Talk:The House of the Rising Sun

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New topics go at bottom of page.

Fascinating! Gingermint (talk) 20:22, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

The Beatles' "cover" this song[edit]

I just wanted to say that a friend sent me a recording of The Beatles "playing" the song, well they are just playing the tune and making random noises. Should that be added or pointed out?--Ice Jedi5 02:30, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Reference to the House of the Rising Sun?[edit]

I was listening to "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" and it says the "Devil is in the House of the Rising Sun" and I was wondering if anyone knows anything about either song might be referring to the other, or they both refer to the same term/place. RECON 03:51, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Trivia: Bob Dylan[edit]

That bit seems to suggest that Bob Dylan's version came after the Animals version. Even Dylan ripped his version off of Dave Van Ronk. Apparently Dylan dropped the song after the Animals version because he didn't want people to think he was covering them. See the documentary "No Direction Home." A small change should fix this impression and make the trivia more interesting.--RageX 11:41, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Pink Floyd's cover[edit]

When did Floyd do a cover?

I don't think they ever did. And I'm not so sure about The Beatles, The Stones and The Doors either. Try to download their versions through LimeWire, you simply get The Animals again. Someone must have given false names to some of his mp3 files and put them on the internet. Someone else must have mistaken them for actual covers and put the names here. By the way, I don't think Hank Williams ever recorded it. His son probably has, so I think a "Jr." should be added. And I believe Hally Wood and Georgia Turner are missing from the list.
Hank Williams (aka Hiram) was (everybody knows it) Hank's :-)father. The latter was known as Hank Williams, Jr. His father got a shot round midnight in the back seat of his car and was discovered completely cold on the 1st.01.1953 at 5:30: a.m. by the local police. Pink Floyd never recorded any rendition of "Rising". BTW, there was a hard version by Frijid Pink (USA) back in 04/70: US #7; # 1 in Belgium issued on the DERAM (which means "deramic sound system") label, a subsidiary of the DECCA RECORD COMPANY LIMITED, LONDON, UK. "Rising" was also recorded by Josh White in 1944 and 1949... Stephan KŒNIG 10:15, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

The Beatles version of song is bona fide. I own a copy and it is absolutely awful, terrible, and virtually unlistenable. But it is unmistakably the Beatles doing "House of the Rising Sun." The recording dates from the January 1969 GET BACK sessions, where the Beatles did a lot of jammed covers of older songs, including this one. --Tony Boisvert 10:21 AM 1 January 2007.

If you download the Pink Floyd version through Limewire it's certainly NOT the animals, sounds more like Gilmoure's guitar. Pretty sure it's not the animals. Ehjort 11:57, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
Second thoughts. Frigid Pink did the song, and Limewire FP version is the same as limewire PF version. dunno, really. Ehjort 12:11, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

If Pink Floyd ever did a cover of the song, it is certainly not the one on Limewire. It is Frijid Pink. And it sounds nothing like Gilmour's guitar.

summary and recap[edit]

Pink Floyd never released a cover version of the song. There is a famous version by Frijid Pink that is on YouTube, incorrectly labeled as "Pink Floyd". There have been at least two instances of editors edding Pink Floyd as doing a version, but these are mistaken. Bubba73 (talk), 02:41, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Wall of sound, err, text[edit]

Gotta love that huge wall of text that serves as the list of artists who have covered the song. Perhaps it would be more readable in the format of a list? Wanderer 01:39, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

I dlunno, I'm not sure anyone is actually expected to read all the names; it's probably the "wall of text" itself that is the impressive part.
I'd leave it as it is.
Atlant 11:09, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure The Doors did not cover this song, I have failed to find any evidence (apart from this page) to say they did.


Yes they did! See:- Album: The Doors-Classic Rock, Lable: dsa, Year: 2002. Richard Harvey 18:38, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

the doors never released an album in 2002 i have every recording the doors have ever done no house of the rising sun sorry folks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:10, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Jeremy says: The Beatles' version (which is indeed just them screaming to their version of the music) is from the Rhine River tapes.

