Wednesday, November 10, 2010

ALPHABE-THURSDAY - H as in House Of The Rising Sun

Once again it's time for Alphabe-Thursday hosted by Ms. Jenny over at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."  Today we are studying the letter H.

This week I couldn't think of anything, so in desperation I googled  "H Songs" and pulled up the song House Of The Rising Sun by the Animals.  This song brought back a lot of memories for me.

I graduated from high school in 1964 and this song came out the same year.  I can vividly remember my friends and I sitting around and speculating that this song was possibly about a brothel and not a gambling casino.   At the time we thought we had discovered something naughty that only we knew about.  We would listen to the words over and over again and try to read between the lines.  What had we stumbled across?

You have to remember that we grew up in a different time.  Lucy and Ricky slept in twin beds and obviously the stork brought Little Ricky.  There was no cable TV.  We didn't even need a movie rating system because our parents told us what we could and couldn't see.  For the most part our music was pretty innocent.

Now we were listening to this scandalous song. 

Here are the lyrics.  Can you find anything scandalous?

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

My mother was a tailor
She sewed my new bluejeans
My father was a gamblin' man
Down in New Orleans

Now the only thing a gambler needs
Is a suitcase and trunk
And the only time he's satisfied
Is when he's on a drunk

Oh mother tell your children
Not to do what I have done
Spend your lives in sin and misery
In the House of the Rising Sun

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

Only when doing research on The House Of The Rising Sun did I discover that the song was originally about a brothel, but the Animals changed the words so it would be acceptable to radio stations.  There must have been rumors circulating at the time and that's where we picked up on the brothel idea.

Times sure have changed.   Radio stations play just about everything today. 

I grew up during innocent times.  Speculating about this song was probably the biggest scandal I came across during my formative years.

Now sing along...

Head over to Jenny's blog for more information on Alphabe-Thursday and a list of this week's participants.


  1. Yes! I never new that about the song but my sister played it on her guitar back in the good ole days and I think the part "it's been the ruin of many a poor boy" ya I never knew what that meant but now I do!


  2. Oh Betsy I love thsi song! My older brother had the album and I used to secretly play this song over and over as it had such a catchy tune! I really didn't understand the words as I was around 9 years old.

    Happy "H" day!

  3. Love this song too- many good memories!

    XOXO Lola:)

  4. I love thi song not heard it for years. I also giggled when I listened to the words. thanks for sharing and visiting

  5. How interesting! I've heard of this song before but never actually listened to the lyrics. I find it very interesting that the song was originally about a brothel. Wow, times have really changed from when this song first came out. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Love this song and so many others of that era! Thanks for the memories!
    HAPPY H Day!

  7. I don't think I have ever heard this song all the way through. I loved reading all the words.

  8. I can still sing the entire song from start to finish - it was a favorite. I remember the same wondering about the lyrics - it really was a more innocent time!

  9. I grew up at the same time, when songs were banned over words like "makin' out in the rain."

    My sister loved "House of the Rising Sun." I can still hear her belting it out as we tooled down the freeway in our old Ford to get to our afternoon janitorial job after school.


  10. Superb H word... Although I am great remembering tunes, I rarely remember words... but this song is one of perhaps five I can sing. For me the scandalous song was another, much later one, about snow aka cocaine, but of course I can't remember the words or even the title or the band! :-D But House of the Rising Sun? Every word.

  11. I heard this song when I was a little kid... I would never forget it.

  12. Well, that makes sense that they changed some of the words, because even though I knew the idea was it was about a brothel, the lyrics just make no sense. But oh what a gorgeous melody.

  13. Hooray! I loved this "H" post. This is the only song I still have memorized on the piano. And I sing crazy loud every time I play it to the chagrin and dismay of everyone around me.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful stop.

    This brought back so many wonderful memories.


  14. I am your newest follower from Jenny Matlock. My middle name is Helper. Please follow me as well. Thank you.

    The Disconnected Writer

  15. This is why I prefer to listen to "oldies", although I've been disappointed to learn that some of those songs don't mean what I thought they did when I was 10! I am sometimes amazed what my 7 year old wants to listen to.

  16. I used to play this song on the guitar. I can still remember the words by heart, though I would probably need to experiment a bit for the chords.

  17. Hm...I remember this song, but never heard of the story behind it...but then again, I grew up in a pretty strict family and was pretty naive anyways! ha
    Actually we also limited what our kids would watch when they were growing up...goodness, it wasn't til they were much older that our girls mentioned that for years they didnt even know there was a mean character on Little Mermaid! (yep, I would fast forward through the scenes with that Octopus lady...haha I can't even think of that character's name!

    Thank you for your sweet comment and stopping by! I was very surprised to get a rose at work :o) And it was lots of fun to do the newer 2010 photos to the old ones taken in 1982. Thank goodness that a lot of the places are still there. I have other photos like that to share later.

    Blessings & Aloha!

  18. Great Post. One of my favorite songs so it was a delight to hear it again.

    Thanks for all the visits to my blogs. I do so appreciate those that visit and comments are like adding the icing on the cake.

  19. Betty you're scandalous;) Like "H" up there, my husband rocked this one out on the guitar. A CLASSIC!

  20. I still think it's about a brothel.
    That is one song I learned to play on my guitar.


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