil play nicely on top of ALOT of different tunes yeh get me......im sur u cn sing 'baa baa black sheep' or 'humpty dumpty' to the tune of 'house of the rising sun'....but ut-uh it dnt help you in findin out the origin so people nxt time dnt post shite like that on sites that dnt ask for shite like that...thanking you! ps..the house of the rising sun origionated in england in 1834AD as a small tavern in a woodland area on the outskirts of london....it was classed as a 'rowdy' area to go in which led to only rowdy people goin....an american after visiting the bar liked the rowdyness and desided to create his own 'house of the rising sun' tavern....he set it up in a remote area of N.O...showing little buissnes and raking in little to no cash...his sun later set up the sme tavern same name in the inner part of the city(then town) he needed buissiness so it became rowdy,brothel and a tavern every rich americans dream...the song is written after colecting numeruos different lyrics n imspiration frm different songs and was writin while a bnd member was stayin at this tavern(inn) and the name became easy as the lyrics wnt on...'he house of the rising sun'....now u all no!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 10:49 AM

I posted the following on another related thread, but I thought I would also post it here as well. What follows is confirmation of the posting immediately previous to this one : - It does seem as if Dave Van Ronk is the creator of the version of "The House of the Rising Sun" that we all know. In his book " The Mayor of MacDougal Street", Dave clearly says that he learnt the song from a recording by Hally Wood who in turn had learnt it from an Alan Lomax field recording by Georgia Turner; however, Dave says that he added the classic chord sequence ( which in turn would have altered the tune somewhat ) which is very much part of the song's appeal. And, of course, Dylan " pinched " it off Dave, and The Animals got their version from Dylan's first album.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 12:16 PM

Might as well ask it : What's the likelihood that Lomax's hillbilly girl learned the song from one of the earlier recordings ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 01:39 PM

Earliest version listed in The Traditional Ballad Index is "Risin' Sun," Texas Alexander, 1928. This is quite different from currently heard versions (listen to his song on redhotjazz.com).

Lomax and Lomax credit their version to Georgia Turner, 1937. There were several recordings prior their collection of the song from Georgia Turner. It would be interesting to hear and compare them.

Randolph-Legman, in "Roll Me in Your Arms," No. 62, "The House of the Rising Sun," pp. 250-256, credit Josh White with popularizing the version "we all know" in the 1950s.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 01:55 PM

I've heard Josh White's version, and it is not the same tune/chords as the version that "everyone" knows.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 02:43 PM

Which leads to the question- Who is "everyone"?

Perhaps a (multi-)generational gap here.

I wonder how the version by the Almanac Singers would sound to you. (also still available on cd)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 02:58 PM

The "everyone" refers to "The Animals" version which was a massive hit world-wide, and the chord progression they used became a "rites of passage" piece for a whole generation of aspiring guitarist. Infact, I would say that 99.999% of people who know "The House of the Rising Sun" are more familar with the tune/chord progression as used by The Animals( which, of course, they got from Dylan who got it from Van Ronk ). And, of course, Dave .... well, its all in one of my recent postings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 03:37 PM

Have listened to Dylan, but the Animals? Don't recall ever hearing them. I'll have to ask my children.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 06:52 PM

I realize that the last poster was being "funny", but, interestingly, I heard The Animals " Rising Sun" just this morning on some tv channel advertising a Timelife 60s cd box-set.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 08:10 PM

Just flew in from redhotjazz.com, and boy, are my arms tired. Anyway, Texas Alexander's "The Risin' Sun" is a *completely* different song - a straight three-line blues - whose only connection with "House of the Rising Sun" is that there's sex in it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 09:56 PM

Not the only case of the Traditional Ballad Index lumping different songs.
Lighter, did Lomax ever put Georgia Turner on record? I haven't checked through the Smithsonian, thought you might know.

I haven't heard Ashley-Foster or Darby-Tarleton, The Ashley-Watson version (recorded for Folkways ca. 1960) is not bad, but seems to be a cover of the Lomax-Turner version (although Ashley said he first learned it from his grandmother).

In "Rise Up Singing," A note to "House of the Rising Sun,"(chords given), says "coll. adap. & arr. with new words & new music by John A. Lomax, Alan Lomax & Georgia Turner;" "copyright 1941 & renewed 1968 Ludlow Music Inc. NY, NY. International copyright secured etc. etc., All rights reserved."
I wonder how the "new words and music" differ from that of their originally collected song. Also in 1941, it was recorded by the Almanac Singers, not listed among the covers, who include Joan Baez, Doc Watson & Son, Weavers, etc.

The Almanac version restores the verse 'fill his glasses' originally included by the Lomaxes in "Our Singing Country" in 1941; the Animals keep pretty well to it except they change the order a bit and substitute Dylan's last verse, also leaving out the 'fill his glasses' verse.
Most people seem to have followed the Lomax-Turner version melody and "Rise Up Singing" chords; Josh White providing an interesting variant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jul 05 - 09:58 AM

Turner's 1937 performance is available only on _The Alan Lomax Popular Songbook_ (Rounder SACD 1863). I haven't heard it myself.

But I intend to. Meticulous publication of words and melody was not one of Lomax's great strengths.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Jul 05 - 06:13 PM

That last "GUEST" was me!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Jul 05 - 11:44 PM

Thanks, Lighter. The sound clip is the verse, 'The only thing a drunkard needs,'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 10:13 AM

This is another 'Shuffled' thread - The dates are all over the place !!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 10:13 AM

But this ought to be 100 !!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Charmion
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 02:02 PM

Back to the topic at hand ...

I learned House of the Rising Sun as "Rising Sun Blues" from the early (ca. 1954) Josh White LP, "Strange Fruit" (God, I wish I had it now ...), which also included "Bad Housing Blues", "Evil-Hearted Man" and a wonderful version of "John Henry". I loved that record, and cracked up my parents squeaking out the songs -- it was just too funny, a 11-year-old white-bread kid with an Ottawa Valley accent singin' the blues and playing air guitar in the kitchen WHEN SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN WASHING THE DISHES!

The Animals' version came out when I was about 13, and I never liked it -- too loud and not regretful enough. And it never made sense to me that a male person could be forced to spend the rest of his days in a whorehouse because someone else needs only a suitcase and a trunk, and is satisfied only when drunk!

In retrospect, it's quite remarkable how much of the, um, sterner side of life I encountered first in traditional song ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 02:43 PM

Charmion, I agree with your choice.
I have found the Weavers version and will post later today. Again, two verses about the gambler and his suitcase.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 05:02 PM

The Weavers' version(?) with midi is in the DT, but the version in their songbook has five (copied below) rather than seven verses. (Why is the DT listing quadrupled? All the same lyrics)

House of the Rising Sun
(Chords placed in front rather than above)

There (Bm)is a house in (F#7)New Or-(BM)leans
They (Bm)call the (Bm-A bass)Ris- ing (Bm-C# bass)Sun (Gb);
(F#7) It has (Bm)been the (Bm-A bass)ruin of (Bm-G# bass)many a poor (G)girl,
And (Bm-F# bass)me, oh, (F#7)God, was (Bm)one.

My husband he was a gambling man,
He went from town to town;
And the only time he was satisfied
was when he drank his liquor.

Now the only thing a gambling man needs
Is a suitcase and a trunk;
And the only time he's ever satisfied
Is when he's on a drunk.

Go and tell my baby sister
Never do like I have done,
But to shun that house in New Orleans
That they call the Rising Sun.