French Translation[edit]

The song is called "Le Penitencier" The Lyrics are as follows

Les portes du pénitencier

Bientôt vont se fermer
Et c'est là que je finirai ma vie
Comm'd'autres gars l'ont finie
Pour moi ma mère a donné
Sa robe de mariée
Peux-tu jamais me pardonner
Je t'ai trop fait pleurer
Le soleil n'est pas fait pour nous
C'est la nuit qu'on peut tricher
Toi qui ce soir a tout perdu
Demain tu peux gagner .

O mères, écoutez-moi
Ne laissez jamais vos garçons
Seuls la nuit traîner dans les rues
Ils iront tout droit en prison
Toi la fille qui m'a aimé
Je t'ai trop fait pleurer
Les larmes de honte que tu as versées
Il faut les oublier
Les portes du pénitencier
Bientôt vont se fermer
Et c'est là que je finirai ma vie
Comm'd'autres gars l'ont finie

Source Verified on (clip with lyrics) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:47, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Is that for real? It just seems like a really bad translation. I know it could be that I'm just not familiar with the dialect, but it doesn't rhyme or have the right rhythm. Also Hallyday'a french version is nothing like it look at 16:40, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

I'm guessing some first-year French student ran it through Babelfish and then tidied it up a bit, but I'm loathe to delete stuff that rashly.
I'm getting rid of it. as it says "the song may have been sung like this" its probably just something someone has translated. I'll put it here for referance
In the French Quarter of Nouvelle-Orléans, the song may have been sung like this:
  • don't say French "Quarter" for Quartier Français but only French PART. :-) Stephan KŒNIG 20:30, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
:Il y a une maison à la Nouvelle-Orléans 
:Qu'ils appellent le Soleil levant 
:Elle a causé la perte de nombreux pauvres garçons 
:Et Dieu, je sais que j'en suis un 
:Oh, Mère, dis à tes enfants 
:De ne pas faire ce que j'ai fait 
:Oh oui, passez vos vies dans le péché et la souffrance 
:Dans la maison du Soleil levant 
:Bien, il y a une maison à la Nouvelle-Orléans 
:Qu'ils appellent le Soleil levant 
:Et elle a causé la perte de nombreux pauvres garçons 
:Et Dieu, je sais que j'en suis un

btw it was me who brought up the discussion point (I know I should sign up, I'll do it tomorrow :) ) 23:25, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

(This is another contributer) That does rhyme. You have to understand french pronunciation to get it, but it does.

(eddie) This does not rhyme at all, vraiment pas, go back to school maybe to get it right, le mot "un" does not rhyme avec rrleans, ni levant, ni garcons, désolé. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:51, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Removed half-remembered, quite possibly nonexistent version[edit]

There may be a different version on lyrics.. something like "catches the black one and puts him on the train"

If anyone can really say that this supposed lyric actually exists, feel free to put something about it in the article.--Pharos 03:22, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Michel Munier (27y french 36y Australian) For the third time I tried to add to this page! And I loose the page to restart again?

I have never heard or read before the above lyric! This is the most known version to French people. I found the lyric (that I had writen from memory before and was very close) It comes from a german site

There is only one line I dispute. here "les larmes de honte que tu as versé actually is:" Les larmes de ton coeur que tu as versé"

I would like tu put a literal translation to it for you as well.

Johnny Hallyday

                     "Le pénitencier" 

Les portes du pénitencier - The penitenciary doors Bientôt vont se fermer - Soon will be close Et c'est là que je finirai ma vie - And it's there I'll end my life Comm'd'autres gars l'ont finie - As other guys did end it

Pour moi ma mère a donné - For ma sake my mother gave (sold?) Sa robe de mariée - Her wedding dress Peux-tu jamais me pardonner - Can you ever forgive me Je t'ai trop fait pleurer - I made you cry too much

Le soleil n'est pas fait pour nous - The Sun is no use to us C'est la nuit qu'on peut tricher - It's at night one can cheat Toi qui ce soir a tout perdu - You who tonight lost everything Demain tu peux gagner . - Tomorrow you may win all.

O mères, écoutez-moi - Oh mothers listen to me Ne laissez jamais vos garçons - Don't let your boys Seuls la nuit traîner dans les rues - alone and loose in the streets Ils iront tout droit en prison -They'll go (end up) right in prison

Toi la fille qui m'a aimé - You the girl who loved me Je t'ai trop fait pleurer -I got you to cry too much Les larmes de honte que tu as versées - the tears from your heart you poured Il faut les oublier - you must forget them

(above as I said "it says "tears of shame [honte]" but it's not right...I just found my old LP!)

