Posted on: December 30, 2008
Caught an archived addition of On Point today. Fascinating. A discussion of the roots of an American classic, The House of the Rising Sun. Far more to it than I had previously ever thought about. And our old friend, Alan Lomax, plays a major part in the story. It wasn’t just The Animals involved. In fact, far from it. They just made the most famous version in 1964. But so many others covered the tune and it originated, most likely, in the Kentucky hills. Though it’s possible that it goes back even further, well into the 18th century. At least part of the song.
Sung by men and women, the song takes on completely different meaning. With the former, it sounds like a young man who has fallen into dissolution, and can’t escape from it.…