I'm going back to New Orleans;
My race is almost run;
I'm going back to spend the rest of my life
Beneath that Rising Sun.

"The Weavers' Song Book," ed. by the Weavers. Arr. for piano and guitar by Robert De Cormier. Harper & Row, 1960, pp. 138-139. Adapt. Fred Hellerman and Ronnie Gilbert; copyright 1951 by Folkways Music Publishers, Inc. N. Y.
Note on chords in the book:
Ninths- May be played as sevenths, (E. g. where D9 appears, substitute D7; for Em9, play Em7, etc.)
*Major sevenths; Sixths- May be omitted, in which case the chord should be played in its basic form. (E. g., G may be played instead of G6; E instead of E6; C instead of Cmaj7; etc.)
* Major seventh chords are quite commonly confused with seventh chords. They are not one and the same. C7 is quite different from Cmaj7; etc.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 05:17 PM

"Rounder's Luck," Homer Callahan, recorded 1936 a year before Lomax collected the "Rising Sun", as given by Arkie, above, is certainly the same song. Lighter's suggestion that Turner might have got the song from a recording may not be far off the mark. The Ashley and Darby recordings are earlier, if they are the same song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Charmion
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 07:15 PM

Q, I think your second stanza has something wonky going on there.

And the "one foot on the platform, the other foot on the train" verse is missing; I wonder where that one comes from? I'm pretty sure it's in Lomax.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 08:22 PM

Oh, my!
Second verse of Weavers', last line is minus the last word- Was when he drank his liquor DOWN.

The verse "One foot on the platform," is in "The Rising Sun Blues," "Our Singing Country," 1941, Lomax and Lomax, but not in "The Weavers' Song Book." It is in the version by the Almanac Singers, 1941, and it was used by Bob Dylan.
Almanac Singers lyrics: Rising Sun

Mustn't leave out Dolly Parton:

The House of the Rising Sun
(Dolly Parton, 1980)

There is a house down in New Orleans
Down in the Vieux Carré
A house they call the Rising Sun
Where love and money are made.
My father he was a gambler
Mother died when I was young
And I've worked since then to *please the men
At the house of the Rising Sun.

There is a house down in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
It's been the ruin of many a good girl
And oh, God, you know I'm one.

So mothers you go telling all your daughters
Not to do what I have done
To live a life of sin, shame and strife
In the house of the Rising Sun.

There is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
It's been the ruin of many a good girl
And oh God, you know I'm one
Oh, God, you know I'm one.

*pleasure?
"9 to 5 and Odd Jobs" cd. Unusual treatment. Back-up music distracting. This cd has been re-mastered and re-issued.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 08:59 PM

BTW, who told Lomax that a "rising sun" was a common emblem for a brothel, used in many songs ? It *is* used this way in a rather confused song text that he collected from Blaine Stubblefield about 1940, but that's the only reference I know of.

There's an Irish set dance in O'Neill called "The Rising Sun," but there's no reason to link it to anything but sunrise. And no, the melodies are not similar.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 11:39 PM

Randolph-Legman, in "Roll Me in Your Arms," song 62, "The House of the Rising Sun," p. 253, discuss the meaning of "Rising Sun," and speculate that it "probably refers to some gilt or yellow-painted version of the large sculptured or gilt wooden chrysanthemum-style circular decoration often placed as a sun-ray mirror indoors, or over the outside door of fine houses in France, and derivatorily in French New Orleans...." He could have added derivatorily on occasional houses in many cities. It could refer to the semi-circular fan-like window or imitation, also found over doors.

All of this is speculation. I don't know of any literature indicating that it was a sign for brothels.

Brothels of the better type in American cities usually were just well-kept houses. Poor ones were in any kind of low-rent building or flophouse, or a series of cribs.

Another type I have seen in the Gulf Coast is a building so festooned with lights that it does look like a "rising sun." Houston, in the dock area, had two excellent Greek nightclub restaurants some 50 yards apart. One had superb food and little entertainment, the other had great dancing and music. We would eat at the one and then go to the other for drinks. The latter had an area for working ladies, where they could meet the sailors. Halfway between the two was the brothel, as I said, standing out like the sun.
Although illegal in Houston, I know of no instance of the house being troubled by police.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Jul 05 - 02:13 PM

Somebody once told me that the rising sun of the title was a railwayman's red signal lantern -- as in "red light district" -- that indicated a sportin' establishment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Jul 05 - 03:10 PM

Interesting.
That one is discussed here, but it is all speculation. Red Light

However, the lanterns were red, green or clear (or combined), depending on the purpose or signal. When not in use, the lamps were returned to their rack or shelf in a safe place (often stolen).
I guess if the railroadman was carrying a clear lantern, he couldn't go--

Another website says prostitutes in Amsterdam have red lights in their windows. This also is a dubious origin to the term. In the district, I saw many ordinary lamps; the working girl sitting in the window, knitting or reading between customers. Others work the street or bars. The standard fee is specified in city regulations.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Jul 05 - 04:03 PM

I had always assumed the lantern was property of the house, acquired from some grateful (if light-fingered) railwayman and lit to indicate when the sportin' ladies were ready for company.

All I noticed in the red-light district of Amsterdam was drawn curtains -- although I have to admit it was broad daylight, conditions more conducive to knittin' than sportin'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Jul 05 - 05:51 PM

Found this quote in the OED from Charlotte Brontë (in "Shirley"): "He is one of Mrs Yorke's warning examples- one of the blood-red lights she hangs out to scare young ladies from matrimony." Perhaps not related, but suggestive.

The first mention found of 'red light' in print with regard to a brothel was in the New York Journal, 1900: "Children of the redlight district."
Boston Transcript, 1900: "The disorderly houses in the 'red light' district were all closed last night."

These quotations tell us nothing except that the term was in use in 1900.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 05:20 PM

Just listened to "Rising Sun Blues" as performed by Clarence Ashley (vocal) and Doc Watson (guitar) recorded 1962. The cd notes repeat the story by Ashley about teaching it to Roy Acuff "shortly after World War 1," already enlarged upon by Stewie. Roy Acuff is mentioned for a "mid-thirties" recording.
I would still like to hear th original Ashley recording. Booklet notes to the 2-cd set "The Original Folkways Recordings of Doc Watson and Clarence Ashley, 1960 through 1962," Smithsonian Folkways 1994.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Aug 05 - 10:55 AM

Q wrote
>Randolph-Legman, in "Roll Me in Your Arms," song 62, "The
>House of the Rising Sun," p. 253, discuss the meaning of
>"Rising Sun," and speculate that it "probably refers to some
>gilt or yellow-painted version of the large sculptured or gilt
>wooden chrysanthemum-style circular decoration often
>placed as a sun-ray mirror indoors, or over the outside door
>of fine houses in France, and derivatorily in French New
>Orleans...." He could have added derivatorily on occasional
>houses in many cities. It could refer to the semi-circular
>fan-like window or imitation, also found over doors.

If the "House of the Rising Sun" were an historical establishment in New Orleans, I think it would have to be one of the better known places. On p 83 of Al Rose, "Storyville, New Orleans" (U. AL Press, 1974) is illustrated the "fan window" over the door of Lulu White's famed "Mahogany Hall," aka "Hall of Mirrors." This is no ordinary fan window - the inner part looks eerily like one of those sun drawings that appear every few minutes on CBS Sunday Morning. Lulu White's is my favorite candidate for the historical "House of the Rising Sun."

