Friday, February 01, 2013

House of the Risin' Sun

House of the Rising Sun B&B, New Orleans

Got a note on the previous music post, the "Don't-request-these-songs" sign. Mark mentioned "House of the Rising Sun," and I thought this might be interesting for folks who didn't know it ...

I do a little instrumental on my guitar I call "Guitar Clerk's Bane, 1969," a short montage of "Smoke on the Water, Stairway to Heaven, House of the Risin' Sun, Classical Gas," and "Blackbird."  That's the geezer rock version.

"House of the Risin' Sun," the original of which supposedly dates to the sixteenth century, was the first arpeggio piece I learned, (Hilton Valentine's A-minor-version for the Animals.) I and ten million other wanna-be guitarists learned it, and it was a standard for beginning guitarist for years. Still see it on karaoke machines in bars all over the land.  

Those of you who don't know what an arpeggio is, it's a chord whereupon the individual notes are picked one at a time in an ascending or descending (or both) sequence.

Look at the wiki for HotRS and see how many people have done various version of it. First recorded one dates from the 1930's, and artists like Roy Acuff, Josh White, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Glenn Yarbrough, Dave Van Ronk, the Weavers, Joan Baez, Frankie Lane, Miriam Makeba, and Bob Dylan all did versions before the Animals made it a #1 hit in 1964.

Dylan stopped playing it after the Animals' version because people though he was ripping off the Animals; apparently this amused Van Ronk, since Dylan ripped him off and got it recorded first, so Van Ronk was accused of swiping it from Dylan ...

And the beat goes on ...

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