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House of the Rising Sun

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3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Commentary

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Alan LomaxThis song has an incredibly long and fascinating history. Folklorist Alan Lomax tracked its origins back to an old Child Ballad. Francis Child, a Harvard professor in the late 19th century, published a five volume work, originally titled “The English and Scottish Popular Ballads”, which eventually became know by the collector’s surname.

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 The website The Straight Dope (their motto is “Fighting Ignorance Since 1973 (it’s taking longer than we thought)” provides asummary of the history of the song:

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 According to folklorist Alan Lomax in his book Our Singing Country (1941), the melody of “The House of the Rising Sun” is a traditional English ballad and the lyrics were written by Georgia Turner and Bert Martin (both from Kentucky). The song was first recorded in the 1920s by black bluesman Texas Alexander and later covered by Leadbelly, Charlie Byrd, Roy Acuff, Woody Guthrie, the Weavers, Peter, Paul & Mary, Henry Mancini, Dolly Parton, David Allan Coe, John Fahey, Waylon Jennings, Tim Hardin, Buster Poindexter, Marianne Faithful, Tracy Chapman and Bob Dylan . . . just to name a few.

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 Here are the traditional lyrics (from Lomax’s book):

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 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, for one.

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 If I had listened what Mamma said,
I’d ‘a’ been at home today.
Being so young and foolish, poor boy,
let a rambler lead me astray.

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 Go tell my baby sister
never do like I have done
to shun that house in New Orleans
they call the Rising Sun.

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 My mother she’s a tailor;
she sold those new blue jeans.
My sweetheart, he’s a drunkard, Lord, Lord,
drinks down in New Orleans.

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 The only thing a drunkard needs
is a suitcase and a trunk.
The only time he’s satisfied
is when he’s on a drunk.

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 Fills his glasses to the brim,
passes them around
only pleasure he gets out of life
is hoboin’ from town to town.

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 One foot is on the platform
and the other one on the train.
I’m going back to New Orleans
to wear that ball and chain.

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 Going back to New Orleans,
my race is almost run.
Going back to spend the rest of my days
beneath that Rising Sun.

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17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 On this 1937 disc sleeve, Lomax noted recording 16-year-old Georgia Turner from Middlesboro, Kentucky, singing the “Rising Sun Blues.” It later became famous as the iconic song “House of the Rising Sun”:On this 1937 disc sleeve, Lomax noted recording 16-year-old Georgia Turner from Middlesboro, Kentucky, singing the “Rising Sun Blues.” It later became famous as the iconic song “House of the Rising Sun”:

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 Was The House of the Rising Sun really a brothel, and did it really exist? A guidebook called Offbeat New Orleans asserts that the real House of the Rising Sun was at 826-830 St. Louis Street, between 1862 and 1874. Purportedly, it was named for its madam, Marianne LeSoleil Levant, whose surname translates to “The Rising Sun.” Based on other sources, it seems likely that this is just a legend.  But who knows?

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 Bob Dylan learned the arrangement of the song from Dave Van Ronk . New York Times critic Robert Shelton quotes Dylan as saying, “I always knew this song, but never really knew it until Dave Van Ronk sang it.” The story of Dylan “borrowing” Van Ronk’s arrangement is told by Van Ronk in his biography The Mayor of MacDougal Street. Van Ronk said that he turned down Dylan when he asked if he could record it using his arrangement because he was planning to record it himself for his next album. Van Ronk was outraged when Dylan then told him that it was too late because he had already done it. Van Ronk said he felt justice had been served when The Animals had a huge hit with their version of the song that was based on Dylan’s version.

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 Dylan cut another version of the song during the recording of his 1974 Planet Waves album, and another during the making of his film Renaldo and Clara. The original is the best.

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22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 A live version from 2007.

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25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 Dylan  with Petty and the Heartbreakers.

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28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0 The classic version by The Animals.

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32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 0 Lyrics

33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 0 There is a house down in New Orleans they call the rising sun
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor girl and me, oh God, I’m one.

34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 2 My mother was a tailor, she sowed sewed these new blue jeans
My sweetheart was a gambler, Lord, down in New Orleans.

35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 0 Now the only thing a gambler needs is a suitcase and a trunk
And the only time when he’s satisfied is when he’s on a drunk.

36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 0 He fills his glasses up to the brim and he’ll pass the cards around
And the only pleasure he gets out of life is rambling from town to town

37 Leave a comment on paragraph 37 0 Oh tell my baby sister not to do what I have done
But shun that house in New Orleans they call the rising sun.

38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 0 Well with one foot on the platform and the other foot on the train
I’m going back to New Orleans to wear that ball and chain.

39 Leave a comment on paragraph 39 0 I’m going back to New Orleans, my race is almost run
I’m going back to end my life down in the rising sun.

40 Leave a comment on paragraph 40 0 There is a house in New Orleans they call the rising sun
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor girl and me, oh God, I’m one.

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Source: http://www.bobdylancommentaries.com/bob-dylan/house-of-the-rising-sun/