Ted Anthony promises new revelations when his book is published, but he hasn't told me what those will be.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,John Garst
Date: 04 Aug 05 - 01:09 PM

I see that I didn't sign my previous post. The one about Lulu White is from me.

John Garst


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,John Garst
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 04:44 PM

Earlier in this thread there are several comments on Dave Van Ronk's speculation that the house of the rising sun was a women's prison rather than a bordello. This is based, apparently, on unusual verses about wearing a "ball and chain" and a photograph of a women's prison in New Orleans showing a fan pattern over the entrance. This speculation is also permitted by the vagueness of the verses that are usually quoted, i.e., Ashley, Callahan Brothers, Turner, and successors.

Also mentioned several times earlier is Randolph/Legman's publication of "unprintable Ozark folksongs," but no one seems to have posted the verses printed there or pointed out that they make the bordello interpretation absolutely explicit.

Here they are:

"Boy" versions - apparently older and more widespread than "girl" versions:

Beware the red light out in front
An' the pictures on the wall,
An' yellow gals dressed in purple shoes
Without no clothes at all.

Shun the red light an' flowin' bowl,
Beware of too much drink,
Them whores will take an' lead you on
To hell's eternal brink.

---

There is a house in New Orleans,
They call it the Rising Sun,
An' when you want your pecker spoilt
That's where you get it done.

They drink all day an' fuck all night
Until your money's gone;
They kick you ass out in the street
When the second shift comes on.


"Girl" version:

He took me from my mother's home,
He dragged me in the slime,
He sold me into a parlor house
Where I must do my time.
...
It's one foot on the platform,
The other on the train,
I'm going back to New Orleans -
I'll wear the ball and chain.

I'm going back to New Orleans,
My time is almost done,
I'm going back to find my child
Beneath that Rising Sun.

The last version is confusing. Having been sold "into a parlor house / Where I must do my time" the singer is later "going back to New Orleans / I'll wear the ball and chain" and "My time is almost done." Does "my time" have different meanings in its two occurrences here? If she had to do her time in a New Orleans parlor house, why was she having to go back to New Orleans when her time was almost done, and why will she wear the ball and chain. Did women ever "wear the ball and chain" in Louisiana? Somehow I associate chains with men. As for "going back to find my child / Beneath that Rising Sun," the singer believed that an aborted child had been disposed of in the privy of a brothel or prison.

This version seems to be a hybrid.

I think that's true of many versions, actually. The verses seem to have two separate themes, (1) the hard luck and life of a rounder and (2) the perils of the house of the rising sun. It wouldn't surprise me if it turned out that verses on these two themes belonged at one time to different songs that got blended to produce the versions popular today.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 05:27 PM

Hally used to sing this song. "The Rising Sun", she understood, meant the red light indicating a whorehouse. Young woman with a tough early life made some hard choices, wound up in a whorehouse. "My time is almost done..." may refer to the results of any variety of STDs which may have infected her and be killing her. Still hoping for a better outcome somehow, mother always sang a verse:

"Go an' tell my baby sister
Never do what I have done,
But shun that House in New Orleans
They call The Risin' Sun."

She would get to the "One foot on the platform..." verse, follow it with the "...My time is almost done." verse, do the "...baby sister..." verse, then end by repeating:

"Yes, I'm goin' back to New Orleans--
My time is almost done.
I'm goin' back to end my days
Beneath that Risin' Sun."

Might the "ball and chain" referred to mean the trapped feeling, being unable to get out of that milieu, not having a choice? Being imprisoned by the wrong choices, illness?   Tw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,John Garst
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 02:44 PM

I think its interesting to compare the "boy" and "girl" versions of the song. In the "girl" versions, the atmosphere is always tragic. The "girl" is a prostitute and she reflects on her terrible life and warns her "baby sister" "not to do as I have done."

The "boy" versions aren't that dark. While they warn that the House of the Rising Sun has been the "ruin of many a poor boy / And me, O Lord, for one," it isn't clear just what this ruination consists of. It seems to be the development of a whoring habit and the attendant loss of money. In fact, the song extols the glories and attractions of the Rising Sun while giving warnings.

Finally, the verse

I'm going back to New Orleans
My race is almost run.
Gonna spend the rest of my (weekly pay)/(life)
Beneath that Rising Sun.

says, in effect, "I can't stay away. I'm going back to have a really good time before I die."

The"boy" versions are macho, the "girl" versions are tragic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 01:08 PM

Is it possible that the "ruin" referred to in either version (male/female) is the contracting of one or more of various STDs? Even the successful (earliest) treatments for these diseases could be life-threatening. Is it a possibility?             Tw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,John Garst
Date: 25 Aug 05 - 02:08 PM

>Is it possible that the "ruin" referred to in either version
>(male/female) is the contracting of one or more of various
>STDs? Even the successful (earliest) treatments for these
>diseases could be life-threatening. Is it a possibility?
>Tw

Certainly, and perhaps that goes along with "When you want your pecker spoilt / That's where you get it done."

On the other hand, that phrasing, "When you want ...," suggests something other than disease as the meaning of "your pecker spoilt." I take the meaning to be overindulged, as with a spoiled child.

That's one of the reasons that I prefer to see "ruin" as financial and character loss in the "boy" versions. In the "girl" versions, I think it is just being a whore.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,John Garst
Date: 25 Aug 05 - 03:40 PM

I hasten to note that Legman definitely interprets the "ruin" of these songs to venereal disease. I have my doubts. In addition to financial ruin and whorehouse addiction, the "ruin" could be spiritual, i.e., taking up the singer's ways would be sinful and would lead to hell. In fact, that may be the most straightforward interpretation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: KIMCHEE
Date: 25 Aug 05 - 04:03 PM

INTERESTING AS AN HISTORY PROFESSOR WE HAD IN A UNIVERSITY CLASS, WE WERE TOLD IT WAS A HISTORY LESSON AND THE SONG WAS FIRST INTRODUCED DURING THE UNITED STATES WAR BETWEEN THE STATES FROM 1860-1865. SINCE WE ARE ON THAT SUBJECT - YOU NORTH AMERICANS (YANKS) GOT ALL EXCITED WHEN YOU FIRST HEARD THE RECORDING GROUP CALLING THEMSELVES THE TOYS AND YOU LOVED "LOVERS CONCERTO" - UNFORTUNATELY, IT WAS IN MUSICAL FORM A JOHANN S. BACH. CHECK IT OUT - A LOT OF OUR "HIT" POP SONGS HAVE EMERGED AND/OR COME FROM SOME OF THE GREAT MASTERS - CHECK THEM OUT, ONLY THING WILL HAPPEN IS YOU WILL BE GREATLY SURPRISED/AMUSED/SHOCKED AT WHERE THEY CAME FROM BEFORE HITTING THE TOP NIFTY-TOP FIFTY.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Aug 05 - 06:44 PM

Why would it surprise anybody that melodies get re-used?
Probably hundreds of examples here at Mudcat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,John Garst
Date: 27 Aug 05 - 03:16 PM

Kimchee: AN HISTORY PROFESSOR WE HAD IN A UNIVERSITY CLASS, WE WERE TOLD IT WAS A HISTORY LESSON AND THE SONG WAS FIRST INTRODUCED DURING THE UNITED STATES WAR BETWEEN THE STATES FROM 1860-1865.

