Roxi's southern gothic arrangement of 'House of the Rising Sun'.
"I came up with the idea for this arrangement after listening to Bobbie Gentry’s ‘Ode to Billy Jo’. I love the strings on that tune, and feel like they’re absolutely crucial to the southern gothic feel of the song. House of the Rising Sun was initially written for a woman to sing, which changes the meaning of the lyrics a great deal from the Animals’ arrangement that most folks are familiar with – about a guy that apparently just can’t stop visiting a New Orleans brothel. The original version is about the sex worker herself, and my arrangement goes back to that.
I changed the chord progression slightly to be a bit darker, a bit more dissonant, and added fiddle to act both as a sort of call and response to the vocal phrases, and to duet with the piano at the intro and the bridge. I was looking to have them intertwine in the same way the main character feels her life is entwined with the brothel. A second fiddle, and then a third are added to the song to match the intensity of the vocal as the song progresses – I wanted the desperation in her voice to be echoed in the dissonance of the strings. I wrote a partial, unsettling resolution to take place at the end of the song, because for her, there is seemingly no end, and no hope in sight."