Les portes du pénitencier (Repeat of first verse) Bientôt vont se fermer Et c'est là que je finirai ma vie Comm'd'autres gars l'ont finie

Please let me know the right way to go about editing here I've got the feeling I'm not using the right space or spot1 MM Hmm my editing is all out of format on the saved version the french and english is all mixed up???

Alger Alexander...[edit]

Do you really think he did not sing the o.v. of it? Could a song dating from 1934 be called folksong? In my opinion, that was the black bluesman Alexander who did it... Stephan KŒNIG 20:34, 17 February 2006 (UTC). I'm quite sure he did it... :-)

Then, what about the lyrics "completely different" than the ones written in 1934??? Stephan KŒNIG 20:38, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Known as a traditional folk-blues... Stephan KŒNIG 20:40, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Algernon Alexander

I saw the French lyrics again and they are quite perfect. There's a translation up above too just to see/mean the differences with the words... Stephan KŒNIG 21:58, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Lyrics Comparison[edit]

I was thinking that it might be interesting/useful to put the "traditional" lyrics side-by-side with The Animals' version, maybe in a table or something. Similar format to Wikipedia's version comparison. How does that sound? -SuperNova 08:02, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

It'd be nice but the song is copyright so I'm not sure if that's allowable (it is for academic purposes). The major differences from the traditional lyrics (going by Woodie Guthrie's 1941 version) are:
1st verse: minor wording changes, including "poor soul" -> "poor boy"
2nd verse: Animals drop this ("If I had listed to what mama said")
3rd verse: "My sweetheart he's a drunkard" -> "My father is a gambling man"
4th verse: Animals drop this ("he fills his glass")
5th verse: "Go and tell my baby sister" -> "Oh mother tell your children", "Show them that house down in New Orleans"->"Spend your lives in sin and misery"
6th verse: minor wording tweaks
7th verse: Animals drop this ("My life is almost over")
Basically, the Animals change the narrator to a male and the sweetheart drunkard to a gambling father, and drop a few verses.
It's clearly a few tweaks to the existing lyrics, not a new song. So I think it's highly misleading for the opening paragraph of the article to say "The song was originally written by folkie Dave Van Ronk". Certainly Woody Guthrie's 1941 version predates Bob Dylan's by a fair bit so "Bob Dylan was the first to formally record it" should be deleted too IMO (though I'd be unsurprised to find other recordings predating Guthrie's). --G. Sumner Hayes 12:30, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
The sentence "The song was originally written by folkie Dave Van Ronk, though Bob Dylan was the first to formally record it." was added to the lead paragraph by an anon editor earlier today, and I have removed it. As the article notes, the song is certainly too old to have been "originally written" by Dave Van Ronk. -- Infrogmation (talk) 14:47, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

A dissenting view[edit]

I just created an account to comment about the article concerning "the house of the rising sun". I really think that the entire article needs to be challenged.

As a Bob Dylan fan, I am very aware that Dylan did a verbatim copy of Dave Van Ronk's version of the song. Van Ronk, a fellow folk musician/performer in Greenwich Village, is the artist who arranged the song to put in the chord structure that was used by both Dylan and later the Animals.

If you go into the Dylan article on "Bringing it all Back Home", you have the comment:

(Reportedly, The Animals first heard the song through Nina Simone's own version.)

If this is true that the Animals reported this, then they are not being honest. They heard Dylan's version of the song. Dave Van Ronk deserves credit for formulating the song as it is popularly known today.

Recently, a quasi-autobiography on Van Ronk has been published called "The Mayor of MacDougal Street: A Memoir" co-authored by Elijah Wald. This book sheds a lot of light on the issue. In it Van Ronk claims to have first learne the song in the 1950's from a Hally Wood recording, who had got it from an Alan Lomax field recording of Kentuckian Georgia Turner. "I put a different spin on it by altering the chords and using a bass line that descended in half steps - a common enough progression in jazz, but unusual among folksingers."

He goes on to relate that Dylan took his rendition and recorded it on his first album and discusses the temporary rift it caused between him and Dylan.