*******

Did the learned professor give any evidence for his assertion?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,John Garst
Date: 06 Sep 05 - 03:45 PM

FWIMBW:

Having decided it likely that the usual versions of HORS are mixtures of at least two songs, one of which may be called ROUNDER'S LUCK (words about rounders) and the other HORS (words about the HORS), and having access to the "unprintable" verses collected by Randolph in 1949-50 (but going back to 1905-1920, according to the informants), I set about to put the HORS verses in a reasonable order to make a viable "uncontaminated" song. Here's what I came up with.

THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN

There is a house in New Orleans,
They call it the Rising Sun,
An' when you want your pecker spoilt
That's where you get it done.

O tell my youngest brother
Not to do what I have done
And to shun that place down in New Orleans
That's called the Rising Sun.

Beware the red light out in front
An' the pictures on the wall,
An' yellow gals dressed in purple shoes
Without no clothes at all.

Shun the red light an' flowin' bowl,
Beware of too much drink,
Them whores will take an' lead you on
To hell's eternal brink.

They drink all day an' fuck all night
Until your money's gone;
They kick you ass out in the street
When the second shift comes on.

There is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
Where many a poor boy to destruction has gone
And me, Oh God, I'm one

I'm going back to New Orleans
My race is almost run.
Gonna spend the rest of my weekly pay
Beneath that Rising Sun.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Sep 05 - 04:36 PM

Needs a Lyr. Add:- maybe someone will fix it up.

Pretty good- The 'flowing bowl' doesn't sound right for early 20th c. America, in my view, but no other quibbles.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Sep 05 - 08:08 PM

"flowin' bowl" definitely in common use in English songs sung 1905-1920 - exactly whether 'American use' I don't know, but I doubt if whether there were no English Speking foreigners in New Orleans - the song itself specifically mentions some foreigners.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Sep 05 - 01:45 AM

"Song specifically mentions some foreigners." Who? Where mentioned in the 'uncontaminated' version put together by Garst?

'Flowing bowl' is found in 18th-19th c. American songs and seems to have persisted into Civil War times (corrupted form), but (just my opinion) the term would not be in common use by likely patrons or proprietors of the pleasure houses in New Orleans ca. 1900.

Little supporting data, but I seem to agree with John Garst that the 'me, poor girl' version, sung by a woman, is later, a development from the 'poor boy' version put together by John Garst from the Ozark fragments.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Sep 05 - 01:29 PM

I'm currently reading The Mayor of MacDougal Street by Dave Van Ronk (with Elijah Wald). Absolutely fascinating book! I find Van Ronk's observations and opinions on the folk scene, both in New York and the country in general, right on the money—which is to say, my observations from over here in the northwest corner of the country, especially about the dynamics of the "folk revival" or "Great Folk Scare," tend to be pretty much the same as his (although there are some subtler ins and outs of the New York scene that I'm learning from the book).

For any folk music enthusiast, especially those who are curious about the course of increasing popular interest in folk music through the Fifties, into the Sixties, and beyond, this is a must read.

Regarding "House of the Rising Sun," Van Ronk devotes part of a chapter to his relationship to that particular song. After describing how he learned the song, worked out an arrangement for it, and had been singing it for awhile, and how Bob Dylan (a newcomer relative to Van Ronk) learned it from him and recorded it (with basically his arrangement), and it had then been picked up by the Animals (with pretty much the same arrangement), and then suffering the general aggravation of having people (even in France) ask him to sing "that Bob Dylan song," Dave Van Ronk concludes the chapter, "Changing of the Guard" with the following paragraphs:

----------
               There is one final footnote to that story. Like everyone else, I had always assumed that the "house" was a brothel. But a while ago I was in New Orleans to do the Jazz and Heritage Festival, and my wife Andrea and I were having a few drinks with Odetta in a gin mill in the Vieux Carré, when up comes a guy with a sheaf of old photographs—shots of the city from the turn of the century. There, along with the French Market, Lulu White's Mahogany Hall, the Custom House, and suchlike, was a picture of a forbidding stone doorway with a carving on the lintel of a stylized rising sun.
               Intrigued, I asked him, "What's that building?"
               It was the Orleans Parish women's prison.
               So, as it turned out, I had gotten the whole business wrong from the get-go. Pity I didn't think it was a Sunday school—I might have never sung the damn thing in the first place.
----------

Now, whether or not this is what the song actually refers to is quite probably open to debate, but it certainly gives an intriguing twist to the whole thing. Remember that various people have written new verses to this over the years. Should one know verses that definitely refer to the "house" as a brothel, one would need some provenance on those particular verses to establish them as part of the original rather than verses that were added later by someone who assumed (as most people do) that "The House of the Rising Sun" was a brothel rather than a prison.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,John Garst
Date: 07 Sep 05 - 03:40 PM

Should one know verses that definitely refer to the "house" as a brothel, one would need some provenance on those particular verses to establish them as part of the original rather than verses that were added later by someone who assumed (as most people do) that "The House of the Rising Sun" was a brothel rather than a prison.

Don Firth

Don,

The following verses, all of which "definitely refer to the 'house' as a brothel,"

Beware the red light out in front
An' the pictures on the wall,
An' yellow gals dressed in purple shoes
Without no clothes at all.

Shun the red light an' flowin' bowl,
Beware of too much drink,
Them whores will take an' lead you on
To hell's eternal brink.

There is a house in New Orleans,
They call it the Rising Sun,
An' when you want your pecker spoilt
That's where you get it done.

They drink all day an' fuck all night
Until your money's gone;
They kick you ass out in the street
When the second shift comes on.

are found in Vance Randolph and G. Legman, Roll Me in Your Arms: "Unprintable" Ozark Folksongs and Folklore, Volume I, Folksongs and Music. Fayetteville: UAR Press, 1992, p 252.

The first two of these stanzas were collected "from a lady in Benton County, Arkansas, November 6, 1949. She heard it sung by her brothers, about 1920, with several 'nasty' verses which she could not remember."

The last two stanzas were "Sung by Mr. R. S., Joplin, Missouri, March 19, 1950. He says that similar verses were sung by miners around Joplin as long ago as 1905."

In contrast, the better known versions date from the 1930s, as outlined in earlier messages here (see especially the message from Stewie,13 Nov 02 - 01:53 AM). Since several of the earliest were commercial recordings, there might well have been some censorship of "explicit lyrics" and some padding of the song with extraneous ("rounder") verses to make up lost space.

The verses above seem to me to have about as good a provenance as you're going to get. The claimed dates place them among the earliest. "Girl" versions (necessary for the women's prison idea) and "ball-and-chain" verses seem to have come later.

This places the burden of proof with those who think the HORS might not be a brothel. The prison idea can be dismissed until new information to the contrary appears.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Sep 05 - 03:52 PM

Thanks, John. I have to agree. Although Van Ronk's take on the song gives it a interesting twist, the sources you cite look pretty convincing to me.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,John Garst
Date: 09 Sep 05 - 10:49 AM

In Country Music Sources, in which Dick Spottswood and Douglas S. Meade edit for publication the unpublished work of the late Guthrie T. Meade, Jr., Gus gives the following citations of works he considers to be related to HORS.

(2) Gordon Ms. #925 (1925); FSV, p. 309.
(4) McMurray, p. 18
(5) "Motherless Child Blues," Elvie Thomas, 03/1930, Pmt 12977, Yaz 2007 (cd); "Rising Sun Blues," Tom Ashley and Doc Watson, FW FA2359, SF 40029/30 (cd)

He then cites as as "country music sources" commercial recordings by Ashley & Foster (1933), Homer Callahan (1935), and Roy Acuff & His Smoky Mountain Boys (1938). I've read of an Ernest Tubb recording - I'm not sure how Gus missed it.

