Song Lyrics

House of the Rising Sun


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There is a house in New Orleans
they call the rising sun
It’s been the ruin of many a poor girl
And me oh God for one

If I had listened to what my mamma said
I’d be at home today
But I was young and foolish poor girl
Let a gambler lead me astray

My mother, she’s a tailor
She sews those old blue jeans
My father he’s a gamblin’ man
Drinks down in New Orleans

Go tell my baby sister
Not to do as I have done
You 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
I’m going to spend the rest of my days
Beneath that rising sun

Well one foot is on the platform
And the other one’s on the train
I’m going to spend the rest of my days
Wearing that ball and chain


This song was said to have been known by miners as early as 1905. The oldest published version of the lyrics is that printed by Robert Winslow Gordon in 1925, in a column "Old Songs That Men Have Sung" in Adventure magazine. The oldest known recording of the song, under the title "Rising Sun Blues", is by Appalachian artists Clarence "Tom" Ashley and Gwen Foster, who recorded it on September 6, 1933 on the Vocalion label


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