Van Ronk discusses the smoldering it caused him when people asked him to perform that "Dylan song". This caused him to drop the song from his repertoire entirely. But, a couple of years later the Animals recording, (same arrangement), hit the charts and people began to ask Dylan to perform that "Animal song". Which caused Van Ronk some glee.

This dispute between the folk singers is also recounted in Anthony Scaduto's book on Dylan.

Second in my dissenting view is the question of what the song actually refers to. Popularly it is assumed to be a house of prostitution; and it is disputed whether this was an actual place. Again, in Van Ronk's book, he identifies it as the Orleans Parish Women's Prison. He saw a picture of this building to verify it. And it makes sense when you think of the lyric:

"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."
  • Please note that the 5th bullet under Trivia already succinctly covers the Van Ronk-Dylan-Animals-Simone point.Jerry picker 13:16, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
    • This no longer seems to be the case - I agree that DVR's version should be emphasized more, as he essentially wrote the version the Animals did (although they screwed up the second chord). Luminifer (talk) 03:15, 7 May 2009 (UTC)


Does anyone know whether the file tagged on p2p as Muse - House of the Rising Sun is actually them -- and if it isn't, who the real artist is?

The track is 3:01 long and features heavy distortion on the rhythm guitar and a vibrating electronic melody rather than the typical guitar lead. Armblast 04:32, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes it is actually them, it was featured as one of their B-sides. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Autoband (talkcontribs) .
Its definatly muse but i dont think it was ever released.-- (talk) 04:41, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
It's them you can find the song on youtube also, It's pretty epic. (talk) 01:17, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

First Person text[edit]

What's with the first person voice in the middle of the article about the historical basis? Are we quoting somethning, or did someone lose track of the proper way to write an encyclopedia article? Kd5mdk 03:07, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Such personal rambles don't belong in the article. Removed. -- Infrogmation 03:17, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

List of covers[edit]

I've removed the entire list of covers. It was (a) way too short -- seems to be over 250 artists have recorded it; and (b) was totally unsourced, and some of the entries seem unverifiable. We already list the handful of notable versions. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 18:27, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Actually there might be another one worth noting: The Eagles apparently do an acoustic version of the song. I'd seen it mentioned on WikiAnswers and Yahoo Answers and initially thought it was just a case of someone mislabeling a track on Limewire that had been widely distributed, but this link goes to Last.FM and they presumably get their material from the label itself or commercial CD's so I'm guessing it's legit. Anyone have any background on where/when it was recorded? GBrady (talk) 14:00, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Rolling Stones??[edit]

Could someone please explain this constant attempt to insert the Stones in the list of performers? I couldn't find any reference to their having recorded it; was it on their setlist early in their career or something? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 16:31, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

I have a copy of their version, thats all i know. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:36, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Deleted List[edit]

I have removed the list of alleged artists that have covered this song and added the words "Many Artists" , There is very little Evidence outside a few file names on a file sharing network that any of these ever existed.

In someone wants to add a list again please cite your sources.

Slicendice 11:37, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

  • And I've done it again. There's no value in a blank list of names or in a brief mention of one or two of the hundreds of artists who have covered this. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 16:25, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
    • And the list grows again. Geez. EVERYBODY has covered this song... --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 03:54, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Would a seperate, list page keep you guys, happy, I can provide a list of files with the names of bands that have covered it? Its not even illegal as most of the covers are not copyrighted. A list of the more notable covers could also easily be including in the page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:34, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

More notable according to whom? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 15:02, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Deleted it again. --jpgordon::==( o ) 18:58, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Copyright status?[edit]

Can someone who's more familiar with US copyright law than me check whether the Lomax version of the song is out of copyright? On the Alan Lomax I see that the book it was collected in was reprinted in 2000, which makes me wonder. If it's not out of copyright then we can't quote the whole song on Wikipedia. --Zeborah 08:14, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Lomax didn't write the song (or even a version of the song, I think); he just described it. I'm not sure exactly when the song was written (don't have Lomax's book handy), but I think it was 19th century, which would put it safely out of copyright.--Pharos 17:41, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Public domain?[edit]

Is this song a public domain song? According to Dylan's first LP, under the publisher of the songs "House of the Rising Sun", it is marked under public domain. I do know the version by The Animals is copyrighted, however their version does feature different lyrics if I am not mistaken.Laugh-O-Gram 17:10, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Sources of opinions[edit]