Anyhow, I don't have Gordon #925, I haven't yet gone over to the library to check out Folk Songs of Virginia (FSV), and I don't have Vance McMurray's Home Songs (Oxford, Ohio: Vance McMurray, 1937), a "hillbilly song folio."

What I do have, in Gus' list, is Yaz 2007 with Elvie Thomas, "Motherless Child Blues," and, sad to say, I cannot understand the relationship that Gus saw between this song and HORS.

Here's the text.

My mother told me, just before she died (4x)

Oh, daughter, daughter, please don't be like me (3x)
To fall in love with every man you see

But I did not listen to what my mother said (3x)
That's the reason why I'm sitting here in Hattiesburg

Baby, now she's dead and six feet in the ground (3x)
And I'm her child and I am drifting around

Do you remember the day, Baby, you drove me from your door (3x)
Go away from here woman and don't come here no more

I walked away and I wrang my hands and cried (3x)
Didn't have no blues, I couldn't be satisfied

Thomas' tune is the one familiarly associated in blugrass music with "I'm broke and I do not have a dime (3x) Singing, oh, oh, oh, oh" "Ev'ry good man has a little hard luck some time ...."

Does anyone see a connection between "Motherless Child Blues" and HORS?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Sep 05 - 12:13 PM

I see no connection, John. It must simply be an error.

I thought I had a copy of Gordon #925, but I just can't find it. The usual syndrome....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,John Garst
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 03:51 PM

Gus Meade refers to Gordon #925, which I have received in the mail today. 925 is from GORDON MANUSCRIPTS, Volume IV, Letters 651-950. It does not bear a date (I wonder if there is another part that I wasn't sent). Anyhow, it was contributed by William F. Burroughs (I think he may have been one of Gordon's repeat correspondents, although his name is not indexed in Kodish, Good Friends and Bad Enemies), who wrote:

I heard it from a southerner. He was of the type that generally call themselves: "One o' th' boys." He was not a crook, and not exactly a bum. His working activities were confined to "Pearl diving" and other restaurant jobs. This and an occasional strike at the dice kept him away from the Associated Charities. However he called on them at times. When he lacked the funds for railroad fare he simply stayed where he was until something "turned up." He "took his fun as he found it", and as a consequence had spent a total of something like five years in penal servitude on various misdemeanor charges.

THE RISING SUN

There is a house in New Orleans
It's called the Rising Sun
It's been the ruin of many poor girl,
Great God and I for one.

If I had of listened to what my mother said,
I'd be at home today,
But I was young and foolish poor girl
Let a rounder lead me astray.

Oh mother, mother, tell me why
You treat that rounder cold,
I'd rather be that rounder's wife
Than to wear your crown of gold.

Now tell my sister in Baltimore,
Not to do as I have done
To shun that house in New Orleans,
It's called the Rising Sun.


Since the Gordon Collection date range is 1921-1930, this is somewhere in there, and I imagine it to be ca 1925.

Previously, I had suspected that Georgia Turner's 1937 recording (for the Lomaxes) was the earliest "girl" version. That's clearly wrong - the present item makes it clear that "girl" versions were around by the 1920s, at least. I still think, however, that the "boy" versions are more coherent, and they date (by informant's recollections) to ca 1905, at least.

The present version is unusually coherent for a rounder/girl version, although it seems to me that the positions of verses 2 and 3 ought to be exchanged. Actually, I guess I would put the verses in the order 3-2-1-4. (I realize that singers often don't care about such things, particularly in a blues ballad, which is a reasonable classification for many versions of HORS.)

These verses do a reasonable job of integrating the "rounder" and "prostitute" themes. If the stanza "My mother is a tailor / She sews those new blue jeans / My sweetheart he's a gambler, Lord / Gambles down in New Orleans" had been included, the integration would have been even better. Even so, it still seems to me likely that the "rounder" and HORS stanzas once belonged to separate songs. Part of this belief on my part may be the recognition that stanzas 2 and 3 above have couterparts in other songs. I suppose that floaters have to originate somewhere, and they could have originated as part of HORS, but that seems to me unlikely. More likely, these stanzas were inspired by parallels that were adapted for HORS or a separate "rounder" song that became mixed with HORS.

That said, these considerations soften a bit my confidence that the "rounder" verses belong to a different original song and that "boy" versions of HORS are earlier than "girl" versions.

What do you think?

Another thought:

I suspect that HORS predates Storyville, the famous "legal" Red Light District of New Orleans, which became a legal entity on Jan. 1, 1898.

If the song were new in 1905, it would probably refer to a place in Storyville, which had then existed for 7 years, but we don't *know* that it was new in 1905. New Orleans prostitution existed from its beginning, at least from ca 1721, so by 1905 there had been nearly 200 years of prostitution there. Especially after the Civil War, prostitution flourished as madams and whores occupied houses all over the city ranging from crib places to lavish mansions. Storyville was the solution to the "problem" that anyone could find themselves living next door to a brothel. Before 1898, "houses" were anywhere and everywhere, with many being in the French Quarter.

The period ca 1880-1920 was an especially rich one for originating American ballads, and perhaps the 1890s was the richest decade within this period. Storyville existed only at the *end* of the 1890s, suggesting a likelihood that HORS predates it.

A stanza collected by Vance Randolph begins, "Beware the red light out in front." Al Rose states, "Except for the St. James Methodist Church, every building in the area (Storyville) was devoted to prostitution. Consequently it is very doubtful that red lights were used in Storyville. There was no need for them. In pre-Storyville times they might have been useful. If we suppose that Randolph's verse carries an historical implication, that implication could be that HORS predates Storyville.

Another, sort'a odd, thought:

There was at least one "house" in pre-Storyville New Orleans that featured Japanese whores. A verse collected by Randolph refers to "yellow gals." Japan is the "Land of the Rising Sun." This all hangs together to suggest that HORS could have been the place with Japanese women. (Unfortunately, mulattos, quadroons, and octoroons were, and are, also commonly called "yellow.")

Against this, it goes against the grain for me to imagine that HORS would refer to such a special, unusual house.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,John Garst
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 05:10 PM

From Al Rose, Storyville, p 27:

From The Mascot, October 27, 1894 (before Storyville), a report of a meeting of the Society of Venus and Bacchus:

"...Miss Julia Dean stated stated that she had been informed that a Japanese house had been opened on Customhouse Street at Annie Merrit's old stand, and that it should be discountenanced as much as possible. Miss Wilcox said that she was sure the Japs were niggers dressed up."

I wish I knew more about this "Japanese house."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,awlinsdog
Date: 25 Mar 06 - 09:44 PM

The song was written by a woman a long, long time ago...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 09:12 AM

I have heard that there is - or was - a pub in London called "The Rising Sun".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 09:20 AM

There is a Pub & used to be a Colliery of that name in Wallsend which is near to Newcastle upon Tyne.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 11:30 PM

I remember now - I think it was from a documentary about the life of Shakespeare. The presenter was in an old area of London, supposedly near where a theatre was, and in the background was a pub with the sign - "The Rising Sun".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 02:16 AM

Have read through this thread with great interest.

It is a fascinating reflection of the entire folk process - or maybe I mean the contemporary folk process.

