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Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun?

DigiTrad:
HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN


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PHJim 23 Aug 13 - 03:42 PM
Mysha 05 Feb 13 - 06:18 AM
pavane 11 May 10 - 05:41 AM
PoppaGator 10 May 10 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,Neil D 10 May 10 - 09:32 AM
GUEST 10 May 10 - 04:18 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 07 Oct 09 - 12:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jan 09 - 02:38 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Jan 09 - 12:04 AM
Gene Burton 01 Mar 08 - 10:29 AM
Roger the Skiffler 01 Mar 08 - 09:31 AM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's open minded Apprentice 29 Feb 08 - 02:00 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Feb 08 - 12:49 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 29 Feb 08 - 12:30 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 29 Feb 08 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,protestfolk 29 Feb 08 - 12:10 PM
Mr Red 19 Jan 08 - 11:53 AM
PoppaGator 18 Jan 08 - 01:27 PM
Brendy 18 Jan 08 - 08:45 AM
gnomad 18 Jan 08 - 08:29 AM
mrmoe 18 Jan 08 - 08:09 AM
Brendy 18 Jan 08 - 06:09 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 27 Nov 07 - 12:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Nov 07 - 10:05 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Nov 07 - 08:45 PM
GUEST,John Garst 20 Jun 07 - 04:11 PM
GUEST 27 May 07 - 08:25 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 27 May 07 - 07:25 PM
GUEST,meself 27 May 07 - 10:59 AM
GUEST,SCORPIO 27 May 07 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,meself 26 May 07 - 12:08 AM
GUEST 25 May 07 - 11:43 PM
Charmain 14 Jun 06 - 09:46 AM
jojofolkagogo 13 Jun 06 - 10:51 AM
Dave Hanson 12 Jun 06 - 01:27 AM
GUEST,thurg 12 Jun 06 - 12:27 AM
GUEST,Michael Sunderland 11 Jun 06 - 11:45 PM
GUEST,mrwookie 16 May 06 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,Mysha 02 Apr 06 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,thurg 27 Mar 06 - 09:38 PM
The Fooles Troupe 27 Mar 06 - 06:40 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 Mar 06 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,Mysha 27 Mar 06 - 11:31 AM
Purple Foxx 27 Mar 06 - 02:42 AM
Big Al Whittle 27 Mar 06 - 02:16 AM
The Fooles Troupe 26 Mar 06 - 11:30 PM
Purple Foxx 26 Mar 06 - 09:20 AM
The Fooles Troupe 26 Mar 06 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,awlinsdog 25 Mar 06 - 09:44 PM
GUEST,John Garst 16 Sep 05 - 05:10 PM
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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)


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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


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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?


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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..


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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?


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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


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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


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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?


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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.


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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.


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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


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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)


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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")


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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)


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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)


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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


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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


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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?....


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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.


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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?


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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)


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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...


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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?


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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!


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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?


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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.


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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"


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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 !


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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


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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)?


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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)


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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


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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


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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.


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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?


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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.


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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


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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.


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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.


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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".


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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.


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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".


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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...


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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."


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