House of the Rising Sun

The first song since 1962 by a British band to hit #1 in America that was not written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, this soulful ballad has been covered by major recording artists for at least four decades. About a brothel in New Orleans, “The House Of The Rising Sun” seems much darker than these men in matching suits appear to represent.

With generations passing since this song was recorded by The Animals, its word have become timeless and its melody is still haunting. The who-sang-it and where-are-they-now was never relevant in my mind. I had formulated my own perception of its origin: desert cowboys passing along stories and the long and torture road, the sun beating down on them as they ride into the horizon. Or maybe a band of men tainted by the inner city street, with dark secrets and tainted smiles.

The power of YouTube has put a face to the voice that haunts me and added a context to the song that defined a generation. I am not sure if this newly discovered knowledge was an informed remedy for my disillusions or an unwanted end to my imagination.


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