The first really outstanding thing is the very grudging way popular artists who really give these songs to the world are denied their importance. the second is how half truths and tall tales about great performances get recycled.

This song was really just another folksong - in some cases an album filler. In some cases a thought provoking and sinister sounding piece, in other hands a rowdy blues. But it was the centre piece of no one's show until The Animals came along.

I have seen The Animals several times. In my opinion, the singer keyboardist, drummer and bassist are all pretty interchangeable. In fact I've seen them interchanged with little noticeable effect. The identity of this song, that imprinted itself on everybody's consciousness lies in Hilton Valetines guitar work on a Gretsch guitar, some say played through an echoplex effect unit.

Hilton didn't make as much money as he should have. the songwriting royalties went to the organist Alan Price - not Chas the bassist. Hilton Valentine is one of the few names that on the rare occasions it appears on the front of a guitar magazine have me buying one of these grim publications. Last I heard he was in Connecticut somewhere writing songs with an acoustic guitar - but another time before then he was in the doldrums back up North in the economic wasteland that Thatcher created.

Though not technically a whizz kid.   Hilton Valentine's approach is thoughtful and the golden period of the Animals has many signature riffs that are deep in the psyches of anybody who lived through that era. People wax lyrical about Bix Beiderbeck - understandably, but Hilt to my mind has that same thing - a unique voice.

the story The Animals have told is that they got it from the Dylan 1st album.   they started giving it their attention when they got a Chuck Berry support gig. All Brit r&b bands at the time were doing Berry material, interspersed with slow John Mayall type blues and of course Chuck could blow them off stage with both categories - so they had to come up with something else.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 02:42 AM

Two other reasons to be grateful to the Animals WLD,In Britain this was the first song to go to number 1 in the charts in spite of an airplay ban on singles of more than 3 minutes duration.
The ban was lifted as a consequence which was a good day for music.
Secondly,as an electric reading of what was, in effect ,a folk song this was arguably the first example of folk rock.
Incidentally I neglected to mention in my previous post that the pub in Wallsend was well known to the Animals & this fact influenced their decision to record it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,Mysha
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 11:31 AM

Some notes:

- Regarding the female parish prison: I believe it also had a very large circular window, kind of like a sun just risen above the horizon.
- Having said that, there's still not much in favour of this explanation; it's merely a possibility that this was that house; just the ball and chain link it.
- All the more so because the common girl versions largely seem to me modified boy versions, "boy" to "girl" etc., with the exception of the rounder/gambler verses that have no female equivalent, resulting in two verses about "my brother/lover/sweetheart/daddy/father".
- However, where those two verses previously seemed to scream "boy version" to me, with the two verses of that travelling lover-version above I'm no longer as sure. They do indeed have the appearance of a completely seperate song that somehow got mixed-in.
- Interesting is that for "to wear your crown of gold." one would more logically substitute "to wear your golden chain", which would not sound much different from "to wear that ball an' chain".

And a few questions:
- The singer is not in New Orleans. Why? Where? And why will (s)he wear a ball and chain when returning in the final verse. The version with "my race is almost run" makes it sound like (s)he is running from the law but returns to the scene of the crime, either voluntarily or after being caught.
- The parent sews those new blue jeans. If this is about now ordinary blue jeans, when does that date that verse? Or if they weren't originally intended to either rhyme or identify a real world person - why were they mentioned in this song? Is or was there a prison or service uniform that uses them that would make them worth mentioning?
- I like the explanation of a Japanese house as such an establishment might have "The House of the Risin' Sun" as its proper name. Is the name "The land of the Rising Sun" for Japan old enough? A quick check on the net allows me to answer myself: This is the case, as it's the meaning of the name, though the native meaning is more "the origin of the sun". "The house of the (rising) sun" might even be considered a translation of the name Japan/Nippon itself.
- Did you know that in biology they have software that will look at the genetic differens between (sub)species, and from that reconstruct the most likely order of variation?
                                  Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 12:34 PM

I think the mysterious nature of The House of the Rising Sun suggested by this fragmentary but very intense view, is part of the song's magic....that hint of pleasures and sins and suffering almost beyond imagination.

I think if you track down the literal truth and the enigma was dissipated, it would perhaps lose some of its power.
Of course, it difficult for us nowadays to imagine just how Eric Burden's sneer an snarl rocked to the foundations the cosy little world of the Brits in 1963. Nowadays its been heard everywhere and it seems terribly old hat.

Don't see the current lot of folkrockers producing anything as confrontational to society as that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 06:40 PM

Can anyone help with confirming the alleged London Pub? Access to London Pub info, etc?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,thurg
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 09:38 PM

I've always taken "my race is almost run" to mean the speaker's days are numbered, he/she is not long for this world, is on his/her last legs, is ready to cash in his/her chips, etc., the implication being that the wages of sin are death; i.e., dissipation has ruined his/her health.

As for "going back to New Orleans to wear that ball and chain", I always understood it to indicate that the dissipated and destructive life within the confines of THOTRS had some sort of irresistable claim on the speaker, whether for psychological reasons, drug addiction, force of circumstance, or some combination of the preceding. What always gave the song its particular pathos, for me, was that awareness on the part of the speaker of his/her self-destructive course and his/her seeming inablility to alter it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,Mysha
Date: 02 Apr 06 - 12:20 PM

Hi,

Well, I can see how some people like the mystery of the song, but personally I like to know what I'm singing. Well, I guess I like the mystery too, in that it invites me to learn more about it. What I now learned more about it is that there is an article on the Eric Burton website on last year's find. Although the Rising Sun they were investigating had been in operation from 1808 to 1822, in the article it says that the name "The RIsing Sun" had been in use for two centuries.
I'm not sure two centuries starting from when, but it could be 1808-2005, suggesting that this was actually the first known Rising Sun in New Orleans. But regardless, it explains why several people have histories of establishments the Rising Sun: There have indeed been several of those. As a result, for the song it's not enough to find a(!) house called The Rising Sun, and it might not even be enough to find a(!) house of ill repute by that name. One would need other clues from the older lyrics that could identify a time or building.

The name is quite common for pubs in England, BTW, and London's no exception. Any websearch for London Pub Rising Sun ought to give the curious several addresses.
                                        Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,mrwookie
Date: 16 May 06 - 05:32 PM

am looking to obtain a copy , by hotrs a south african or rhodesian group from the 60`s. Evidently was banned there beause it was quite provocative. This version lasts 10+ mins and if I remember correctly was a favourite with the troops out there. Anyone help as I have been trying to find a copy for 10 yrs now


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,Michael Sunderland
Date: 11 Jun 06 - 11:45 PM

Back in the late 60's - another group that I never heard mentioned, also did a VERY good job with the House of the Rising Sun - (Frigid Pink)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,thurg
Date: 12 Jun 06 - 12:27 AM

Am I imagining things, or did Miriam Mateba(sp.?) record a version (not 10 min. long)?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 12 Jun 06 - 01:27 AM

According to Stan Hugill in his book 'Sailortown ' it was indeed a brothel/pub in the New Orleans sailortown district.

eric


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: jojofolkagogo
Date: 13 Jun 06 - 10:51 AM

I HATE THIS SONG !!!!!!!    UUUUUURRRRRGGGGGGG !!