From whence cometh such lovely opinions such as "The Animals' take sounded wholly new", "soulful lead vocal...furious wail", "memorable arpeggios". I'm not saying these are incorrect, but they sound like a review rather an encyclopedia article. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 17:43, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm in the process of trying to cite the Animals part of the article better. I'll try to cover these. Note that WP articles that talk about songs in no other terms than when they were released and what chart positions they attained are pretty worthless in my view. Something has to describe what the record actually sounds like and why it grabbed ahold of people. Therefore I give wider lattitude to terms like the above than some editors might. Wasted Time R 18:28, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
That's very nice, but song reviews don't get a special pass for the usual rules we have here. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 18:55, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Just for the historical record, most of these statements about the Animals version did get cites put in by me, and those that couldn't be cited were removed. Wasted Time R 21:19, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Move back to more simple title[edit]

I am moving back the article to its previous title "The House of the Rising Sun" from its current title "The House of the Rising Sun (folk song). My reasoning: Simpler title; is currently a redirect here. The disambiguation is at The House of the Rising Sun (disambiguation), already linked at top of article. Move to "(folk song)" seems to have been made without discussion here. Returns article to actual title rather than a Wikipedia created neologisim (parenthesis disambiguations should only be created when actual title is problematic or needs to be a disambiguation page). Most links are still to that title. -- Infrogmation 15:38, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. The move to "... (folk song)" was a blunder by someone who doesn't understand disambig practices fully. I would have done it myself except I don't have the powers. Wasted Time R 16:06, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Ok, but what's a trunk?[edit]

I've always envisioned it as the trunk poker chips and cards are often sold in as a poker kit. Anyone know? -- Kendrick7talk 03:53, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Trunks in the 19th and early 20th century were common traveling luggage. Often they had a combination of drawers and a clothes hanging section inside. The point of the line is that a gambler needs only his traveling luggage, the implication being that he lives out of the luggage with no set home. -- Infrogmation 01:09, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, yeah, but: a suitcase and a trunk? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 02:37, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Yepp, one might be bigger, just remember those man-sized suitcases where you can store your clothes hanging, while the trunk might be the smaller bag you take into the passenger room. (talk) 17:28, 8 May 2016 (UTC)

House... a euphemism?[edit]

The phrase "House of the Rising Sun" is a euphemism for a brothel,

I always thought it was the name of the brothel, a la Mustang Ranch. Is it used as a euphemism to describe ANY brothel? The perfect example of an, albeit dated, euphemism for brothel is nunnery (from Hamlet). Maybe it historically was. Anyone have a source, here?

Had to do some cleanup[edit]

Alright I've had to do some general cleanup of this article and remove another list of artists that have supposedly covered this song. Once again, please don't say the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, or any other band covered the song unless you have a source.


the Lomax Citation[edit]

If somebody will show me how to do a footnote I can fix the first paragraph. The entire discussion of the songs origins and what Lomax did and didn't say is wrong. Georgia Turner and Bert Martin did not write the original lyrics. Lomax was a folksong researcher and when he published "Our Singing Country," he took their versions he had recorded on a research trip, combined them and published them. There are printed lyrics going back to at least 1929 but without music.

I sure have. Somebody else who has read that book could just as easily fix it. Also there are versions in the Max Hunter folksong collection at my university somebody could link to. They predate the Animals' version.

  • I haven't gotten started on the book yet -- just got it a couple days ago. Feel free to update it; give a rudimentary reference (just say <ref>book title, page number</ref>) and we'll come along and fix the references. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 22:16, 22 June 2007 (UTC)


Aren't there some version that use the word "plantation" instead of "platform"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:57, August 30, 2007 (UTC)

Time signature[edit]

I think the usual time signature for the song is 6/8 - at least that is what I hear most often. However, the Frigid Pink version is 4/4. Does anyone know if 6/8 is the standard time signature, and should this be mentioned in the article? Bubba73 (talk), 19:01, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

