The Animals – The House of the Rising Sun

The Animals – The House of the Rising Sun

‘The House of the Rising Sun’ is a traditional folk song, sometimes called ‘Rising Sun Blues’. It tells of a person's life gone wrong in the city of New Orleans. Many versions also urge a sibling or parents and children to avoid the same fate.

The most successful commercial version, recorded in 1964 by the British rock band The Animals, was a number one hit on the UK Singles Chart and in the US and Canada. As a traditional folk song recorded by an electric rock band, it has been described as the "first folk-rock hit". Like many folk songs, ‘The House of the Rising Sun’ is of uncertain authorship. Musicologists say that it is based on the tradition of broadside ballads, and thematically it has some resemblance to the 16th-century ballad ‘The Unfortunate Rake’, yet there is no evidence suggesting that there is any direct relation.

The folk song collector Alan Lomax suggested that the melody might be related to a 17th-century folk song, ‘Lord Barnard and Little Musgrave’, also known as ‘Matty Groves’, but a survey by Bertrand Bronson showed no clear relationship between the two songs. Lomax also noted that "Rising Sun" was the name of a bawdy house in two traditional English songs, and a name for English pubs, and proposed that the location of the house was then relocated from England to the US by White Southern performers.

The song was recorded by the Animals in just one take on May 18, 1964, starting with a now-famous electric guitar A minor chord arpeggio by Hilton Valentine. According to Valentine, he simply took Dylan's chord sequence and played it as an arpeggio. The performance takes off with Burdon's lead vocal, which has been variously described as "howling", "soulful", and as "...deep and gravelly as the north-east English coal town of Newcastle that spawned him". Finally, Alan Price's pulsating organ part (played on a Vox Continental) completes the sound. Burdon later said, "We were looking for a song that would grab people's attention".

‘The House of the Rising Sun’ was a trans-Atlantic hit: after reaching the top of the UK pop singles chart in July 1964, it topped the US pop singles chart two months later, on September 5, 1964, where it stayed for three weeks. Many cite this as the first true classic rock song, and became the first British Invasion number one unconnected with the Beatles. It was the group's breakthrough hit in both countries and became their signature song. The song was also a hit in Ireland twice, peaking at No. 10 upon its initial release in 1964 and later reaching a brand new peak of No. 5 when reissued in 1982.

The Animals Band Pic

Labels – Columbia (UK), MGM (US)
Songwriters – Traditional, arr. by Alan Price
Producer – Mickie Most

T-Shirt Sale


There is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
And it's been the ruin of many a poor boy
And God, I know I'm one
[Verse 1]
My mother was a tailor
She sewed my new blue jeans
My father was a gamblin' man
Down in New Orleans
[Verse 2]
Now the only thing a gambler needs
Is a suitcase and a trunk
And the only time he'll be satisfied
Is when he's all drunk
[Instrumental Break 01:43-02:28]
[Organ Solo]
[Verse 3]
Oh, mothers, tell your children
Not to do what I have done
Spend your lives in sin and misery
In the House of the Rising Sun
[Verse 4]
Well, I got one foot on the platform
The other foot on the train
I'm goin' back to New Orleans
To wear that ball and chain
Well, there is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
And it's been the ruin of many a poor boy
And God, I know I'm one
Voltar para o blog