Jo-Jo !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Charmain
Date: 14 Jun 06 - 09:46 AM

The Be Good Tanya's do a fantastic version of THOTRS on their album "Chinatown"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 07 - 11:43 PM

I was led to believe that "House Of The Rising Sun" was written from
a female's perspective; and I have also found recordings of male
singers singing "It's been the ruin of many a-poor girl, and me oh
God I was a-one."
If this is true, it is one of the reasons why I do not care much for
the Animals version for changing the words to the song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 26 May 07 - 12:08 AM

So - if this is NOT true, then is it NOT one of the reasons why you do not care much for the Animals version for changing the words to the song?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,SCORPIO
Date: 27 May 07 - 10:00 AM

Conventional wisdom states that the Animals version, apart from popularising the 'boy' variation, electrified Dylan's /Van Ronks acoustic arrangement. But some time ago I got a CDROM called Highway 61 Interactive in which you could wander around Greenwich Village, CBS recording studio etc. In the studio were several tapes of Dylan you could click on and listen to, the first takes of Like A Rolling Stone in waltz time, for instance! One of these tapes is an electric version of HOTRS, recorded in 1962. The Animals made their version in 1964. So maybe they heard Dylan's electric version, too!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 27 May 07 - 10:59 AM

'I just hate the Animals, but it is true; that it is supposed to be
"poor girl", if you read more on it.
Otherwise, Bob Dylan would have sang "poor boy", the Animals were
just chauvenist pigs who didn't have the balls to sing lyrics from
a female's perspective.'

What an interesting interpretation! I'm sure that you've read more than I have on the subject - but, further up the thread, I did read at least three sets of variant lyrics which also include the term "poor boy", and these seem to have been traced at least as far back as 1920; I'm sure you read them too. But no doubt these earlier performers/lyricists were also "just chauvenist pigs" who were lacking in male parts ... right?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 27 May 07 - 07:25 PM

Well, Ted Anthony's book is ALMOST out, I guess. A few weeks ago I had a request from Simon & Schuster to read the galley they sent to me, and to write a short comment to be used on the back jacket of the new book. Title is CHASING THE RISING SUN. Anthony is totally obsessed with this song- but I suppose one would have to be, to write a whole book about it! But it's well written, and holds the interest all the way. Look for it.                   Jean

PS: I sang this song, as did many of my neighbors in Perry County, KY when I was a young girl- in the early thirties. My sisters and I would sing it only when Mom couldn't hear us! We didn't think much of it, but it did have a pretty tune...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST
Date: 27 May 07 - 08:25 PM

Stolen from the eleven brass monkeies of the Ancient Crypts of Eygyt, the devine sacred secret is now revealed - Sun God = Akhenaten's Monotheism this worship led to all followers success and then eventual (setting like the sun)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,John Garst
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 04:11 PM

Ted Anthony's book is now available.

Aside from the flowery bullshit that crops up occasionally, a la Greil Marcus, it is a *great* book. I'm especially impressed that he tracked down just about everybody, or their relatives, if they were dead, who ever had anything significant to do with this song. This is really a *people* book. I'm further impressed by the fact that, while it gives folk tradition its due, the text is not circumscribed by artifical notions of what constitutes the tradition of the song. It follows HORS wherever it goes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Nov 07 - 08:45 PM

Kytrad mentioned a forthcoming book by Ted Anthony, "Chasing the Rising Sun, The Journey of an American Song." The book is available, Simon & Schuster Canada, $32.00; not sure of American publisher but Amazon.com offers it new for $17.16 and new but with remainder marks or used from $4.49- the book already remaindered.
Anthony takes the reader on a journey through all of the speculated origins of the song. The reviewer George Fetherling, in "Books in Canada," October 2007, comments that Anthony is "expert at turning up ...fascinating but meaningless information, such as the fact that there is an album entitled "Sebastian Cabot Sings Dylan" and that the sister of Dylan's great love Suze Rotollo was Lomax's executive assistant."
The book seems to have no more information on the origin of the song than is contained in this thread, with one possible exception- "The Rising Sun Dance Hall," 'in print 1925,' mentioned by Anthony in his book.
I have only the review, not the book which may have a citation- otherwise the first appearance is in recordings by Ashley, Alexander and later Turner (see Stewie, post of 2002 above, and verses in the song "Rounder's Luck," Callahan, posted by Arkie above).
Ashley explored possible New Orleans connections, his best possibility the Rising Sun Hotel, destroyed by fire in 1822. This seems unlikely because the song appeared over a century later.
He also discusses the "Unfortunate Rake" and allies, but again, this seems very unlikely, although a number of writers on folk music have nodded in this direction.

If one likes the minutiae of a song search, he may enjoy reading this book. I may pick up one of the remaindered copies.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Nov 07 - 10:05 PM

Oops! Anthony, not Ashley, explored New Orleans connections.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 27 Nov 07 - 12:01 PM

It would be of more than passing interest to know how many songs and how many musicians of note had their origins in the brothels of New Orleans. Louis Armstrong and Kid Ory come to mind. "Playin' piano in a cathouse" was a common thread. Themes of cocaine and booze, "soiled doves" and their pimps, Curiously named Madams, lost innocence and vengeful lovers ("Frankie & Johnny"?)all permeate the New Orleans musical tradition. Was "House of the Rising Sun" named because, when you drop the 'the,' the initials spell out WHORS?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Brendy
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 06:09 AM

There's a discussion going on at the min on BBC Radio 4 about the origins of The House Of The Rising Sun.

It is being hosted by Eric Burdon...

It will be downloadable as a podcast, I think, as well....

B.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: mrmoe
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 08:09 AM

The oldest recordings that I have of that song are by Leadbelly and one by Jack Elliot....neither are in a minor key....I wonder who was the first to put it in a minor key...Dave Van Ronk perhaps?....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: gnomad
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 08:29 AM

The programme Brendy mentioned is on listen again at Burdon's Journey, interesting. They usually take them down quite quickly (7 days, I think) so get it quickly if interested.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Brendy
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 08:45 AM

Yes, I'm sorry about this..., I didn't see the thread Mr Red started at the time I posted that...

B.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 01:27 PM

Dave Van Ronk definitely put the song to the absolutely-original and now-familiar chord progression. I'm sure that he thought of his work as an "arrangement," not as any kind of new "composition,", but it was a radical departure from any earlier setting for this song ~ or any other song, really ~ and pretty much defined an emerging American approach to instrumental accompaniment that would eventually be characterized as "folk-rock."

This arrangement will probably prove to be Dave's single most lasting work of musical creation, and he got very little credit, and no money at all, for it.

If you already know the following story, you can stop reading here.

Dave had recently begun playing his new setting for HOTRS at the time young Bob Dylan was recording his first album. One night Bob asked Dave if it would be OK to record the song using the new arrangement, and Dave said, please don't, I plan to record it myself. Bob said, Ooops, too late, I sang it in the studio earlier today.

Dave soon had to quit playing the song because the Greenwich Village audiences regularly commented, "Oh, you're playing that Bob Dylan song!"

Poetic justice: Just a few years later, Bob had to drop the song from his repertoire as well, for pretty much the same reason. Audiences worldwide invariably reacted "Hey ~ you're playing that Eric Burdon song!"

