Over the past couple of months, American Horror Story: Coven has saturated the net with its advertisements. In several of the short clips that have been produced, a certain song is featured. It’s a little ditty called “House of the Rising Sun” – you might have heard of it.
Popularized commercially (is that really a term?) by The Animals, the traditional folk song is covered by Lauren O’Connell. I’d heard this version before, but mostly forgotten about it. Hearing it again interested me enough to look up the song, and I eventually got sucked into listening to a bunch more of O’Connell’s songs – many of them conventional uploaded to YouTube.
Today, I thought I’d share some of my favorites.
House of the Rising Sun
There is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor girl
And God I know I’m one
I’m going to start with this song because, well, it’s what got me pulled in in the first place, so there’s obviously something I like about it.
There’s not much more to say about this song other than the fact that it’s haunting. The lyrics in this song are pretty eerie in general and O’Connell’s arrangement really supports them. I’m sad to say I totally understand why AHS is using it in their promotions (sad because AHS is so consistently terrible and I don’t want anything I like associated with that show.)
I bet the monster was happy when we made him a maze
‘Cause he don’t understand intentions and he just looks at your face
I bet the bubbles exploded to tickle the bath
And all the birds are very curious, all the fish were at the surface.
Yes, this one is also a cover (written by Animal Collective), I realize that. While I really enjoy the original version of the song, this reinterpretation isn’t half bad. It dials back the intensity and the lack of glitchy noises creates a different but cohesive listening experience.
Overall, it’s a more “easy listening” take on the song. Usually, I would use “easy listening as a bad insult, but here I think it’s a good thing.
Well if it’s better that way
You’d be the first to say so
Maybe I wasn’t so sure
But it doesn’t matter who shot first
Ah, finally an original. I like this song for it’s sort of melancholy lyrics. They fit well with the tone of the arrangement. There’s a certain something about the repetitive hit of the drums that adds to the message coming across – and I have no idea if it’s intentional.
The Daylight Here
Crooked or kind, if I’m free, if I’m fine
Either way, whatever I do
Whichever coast, there’ll be room there for ghosts
Either way, I’ll be thinking of you.
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned my love of the banjo in the past, but just in case I haven’t: I love the banjo. One day I might try to learn to play it, but, let’s face, I probably won’t.
Either way, I love when it’s featured in a song, and this is no exception. Plus, the use of the instrument as a sort of faux violin/cello is pretty brilliant.
This song is part of a project O’Connell does with friend Nataly Dawn, called My Terrible Friend.