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GUEST,John Garst Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun? (184* d) RE: Origin or title of House of the Rising Sun? 09 Sep 05

In Country Music Sources, in which Dick Spottswood and Douglas S. Meade edit for publication the unpublished work of the late Guthrie T. Meade, Jr., Gus gives the following citations of works he considers to be related to HORS.

(2) Gordon Ms. #925 (1925); FSV, p. 309.
(4) McMurray, p. 18
(5) "Motherless Child Blues," Elvie Thomas, 03/1930, Pmt 12977, Yaz 2007 (cd); "Rising Sun Blues," Tom Ashley and Doc Watson, FW FA2359, SF 40029/30 (cd)

He then cites as as "country music sources" commercial recordings by Ashley & Foster (1933), Homer Callahan (1935), and Roy Acuff & His Smoky Mountain Boys (1938). I've read of an Ernest Tubb recording - I'm not sure how Gus missed it.

Anyhow, I don't have Gordon #925, I haven't yet gone over to the library to check out Folk Songs of Virginia (FSV), and I don't have Vance McMurray's Home Songs (Oxford, Ohio: Vance McMurray, 1937), a "hillbilly song folio."

What I do have, in Gus' list, is Yaz 2007 with Elvie Thomas, "Motherless Child Blues," and, sad to say, I cannot understand the relationship that Gus saw between this song and HORS.

Here's the text.

My mother told me, just before she died (4x)

Oh, daughter, daughter, please don't be like me (3x)
To fall in love with every man you see

But I did not listen to what my mother said (3x)
That's the reason why I'm sitting here in Hattiesburg

Baby, now she's dead and six feet in the ground (3x)
And I'm her child and I am drifting around

Do you remember the day, Baby, you drove me from your door (3x)
Go away from here woman and don't come here no more

I walked away and I wrang my hands and cried (3x)
Didn't have no blues, I couldn't be satisfied

Thomas' tune is the one familiarly associated in blugrass music with "I'm broke and I do not have a dime (3x) Singing, oh, oh, oh, oh" "Ev'ry good man has a little hard luck some time ...."

Does anyone see a connection between "Motherless Child Blues" and HORS?

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