The House of the Rising Sun

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For a ballad of ruin and loss, there is none in the American songbook with more dark power than "House of the Rising Sun." Everybody's sung it. Everybody knows it.

The Animals made it a big hit in the 1960s, but its roots go way back. Alan Lomax first heard it from the lips of a dirt-poor 16-year-old girl in Middlesboro, Kentucky in 1937. And she wasn't the first to sing it.

This hour On Point: chasing the remarkable history of a remarkable song of ruin — House of the Rising Sun.


Ted Anthony, author of the new book "Chasing the Rising Sun: The Journey of an American Song." He has worked for the Associated Press since 1992, where he was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

This program aired on June 20, 2007.


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