The more things that describe actual music, the better, so yes time signatures should be mentioned. Wasted Time R 21:17, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
The Frigid Pink version is 4/4; the Animals version is 6/8. Can someone confirm that 6/8 is the way it was written? Bubba73 (talk), 21:23, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
OT: Funny story. When I was in high school, I was in the concert band. A small subset of us did rock music for the concerts. I played bass in the rock group. They said that we were going to be playing "House of the Rising Sun". I worked out a nice bass part in 6/8. I showed up for the first practice, and they were doing it in 4/4. My nice part was out the window. Bubba73 (talk), 23:48, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

truth versus verifyability[edit]

I know that WP goes for verifyability instead of truth, but when Bangs said: The Animals' arrangement "was later imitated almost note for note with similar worldwide success by a troupe of Michigan no-talents called Frijid Pink." (quoted in the article). In reality the Frigid Pink version is vastly different from the Animal's versiom, even in a different time signature. Bubba73 (talk), 01:16, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Yup. Your analysis is irrelevant. You gotta find some 'authoritative' writer who says the same thing, and quote that. It sucks. FWIW, as I see it, the Frigid Pink version is both very similar to the Animals' in some aspects, and substantially different in other aspects. Thus Bangs is half right, half wrong. And Bangs was known to engage in hyperbole and oversimplification on occasion ;-) Wasted Time R (talk) 01:24, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
About the only similarity in the two versions that I can hear is the vocal. Bubba73 (talk), 02:04, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
The bob Dylan version is closer to the Animals version than the Frigid Pink version is (to the Animals). Bubba73 (talk), 02:28, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm very surprised it isn't mentioned

My family swears my great-grandfather wrote this song. I would consider this story suspect if it weren't for the fact my grandmother, Pauline Hale, vividly recalled helping her father pen the lyrics. No evidence, of course, so it may just all be family story. I know she wrote several country/western songs in her youth that were sold and circulated locally. Anyway, just adding the comment. :) Nayjoy (talk) 04:32, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

The Muse version of the song is also in a 6/8 time signature. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:28, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Clarence "Tom" Ashley recording(s)[edit]

The article has for quite some time asserted that "The oldest known existing recording is by versatile Smoky Mountain artists Clarence "Tom" Ashley and Gwen Foster and was made in 1933." However, there is no citation for this statement. According to a message board posting, Ralph Rinzler in liner notes for the Folkways LP "Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley's Vol 2" made the assertion that Ashley's was the earliest commercial recording. However, I think that the Folkways LP itself contains newer recordings. I haven't found a discography of 78 RPM recordings by Ashley. Greenback Dollar, a collection of his early recordings, does not seem to include the song, unless it is under an alternate title.


So what was Dylan's version? A male viewpoint or a female? What about the chords that Van Ronk had supposedly added?--Jack Upland (talk) 10:41, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Dylan's version (as released on his first album Bob Dylan) is the female version, "it's been the ruin of many poor girl and me oh God I'm a one" lyrically it's similar (not sure if it's identical) to Nina Simone's. (talk) 01:53, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

London Public House-The Rising Sun, c. 1839[edit]

The Streets, Morning, illustration by George Cruikshank for Sketches by Boz, p. 68.

Oldest version[edit]

Dear collegues

I wonder which the first recording was. I know about a version by Leadbelly recorded 1928. It can be seen here. (talk) 18:25, 1 July 2008 (UTC) (German wikipedia)

  • According to The Traditional Ballad Index, the first recording was by Alger "Texas" Alexander--"The Rising Sun" (Okeh 8673, November 15, 1828)--but it is somewhat different. The YouTube version you reference seems to be a compilation of different artists. Leadbelly actually recorded his version ("In New Orleans") in the 1940s, and it is a re-make of the one by Roy Acuff ("In New Orleans", Vocalion 4909, 1939). GreenGrassLawn (talk) 14:14, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
    • By the way, here are the lyrics to Alexander's song at Weeniepedia, so you can see for yourself how different it really is.GreenGrassLawn (talk) 14:31, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

(Commentary): From the initial research I've done so far, I believe this song was first recorded by Leadbelly. I believe this is very meaningful today, as many white singers have made lots of money off this song, claiming it as 'folk song heritage'. If it were possible to prove that this song in it's specific version, was first copyrighted by Leadbelly, a group of ex slaves of African origin, then retaken by at least a dozen very famous white singers... Well, wouldn't that be something. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:36, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

The Animals' Version[edit]

