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(first releasetraditional, arranged by bob dylan)

There is a house down in new orleans
They call the risin sun
And it's been the ruin of many a poor girl
And me, oh god, Im a-one

My mother was a tailor
She sewed these new blue jeans
My sweetheart was a gambler, lord
Down in new orleans

Now the only thing a gambler needs
Is a suitcase and a trunk
And the only time he's satisfied
Is when he's on a drunk

He fills his glasses up to the brim
And hell pass the cards around
And the only pleasure he gets out of life
Is ramblin from town to town

Oh tell my baby sister
Not to do what I have done
But shun that house in new orleans
They call the risin sun

Well, it's one foot on the platform
And the other foot on the train
Im goin back to new orleans
To wear that ball and chain

Im a-goin back to new orleans
My race is almost run
Im goin back to end my life
Down in the risin sun

There is a house in new orleans
They call the risin sun
Its been the ruin of many poor girl
And me, oh god, Im a-one



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/bob_dylan/house_of_the_rising_sun.html

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  • d
    +1
    dylantomMar 3, 2011 at 1:28 am
    This is a about a girl trapped in a life of misery in 'house of ill repute' in New Orleans. The whorehouse is called the Rising Sun. The fact that she has fallen into this life through the neglect of her parents symbolises the 'ball and chain' line and the utter despair she feels.
  • U
    0
    UnregisteredJan 5, 2012 at 6:10 pm
    I think that the person singing the song fell in love with a whore who sold herself to feed her gambling addiction. He knows it's wrong and he tries to escape that life but in the end he goes back to where he is the happiest even though he knows it's wrong (one foot on the platform the other on the train). I believe that the ball and chain line symbolizes the life that people with addictions live, their love for whatever brings them joy and at the same time misery is their ball and chain, and in the end he knows that going back means to end his life but he chooses to go anyway
  • f
    -1
    frontman56Aug 10, 2009 at 8:52 pm
    this song is so old its hard to figure out the whole meaning. Its rumored to have been wroten in the late 1800's by a man who had just gotten out of jail and was about to go back for another crime. Which explains the chain thing and the sister thing, but the first verse just confuses me. I'll try to figure it out but its really difficult since its so old

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