30 January, 2017


Happy Monday friends! I hope you packed light and got some party clothes, cause this Monday we are in the most mysterious and diverse place on this planet, that has all sorts of music, food and scary scary scary tales to tell!

So today we are in a city called New Orleans (US) and we will explore:


American musicologist Alan Lomax:
Alan Lomax (January 31, 1915 – July 19, 2002) was an American field collector of folk music of the 20th century. He was also a folklorist, ethnomusicologist, archivist, writer, scholar, political activist, oral historian, and film-maker. Lomax produced recordings, concerts, and radio shows in the US and in England, which played an important role in both the American and British folk revivals of the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s.


 There is a house in New Orleans they call the Rising Sun.
It’s been the ruin of many a poor girl and me, O God, for one.
If I had listened what Mama said, I’d be at home today.
Being so young and foolish, poor boy, let a rambler lead me astray.
Go tell my baby sister never do like I have done
To shun that house in New Orleans they call the Rising Sun.
My mother she’s a tailor, she sewed these new blue jeans.
My sweetheart, he’s a drunkard, Lord, Lord, drinks down in New Orleans.
The only thing a drunkard needs is a suitcase and a trunk.
The only time he’s satisfied is when he’s on a drunk.
Fills his glasses to the brim, passes them around.
Only pleasure he gets out of life is hoboin’ from town to town.
One foot is on the platform and the other one on the train.
I’m going back to New Orleans to wear that ball and chain.
Going back to New Orleans, my race is almost run.
Going back to spend the rest of my days beneath that Rising Sun.


This  specific variation of this folk song was collected and written down by Lomax on one of his extremely important field-recording trips to the Southern States of America. Lomax also believes that this was an actual song that the settlers brought from either England or Scotland when they moved to inhabit the South States (Louisiana, where New Orleans is). It is also believed that the city name New Orleans could have been added after the song was brought to the continent and many different location names might have been used. 
In general the whole premise of the song is thought to be cautionary tale about how a life might go wrong if bad decisions are made, or just to teach children to listen to their parents. 

Today The House of Rising Sun is actually a Bed & Breakfast , that has 5 star rating and actually looks really really nice, cozy and sure it's not a 5 star hotel but I would definitely stay there! But coming back to the meaning of the name in the song, I think the House of the Rising Sun, was considered to be like a brothel or maybe more as a cabaret or something. I mean Jazz was born in New Orleans, so you would go to listen to music and get some pretty young girls dancing and prancing around you, and to my understanding this behavior could ruin a girls reputation back in the day.


As you all might know by now, this blog loves paranormal, supernatural, mysterious things. All of us are insane and obsessed about it! So New Orleans to me has always been one of those places where I think, if I ever went there, I would be thrown into the middle of a vampire, werewolf, witch and ghost war and all these supernatural creatures would lurk in the shadows play jazz and offer me magical gumbo!

In all honesty, I first heard this song on the American Horror Story: Coven series (I am attaching a video of the cover of the song that is most beautiful to me below), which was set in New Orleans and it forever got stuck in my mind. I always love a good cautionary tale, of sad things happening and how at the end someone silently says 'Just watch out for, if you don't wanna be next'.

And I think there is this magical, mysterious, sadness to this folk song, don't you think? Just imagine, a beautiful, young woman standing outside a cabaret door looking at the city and singing this song while she remembers or imagines how different her life could have been, if she double thought about her actions. To me this folk song has unspeakable sadness to it.

Enjoy this beautiful and haunting version of this song and let me know what you think!

See you next Monday!