I have included the trivia about the 'Rising Sun' Colliery near Newcastle. It is trivia, unless you can find a quote from a band member mentioning that they found a especial affinity for the song due to a local place with a similar name. Personally I find it an interesting possibility. User:Tadramgo

There is a standard musicological term for the way the organ is played in The Animals' version, but I cannot remember what it is. Does anyone know? A radio announcer once said that conductor Christopher Hogwood used the song in classes he taught as the best-known example of this style of playing. (talk) 02:56, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Version by the Almanac Singers.[edit]

I actually have a recording of this song by the Almanac Singers, though I do not know the date it was recorded (1940s?). The lyrics are nearly identical (Save for the line "been the ruin of many a poor boy" being switched to "been the ruin of many a poor gal") however the music itself is entirely different. Just a thought!

identical to The Animals? - so their version was the merging of two diferent ones? (talk) 01:57, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Add Bob Dylan[edit]

I think if the Animals and Frijid Pink versions warrant their own sections, Bob Dylan's version should too. I just think that would be appropriate as it is possibly the only other well-known version, it is respected throughout the musical community, there are interesting facts concerning it (such as the controversy, etc.), and it is a fact that is easy to source (as opposed to the "fabled" versions).

A few good sources might be this page on the Rolling Stone website: link, this page with the lyrics for his version on the Bob Dylan website: link, or this record of copyright on the U.S. Copyright Office website: link. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eblingdp (talkcontribs) 15:49, 23 December 2008 (UTC)


shouldn't it be noted that jimi hendrix preformed this song (although without lyrics). if not noted on page i'll add it in a few days. -deanostrodamus-

Idris Muhammad[edit]

Idris Muhammad has a rather funky version of this - does it need to be listed? JFW | T@lk 22:18, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

There is a powerful version of this song on attributed to Johnny Cash. I know it is not Cash, but the huge vocals and electric guitar work are riveting! The song cuts out halfway through, adding to the frustration and mystery. I love this song, having learned it in fourth grade (1967) from a (cool) folk-singing public elementary school teacher in Southern California (!) ...may have been non- P.C.! I am haunted that I can't find a full length version of this great vocal---what I consider one of the best versions of this widely-covered song. Thanks so much if anyone can help...and this guy deserves to be heard! It is fabulous!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:28, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Is there any truth in this?[edit]

This is about a brothel in New Orleans. "The House Of The Rising Sun" was named after Madame Marianne LeSoleil Levant (which means "Rising Sun" in French) and was open for business from 1862 (occupation by Union troops) until 1874, when it was closed due to complaints by neighbors. It was located at 826-830 St. Louis St. Is this true? Gingermint (talk) 20:25, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

American Idol[edit]

While I don't dispute the encyclopedic relevance of a song being performed on a show like American Idol, with millions of avid fans, I do suggest that someone rewrite that little blurb there. It reads like a neurotic fan of Haley Reinhart wrote it (which, I assume, is exactly right). As it stands the current iteration of it is ridiculously unencyclopedic in tone and content, but since I don't care about or watch American Idol, I don't know who Haley Reinhart is, and I didn't hear her perform that song, so I'm not the one to rewrite it. (talk) 21:01, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

As it was unsourced, unencyclopedic, and possibly WP:UNDUE, I simply removed it. - SudoGhost 21:13, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
It absolutely should be included in some form, though. The YouTube video received a ridiculous amount of hits, and it is the lead track on her EP that was sold in Wal-Mart (and charted at #37 on the BB Hot 200). It is actually irresponsible NOT to include it. While it can obviously devolve into fancruft, there are numerous sources from numerous online publications that reference it as one of the major moments of the past American Idol season. I'll leave it to the experts to decide how to do it, but simply leaving it out is to ignore the current perception of this song in the minds of millions of people. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:35, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

"The House...", also called "House..." -- triviality?[edit]

The article begins: '"The House of the Rising Sun" is a folk song from the United States. Also called "House of the Rising Sun"...' ? Are such trivial comments (which really could be said of hundreds if not thousands of compositions in most any media) really of benefit? (talk) 09:40, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Alice Cooper[edit]

Didn't Alice Cooper also have a recording of this song ? (talk) 05:35, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Chromatic Minor[edit]

