Rising Sun

One of the things I have seen written about triple metre is that it's best suited to telling stories, ballads, sagas.


I have to say, this song certainly seems to be trying to tell a story.  But it's mostly told in the spaces between the words.

What sort of establishment is the House of the Rising Sun?  The conventional wisdom is that it was a bordello.  There was indeed a noted brothel in New Orleans by the name Soleil Levant (French for "Rising Sun"), for a dozen years from the time of the Union occupation during the Civil War.  After it was closed, it lived on in a folk song, which was rocked-out by the Animals a century later.

Or maybe it was a women's prison?  There was one not far from New Orleans with a painting of a sunrise on its gates.


This article was updated on May 9, 2023

David F