Weekend Open Thread   4 comments

No trades for me today, so let’s roll with the weekend open thread, where you can discuss whatever topic you like.

For your consideration, I offer The House of the Rising Sun. First, a bit of history, from Wikipedia:

“The House of the Rising Sun” is a traditional folk song, sometimes called “Rising Sun Blues”. It tells of a life gone wrong in New Orleans. The most successful commercial version, recorded in 1964 by the English rock group The Animals, was a number one hit in the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden, Finland, and Canada.

Like many classic folk ballads, the authorship of “The House of the Rising Sun” is uncertain. Musicologists say that it is based on the tradition of broadside ballads such as The Unfortunate Rake of the 18th century and that English emigrants took the song to America where it was adapted to its later New Orleans setting. Alan Price of The Animals has even claimed that the song was originally a sixteenth-century English folk song about a Soho brothel.

The oldest known existing recording is by Appalachian artists Clarence “Tom” Ashley and Gwen Foster, who recorded it for Vocalion Records in 1934. Ashley said he had learned it from his grandfather, Enoch Ashley.

Among the artists who have covered the song is an impressive list: Roy Acuff, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Glenn Yarbrough, Pete Seeger, Frankie Laine, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, and Dolly Parton.

Surprisingly, with all those covers, the only other band to have chart success with the song is a band called Frijid Pink, back in 1970:

One of the surprisingly best (and most haunting) covers I have heard for this song was by Sinead O’Connor:

Have a good weekend folks!


Posted May 2, 2014 by edmcgon in Music, Open Thread

4 responses to “Weekend Open Thread

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  1. The Animals’ Greatest Hits was one fine album.

  2. The best version to me is by the Adolescents. You don’t hear much harmonica in punk rock…

  3. DIA: 2.80, 46.4K
    QQQ: 2.11, 443K
    SPY; 1.65, 2.02MIL
    IWM; 1.59, 566K

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