I am removing the sentence saying that the song is in "chromatic minor" as non-notable and per WP:UNDUE. Here's the deal: There is no such thing as a key of "chromatic minor". The "chromatic minor system" (not key) is devised and (as far as I can tell) used by a single author. (There are a few non-notable web sites that seem to have picked it up or maybe devised their own idea of what it is, but as far as published books and other reliable sources go, it's just Ken Stephenson's What To Listen For In Rock Music.) It is not a notable quality of the song and using the idiosyncratic and obscure "chromatic minor" terminology tells the user nothing unless they happen to already be familiar with Ken Stephenson's book. This isn't to say that Ken Stephenson's book isn't valuable or whatever--just that the obscure "chromatic minor system" doesn't add any useful information to this article. SlubGlub (talk) 18:23, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

Box containing list of recordings[edit]

Any reason why the box on the right side, containing a list of recordings, doesnt contain all the recordings mentioned in the article, like the ones by The Animals, Frijid Pink, Jody Miller, Dolly Parton and Muse? (talk) 09:40, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

The other recordings have infoboxes of their own further down the page, so there is no need to list them in the main infobox. A hidden comment explains this, but only if you open the infobox to edit it. ---The Old JacobiteThe '45 15:03, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
Why does that highly selective list exist at all? --jpgordon::==( o ) 17:45, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Bringing this up again; I'd like to remove the list in the infobox completely, unless someone comes up with some criteria for inclusion. --jpgordon::==( o ) 01:09, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

Green Day and U2 cover versions[edit]

I think this article should mention the cover versions made by Green Day and U2. The bands preformed the song live at Louisiana Stadium, and I believe the studio version of their The Saints are coming cover starts of with a part of The House of the Rising Song. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Joeldaalv (talkcontribs) 19:59, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Yes, the lead-in to the two groups' joint performance of "The Saints Are Coming", which they performed at the reopening of the Superdome following Hurricane Katrina (and which was released as a charity single) includes Bono singing the first couple of lines of the song as "There is a house in New Orleans they call the Superdome...". They did not do a full cover of the song, and there is no studio version of "The Saints Are Coming". I don't think it needs more than a passing mention. oknazevad (talk) 23:29, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

Rewrite or delete section "Parkview69ers Take on House of the Rising Sun"[edit]

I have no idea whether or not the referenced section contains any validity, but it does not include a citation, parts of it are nonsensical (who burned down houses in Pakistan, and why?), and it is typed extremely poorly.

Xphileprof (talk) 22:13, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

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I think the Animals version lasts just a tad longer than three minutes.Straw Cat (talk) 19:10, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

Prune and relocate editorializing about Dylan[edit]

I'm going to prune some of the melodramatic editorializing (in the section The Animals' version) regarding Bob Dylan's reaction to the success of The Animals' recording. If someone can add specific references that explicitly quote gossipy phrases like "much to Dylan's chagrin" and "The irony of this was not lost on ...", please do so. But unless directly quoted from reliable, published sources—with quotation marks identifying them as direct quotations—that kind of language does not belong in an encyclopedia.

The single existing reference (a quotation from Dave Van Ronk's memoir) does NOT include such language. Besides, the first mention of Dylan's recording (in the preceding section, Van Ronk arrangement) states that in the liner notes Dylan gave Van Ronk credit for the arrangement he used, so the strong implication in the unsupported editorializing that Dylan was hypocritically trying to take credit for someone else's work is entirely spurious based on the evidence presented here.

I'm going to leave in a reordered version of Dylan's personal reaction to The Animals' recording, because it rings true, is not inflammatory or melodramatic, and yet is significant information—but I'm adding a request for citation.

Finally, I'm relocating what remains after pruning to the Reception section where it is more appropriate, since it recounts Van Ronk's and Dylan's reactions to The Animals' recording after its release. — (talk) 01:00, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

Alt- J version[edit]

The British group Alt-J released a track on their latest album "Relaxer" entitled "House of The Rising Sun" It concerns a father ruined by drinking and gambling in New Orleans. It is linked on the album page to here and is present in the categories section.

Should I add it as a section to the main page? It appears that many artists have covered it but not all versions have a section devoted to them. Is this by design or oversight? Judasuffocated (talk) 03:05, 21 September 2017 (UTC)