Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nina Simone's Version of The House of the Rising Sun

Nina Simone's version of "House of the Rising Sun." According to Wikipedia:
"Alan Price of The Animals has pointed out that the song was originally a sixteenth-century English folk song about a Soho brothel, and that English emigrants took the song to America where it was adapted to its later New Orleans setting."
I liked The Animals version (they begin with the English pronunciation of the city's name that I think is more correct), but I prefer Nina Simone's interpretation of the song because it fits the mood of ruin via whorehouse more overall. I hear too much affectation of wailing in The Animals version. Here are the lyrics:

There is a house in New Orleans
They call it the Rising Sun
And it's been the ruin of many a poor girl
And me, oh God, I'm one

If I had only listened to what my mama said
I'd be at home today
But being so young and foolish, my Lord
Let a gambler lead me astray

Now, my mother is a tailor
She sows those new blue jeans
And my sweetheart is a drunkard, Lord
Drinks down in New Orleans

Now the only thing a drunken man needs
Is a suitcase and a trunk
And the only time he's satisfied
Lord, is when he's on the drunk

Somebody go get my baby sister
Tell her not to do, never to do what I have done
But shun that house in New Orleans
They call it the Rising Sun

Well, I'm going back to New Orleans
My race is almost run
Yes, I'm going back to spend my life
Beneath the rising sun

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