The song was a top ten hit on mainstream rock radio in the United States. It was also featured in the video game Guitar Hero Live. The song was covered in French by Johnny Hallyday. He performed the song during his US tour. Colombian band Los Speakers covered the song under the title "La Casa del Sol Naciente", in their album of the same name. Various places in New Orleans have been proposed as the inspiration for the song, with varying plausibility.
The phrase "House of the Rising Sun" is often understood as a euphemism for a brothel , but it is not known whether the house described in the lyrics was an actual or a fictitious place.
One theory is that the song is about a woman who killed her father, an alcoholic gambler who had beaten his wife. Therefore, the House of the Rising Sun may be a jailhouse, from which one would be the first person to see the sunrise an idea supported by the lyric mentioning "a ball and chain ", though that phrase has been slang for marital relationships for at least as long as the song has been in print. Because women often sang the song, another theory is that the House of the Rising Sun was where prostitutes were detained while being treated for syphilis.
Since cures with mercury were ineffective, going back was very unlikely. Only three candidates that use the name Rising Sun have historical evidence—from old city directories and newspapers.
The first was a small, short-lived hotel on Conti Street in the French Quarter in the s. It burned down in An excavation and document search in early found evidence that supported this claim, including an advertisement with language that may have euphemistically indicated prostitution.
Archaeologists found an unusually large number of pots of rouge and cosmetics at the site. The second possibility was a "Rising Sun Hall" listed in late 19th-century city directories on what is now Cherokee Street, at the riverfront in the uptown Carrollton neighborhood , which seems to have been a building owned and used for meetings of a Social Aid and Pleasure Club, commonly rented out for dances and functions.
It also is no longer extant. Definite links to gambling or prostitution if any are undocumented for either of these buildings. A third was "The Rising Sun", which advertised in several local newspapers in the s, located on what is now the lake side of the block of Decatur Street. At the time, New Orleans businesses listed as coffee houses often also sold alcoholic beverages.
Dave Van Ronk claimed in his biography "The Mayor of MacDougal Street" that at one time when he was in New Orleans someone approached him with a number of old photos of the city from the turn of the century. Among them "was a picture of a foreboding stone doorway with a carving on the lintel of a stylized rising sun It was the Orleans Parish women's prison". Bizarre New Orleans , a guidebook on New Orleans, asserts that the real house was at Esplanade Avenue between and and was said to have been named after its madam, Marianne LeSoleil Levant, whose surname means "the rising sun" in French.
Louis St. The building still stands, and Eric Burdon , after visiting at the behest of the owner, said, "The house was talking to me". The owners are fans of the song, but there is no connection with the original place. Not everyone believes that the house actually existed. Pamela D. Arceneaux, a research librarian at the Williams Research Center in New Orleans, is quoted as saying:.
I have made a study of the history of prostitution in New Orleans and have often confronted the perennial question, "Where is the House of the Rising Sun? Although it is generally assumed that the singer is referring to a brothel, there is actually nothing in the lyrics that indicate that the "house" is a brothel. Many knowledgeable persons have conjectured that a better case can be made for either a gambling hall or a prison; however, to paraphrase Freud: sometimes lyrics are just lyrics.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. American folk and rock song. For other uses, see The House of the Rising Sun disambiguation. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. November Learn how and when to remove this template message. Folk rock  blues rock .
Traditional arr. Psychedelic rock acid rock blues rock. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. December Learn how and when to remove this template message. The Age. Retrieved January 12, Entry Archived from the original on September 8, Retrieved May 4, Retrieved February 23, Scarecrow Press.
October 7, Bluegrass Picker's Tune Book. Mel Bay Music. BBC h2g2. July 28, Retrieved December 26, Waltz and David G. Volume 2 pages 11— Smithsonian Folkways. Retrieved December 4, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Retrieved January 13, Keynote Records. Retrieved September 18, Decca Records. Retrieved September 19, Retrieved February 6, Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 22, Listen to Classic Rock!
Exploring a Musical Genre. The British Are Coming! Being so young and foolish, poor boy, let a rambler lead me astray.
The only thing a drunkard needs is a suitcase and a trunk. Fills his glasses to the brim, passes them around. One foot is on the platform and the other one on the train. Going back to New Orleans, my race is almost run. Going back to spend the rest of my days beneath that Rising Sun. This version is available on I-Tunes. Many thanks to Sandi and her management team for allowing us to use it on our site. Check out Sandi at www. Possibly the song was an old English, Scottish or Irish folk song, or melody, that had been brought over to these mountainous regions of America by British settlers a hundred or more years before.
To their surprise, the record made No. It is probably one of the most recorded songs in history. We could not believe that no one else had used it before.
We chose the name because everyone from 18 to 80 was familiar with the song, usually the Animals version. There is a house on St.
Louis Street No. The same newspaper of Thursday, Feb. The whole of that extensive building was entirely consumed…. Searching through the city directories of New Orleans, Kevin discovered some interesting entries:. 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. Was there ever really such a place in New Orleans that inspired the lyrics to this song? In the late 18th Century and most of the 19th Century, as well as today, prostitution and backroom gambling was illegal 3. It's probable that places where these activities went on didn't publicly advertise their trade. Did establishments such as these exist at that time in New Orleans?
Without a doubt. New Orleans is a port city, located at the mouth of the Mississippi River , and merchants and sailors who were far away from home were constantly streaming in and out.
In , during the American Civil War, the Confederate Army in New Orleans surrendered the city and it fell into Union occupation, thus leaving many northern homesick soldiers in want of comfort and entertainment. In the history of New Orleans, there have been several business establishments that bore the name Rising Sun.
Without help of public advertising of brothels or gambling houses, it is difficult to determine if the House of the Rising Sun existed, or perhaps as was the custom, this term was used as one of many euphemisms to describe houses conducting illicit business.
The owners, however, can offer no solid proof of this claim. Newspaper advertisements in also mention a Rising Sun Coffee House on Decatur Street in the city, but this establishment never had a claim of fame as a brothel or gambling hall, and it is no longer in existence. There was a Rising Sun Hall in the s, which served as a 'benevolent association' hall; it booked dances and rented rooms to musicians. These halls and clubs were the very birthplace of jazz.
It is conceivable that prostitution and gambling occurred in the backrooms of these halls, with the constant transience of travelling musicians. This is purely speculation though, as no oral or written history exists about these goings-on. During its time of operation, the hotel was sold to new owners.
In January , an advertisement for the hotel in the Louisiana Gazette states the new owners will 'maintain the character of giving the best entertainment, which this house has enjoyed for 20 years past. Gentlemen may here rely upon finding attentive Servants. The bar will be supplied with genuine good Liquors ; and the Table, the fare will be of the best the market or the season will afford'. Although the advert does not prove that anything illicit was happening at The Rising Sun, it suggests it was a place where men went for a good time.
In , the hotel burned to the ground, and was never rebuilt. In this site was excavated by archaeologists in search of ancient Native American artefacts, and some interesting things were unearthed, making the former hotel 'look impressively like a bordello', according to Shannon Dawdy, the lead archaeologist.
Dawdy cited finding combinations of broken pieces of 'tons of liquor bottles' and several rouge pots 4. She is quoted in numerous articles as saying on the subject:. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers.
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