No lengthy introduction needed; the recording speaks for itself: Nina Simone performing “House Of The Rising Sun” live at The Bitter End in NYC in 1968.
This is one of those songs whose mythos is as dense as the register of artists performing it. From Andy Griffith to Dylan, the song and its various interpretations have become part of the culture through generations.
Yet no one really knows the origins of the song. While musicologists lean towards the broadsite ballad imported from Europe by English immigrant and later adapted to reflect New Orleans’ setting, other genealogical branches are still standing strong.
To this day though, the song is mostly known for The Animal‘s interpretation, from 1964: