The House of the Rising Sun
The House of the Rising Sun
The House of the rising sun must be amongst the most recorded of all songs. No-one know who wrote it and so there is no copywrite and it can be freely recorded without paying dues to anybody.
Although the various interpretations of The House of The Rising Sun vary considerably the lyrics do not. The only major change that takes place is determined by the sex of the singer.
If a female "And it's been the ruin of many a poor girl"
If a male "And it's been the ruin of many a poor boyl"
And just now and then the character.
Where Was The House Of The Rising Sun?
There are numerous theories and suppositions as to the whereabouts of The House of the Rising Sun. As the song mentions New Orleans it is easy to assume that is where its history lies.
The song or versions of it were doing the rounds in England back in the 16th Century. The house was undoubtedly a brothel and the song itself a bawdy folk ballad. The brothel may well have been in Soho as some have suggested but 'Rising Sun' is not such an unusual name that it could literally have been anywhere.
The House of the Rising crossed the Atlantic with immigrants from England and was adapted and changed with the people who sung it and made it their own.
Oldest Recorded Version 1937 - certainly not the best
And in New Orleans
Some say the House of the Rising Sun was in New Orleans. There is even evidence to support the fact. This was not however the first house but another but, importantly actually in New Orleans.
The house was located on 826-830 St. Louis St. in New Orleans. It was occupied by one Madame Marianne LeSoleil (The Sun) in 1862 and open for business.It was closed down in 1874 after complaints from people in the neighbourhood.
There was another Rising Sun, a hotel located on Conti Street which burnt down in 1822. The hotel, it has been suggested was a place where gentlemen went for a good time. An archaelogical dig in 2005 found huge numbers of liquor bottles as well as rouge pots. Make of it what you will.
The Animals were not the first to record the song but it was they who made it famous.
The Animals - 1964 - They made the song Famous
Different again is Frijid Pink. I love it at times.
Pink Floyd or perhaps not - Frijid Pink more like. Great version.
There is nobody who sings like Nina and here she makes the song her very own. A truly wonderful version.
Nina Simone - Brilliant!!!
BTO, quite different again. Magical.
How about a Japanese version?
Tracy....have I saved the best to last? Sometimes I think so.
I love this song. I always have. I hear it most weeks at least once sung by different bands. Usually in a S.E. Asian accent and with several of the words wrong but it makes no difference and is all the more magical for the mistake.
Below the sign for the House of the Rising Sun in Pattaya, Thailand.