Eric and the Animals, of course, added a little something different by using multiple amplpified instruments, and by playing the guitar chords as arpeggios. But they used that same very unique new chord progression devised by DVR and recorded by The Bob.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Mr Red
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 11:53 AM

Radio programme about the song with "listen again" links
Mudcat thread


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,protestfolk
Date: 29 Feb 08 - 12:10 PM

There's a public domain folk song about the New Orleans disaster, "Destroyed By A Rising Flood," to the same traditional tune posted on the following link:

http://www.myspace.com/bobafeldman68music


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 29 Feb 08 - 12:26 PM

Chasing the Rising Sun: The Journey of an American Song
By Ted Anthony
Simon and Schuster (New York, N.Y.), 2007,
ISBN 0743278984, 308 pages, hbk

thoroughly recommended reading if you want to know about the origins and the shear number of versions and derivatives of this song. Worth it alone, for the author's interview with Eric Burdon. I found a copy of it in our local libray branch and have just finished reading it.

Charlotte (with her suitcase, her trunk and, her piano and stool)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 29 Feb 08 - 12:30 PM

a brief taster:

(the song)was initially recorded at the behest of folklorist Alan Lomax in the heart of the Village, Middlesboro, Kentucky, in 1937 by Georgia Turner, the dirt-poor, sixteen year-old daughter of a coal miner. Lomax promptly archived it at the Library of Congress and included it in his groundbreaking 1941 songbook Our Singing Country. Before long Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, The Weavers and Josh White (in addition to Ronnie Gilbert, the New Lost City Ramblers and torch singer Libby Holman among many others) had recorded their versions of it. A little while later it became one of the influential Dave Van Ronk's signature songs--which is where a young Bob Dylan heard it and recorded it for his debut Columbia album. Now the tortured tale is ubiquitous--from karaoke bars and elevators to ring-tones and Gatorade ads.

Chasing the Rising Sun: The Journey of an American Song
By Ted Anthony

Charlotte (loves train travel)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Feb 08 - 12:49 PM

As posted last November, the book by Anthony added nothing to the story.
There were several recordings of the song before Lomax and Turner, 1937, as noted in previous threads.

1928- Texas Alexander
1931(?)- Clarence Ashley
1935- Homer Callahan (as "Rounder's Luck")


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's open minded Apprentice
Date: 29 Feb 08 - 02:00 PM

"1928- Texas Alexander
1931(?)- Clarence Ashley
1935- Homer Callahan (as "Rounder's Luck")"

all of which are mentioned in Anthony's book...and...the book I think is a good jump off point for those (and there are some people, surprising as it may seem to others) who've never explored the song.

Charlotte (who loathes a closed mind)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 09:31 AM

Is it just me or does the tune sound very like St James' Infirmary Blues?
(yes, Roger, it's just you, go and lie down)

RtS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 10:29 AM

Jeffrey C. Jones does a cracking version of "...Rising Sun" HERE

IMO his original writing is well worth a listen too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 12:04 AM

Yes, the song as collected from Georgia Turner and others was set in New Orleans. The versions, however, came from the Appalachians.

Ted Anthony, who reseached the roots of the song, wrote, "I originally thought the song was OF New Orleans. But when you listen to the verses- "DOWN in New Orleans," "going BACK to New Orleans" - you realize it is from an outsider's perspective. Many of the early versions seemed to point back to the Appalachian tradition."
Of course, that is opinion based on his take of the song, its singers, and the locale of its collection.
Did the first singer of the song just pick New Orleans, or mean some other city but wish to disguise it- who knows. I think Anthony's opinion is interesting, although it is no solution.

Ted Anthony, "Chasing the Rising Sun: The Journey of an American Song." Simon & Shuster.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 02:38 PM

Any comments on the book by Ted Anthony?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 12:06 PM

I have to comment on the repeated attribution of the minor chords to Dave Van Ronk. Sorry, but it's just not true. Dave originated many a good thing, but not this.

The minor chords he uses for "House of the Rising Sun" were in circulation well before Dave was heard of in folk circles—he broke in roughly (oops, pun) in 1958. His first album (Folkways—I think it included the song—did not come out until 1959, by which time the minor-key "House of the Rising Sun," chords and all, had become a standard.

I heard the song, with the now familiar minor chords, sung in singarounds as early as 1952, and was singing it myself, with those chords, by 1953-4.

I didn't stay with the guitar version myself, because by the following year I was hearing other ways of doing the song. When I heard Hally Wood sing it a capella I was enchanted (what a marvelous singer she was), and for a while sang it unaccompanied. I also collected a brief version with a slightly different minor tune from Ben F. Moomaw in Roanoke, Virginia in summer 1955 that affected my later way of doing the song.

Bottom line: look for the origin of that minor-key arrangement somewhere in the late 1940s or no later than 1952.

Bob


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 May 10 - 04:18 AM

Helloo

I've read the extent of this page with great interest and many aspects of it have been very helpful to me.

I'm planning to write a paper on HotRS and was wondering if anyone had an mp3/recording of Clarence 'Tom' Ashley's 1934 version?

Cheers
Becca


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 10 May 10 - 09:32 AM

I heard somewhere that hearing The Animals recording of the song was what initially set Dylan on the path to going electric. Does anyone know if this is true?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 10 May 10 - 06:06 PM

Neil D: My first reaction was "Nahhh," but the Animals single was released in 1954, while Dylan's "Bringing It All Back Home" LP (first release with electric instruments) came out in March 1965. So it is indeed possible..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: pavane
Date: 11 May 10 - 05:41 AM

I think it was 1964, not 1954?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Somewhat different origin House of the Rising Sun?
From: Mysha
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 06:18 AM

Hi,

I've let all this roam about in my mind for a while:

- We have boy and girl verses;
- We have rounder verses;
- We have rather coarse rising sun verses;
- Some verses have apparently been sung around 1905;
- We have no lyrics source that predates the closing down of Storywille;
- We don't know the/which House of the Rising Sun.


Conjecture:

Rounder, the girl song, is the original that was already sung in 1905, which in reaction to the closing down of Storyville was parodied as the House of the Rising Sun, the rather coarse boy song, which became rather short when made acceptable for polite company and so adopted such Rounder verses as seemed to fit; once mixed, confusion allowed for several blended versions.

Rounder would then have been about a mother and daughter arguing about the girl's rounder love: Mother tells her he's no good, but daughter replies she would not stay in her mother's world.

House of the Rising Sun doesn't look like a real description; it's more like a collection of details common to any disreputable house; the name apparently had floated for at least a century, having been used by different houses, and the parody uses it to typify the house it describes.


No proof whatsoever; but then, the other explanations aren't based on much solid evidence either.

Bye
                                                                Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?
From: PHJim
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 03:42 PM

These are the chords that Dave Van Ronk made up for House Of The Rising Sun, also used by Bob Dylan and The Animals.

There (Am) is a (C) house in (D) New Or(F)leans
They (Am) call the (C) Rising (E) Sun (E7)
And it's (Am) been the (C) ruin of (D) many a poor (F) girl (boy?)
And (Am) me, oh (E) God, I'm (Am) one. (E7)

These are the chords used by Josh White, Joan Baez

There (Am) is a (C) house in (E) New Or(Am)leans
They call the (C) Rising (E) Sun (E7)
And it's (Am) been the (C) ruin of (E) many a poor (Am) girl
And (Am) me, oh (E) God, I'm (Am) one. (E7)

I learned it from a Josh White album before I heard Dylan or The Animals and prefer the White/Baez changes. I heard that Eric Burdon didn't feel comfortable singing "many a poor girl", so he changed it, though Van Ronk, Dylan and Josh White and many other male singers sang from the woman's point of view. As someone mentioned above, changing the song from a woman trapped in a life of prostitution to a man trapped in a life of paying for sex makes the song less effective. (to me at least)


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: 14 August 7:31 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.